I was planning to go back to Burkina early June, but I guess this will not happen. The primary- and secondary schools in Burkina will, after several changes, only open on June 1st. This is only for students in an exam year.

So I will try to give you some news about the situation in Burkina via the people working in Burkina.

This week Fidel (in charge of the technical teaching at the LAP)

Fidel

“Burkina Faso like other countries in the world is not spared from the Covid-19. We are currently close to 750 positive cases reported. This has led to the implementation of so-called barrier measures to stop or slow the spread of the disease. Among other things, we have contact limitation, hand disinfection and systematic wearing of masks. This situation has consequences both on the Burkinabé economy and on the social life of the populations.

At the private agricultural high school (LAP) where I work, our main activity, which is the teaching of agricultural practices to the students, has stopped. All the children having returned with their families, our permanent staff is now responsible for the follow-up of gardening activities started by the students and taking care also of the various animals within the LAP.

Onion cultivation

Pork farming at LAP

The LAP being located in a rural environment, we feel more secure compared to the big city (Bobo-Dioulasso) 50 km away. Contacts are more limited and we have freedom of movement within the precinct, unlike in the city where we would be more confined. When we have the opportunity to go to town, on our return we quarantine ourselves for 48 hours in order to avoid possible contamination of colleagues. All in all, the appearance of the Covid-19 led us to change our way of life and to be fairly dependent on each other. In addition, since the government does not have a great opportunity to ensure safe opening of classes, there is concern about the rest of the school year. To keep our students in the dynamics of studies we send them exercises which they send back. Our teachers who depend more on overtime face a substantial decrease of financial resources. At the moment, we are trying to adapt to living with the pandemic, since we cannot remain permanently be confined.”

News about masks production

Since the end of March we have asked the association ABF to produce protective masks instead of the washable protection for menstruation.

ABF is now producing 250 masks per day. Those masks are being distributed first to our personnel, then to the children who attend the Lycée Agricole Privé and its personnel. They will also be distributed to the women in the villages (see below) and the medical personal.

Masks

The material used to produce the masks is tightly woven cotton, same material that women use to make their dresses. Because of the bright colors, people seem to have less problems to wear them.

The model of the masks came from the American association “Days for Girls”. It covers well both mouth and nose.

Both in France, in the Netherlands and in the US we have launched a fundraising campaign in order for us to be able to provide the masks at no or little costs to the villagers.

Do not hesitate to contribute to those campaigns 

For the Netherlands on the ASAP site: Campaign masks

For France through the site A Petits Pas

For USA  through global giving site

Girl with mask

The Dutch association ”Wilde Ganzen”  is doubling the funds collected in The Netherlands. Those funds will be used to provide soaps and masks to women who come in consultation at their local rural medical centers.

We expect to reach over 2.500 women with this project. This will give them a chance to attend the market and to have their family washing their hands.

Saying of this week from Albert Camus (The plague)

“Ah! If only it was an earthquake! A good shake then we don’t talk about it anymore … we count the dead, the living, and voila. But this crap from sickness! Even those who don’t have it carry it in their hearts.”

“For the moment, he wanted to do like all those who seemed to believe, around him, that the plague can come and go without the hearts of men being changed.”

Stay safe,

Hervé

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