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Friday, April 26, 2019

The ‘March Eighth’ Reality in Burkina

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Pedaling 12km/hour or walking 2.5km/hour, quite a difference! ...

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We celebrate Christmas here in Rimkieta, too!

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Adelphe Walks Again!!

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Burkinabe women’s harsh reality

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When you haven’t enough even for a bar of soap

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Pregnant at sixteen

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A Friend of Rimkieta?

Friday, April 26, 2019
A Friend of Rimkieta?

What a couple of weeks! Alyetou, a graduate of the maternelle nursery school and a current scholarship recipient, has suffered a terrible case of dengue that has left her with severe long-term neurological damage. One of our dear university scholarship holders, Ivette, has been diagnosed with glaucoma. Issà, another scholarship beneficiary, has been hospitalized for over a week. He’s very ill, and we still don’t have a clear diagnosis. Abdoul Aziz, one of the children in our “education and reintegration of street children” project, had an emergency umbilical hernia operation. And Mamounata, a seventeen-year-old girl from our “education for unschooled girls” project, came to us yesterday to tell us that she’s pregnant…

 

Even though healthcare in itself is not one of our main areas of endeavor in Rimkieta, everything comes back to it; and we have an almost daily intervention concerning healthcare. The most common - day in and day out – which we are unfortunately used to here, though they would be real tragedies in Europe, are children with malaria and typhoid fever. Moreover, harmattan (a season of dry winds from the Sahara Desert that bring sand and dust storms that “visits” us from every year from November until the last days of March) contributes to such illnesses as pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma and meningitis. A real delight! 

 

Moreover, we have the marvelous “Healthcare” cases. Thanks to this project we can currently manage the locally crazy health care appointment situation, both financially – which is important – and through even more crucial moral support staying by the side of five sickly girls. I want to highlight Adelphe’s case: as you may well remember, she can walk again after a horrific burn to both of her legs, and two years full of skin graft interventions and rehabilitation.

 

And, suddenly, we’ve had a few days that we are overwhelmed by the “extra cases” that we have to attend to.

 

Alyetou, the girl suffering from the long-term neurological damage due to a severe case of dengue, has had to leave school, and she was transferred from the Scholarship to the Healthcare project. Thanks to all the help from “Friends of Rimkieta,” we are now getting her a complete medical diagnosis to assess the scope of her neurological damage, and we’ll do our best to help her recover so that she can attend school again as soon as possible…

 

Thanks to the help from all “Friends of Rimkieta,” and especially that of our dear Dr. Idoia Rodriguez de Barraquer, Ivette - the girl with a university scholarship suffering from glaucoma - will get the care she needs. We will make sure that she gets the appropriate medication and attention so she doesn’t lose her eyesight, as her mother and grandmother did.

 

Issà, hospitalized a week ago without a clear diagnosis, is being taken care of in the pediatric hospital of Ouagadougou thanks again to all the “Friends of Rimkieta’s” help. He’s there with our assistance and help, which are indispensable amongst the chaos of that hospital’s emergency floor. And we will continue to be with him until he gets a proper diagnosis and we can help with everything that’s necessary for his recovery.  

 

Abdoul Aziz has been successfully operated on for an umbilical hernia that was in an advanced state and on the brink of worsening into peritonitis. And this, too, is thanks to all of the “Friends of Rimkieta’s” help.

 

And, finally, there’s 17-year-old Mamounata. She’s in that complicated age where she’s not a girl, but she’s not a woman either. She thinks she’s in love with a 26-year-old fellow, and she’s pregnant. It’s not the first time we’ve dealt with a case like this. You might remember Anne, whose son will celebrate his first birthday in a couple of months. He’s strong and healthy. The pregnancy rate for teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age is more than 10% in Burkina (UN). We currently have around 500 girls between the maternelle, our project for unschooled girls and our scholarship programs; and thanks to help from all of the “Friends of Rimkieta,” we will continue to invest in sexual education for all the boys and girls, parents and tutors, who benefit from our projects, in order to reduce that rate.

 

I’m telling you all of this today because I sometimes have the feeling that I don’t convey strongly enough how much all of your help really means. It is not FAR’s primary objective to attend to individual cases. In fact, we specifically intend not to. But, in certain situations…, when someone in our environment is in a predicament or in a dire situation, we can’t resist helping. I previously described as “marvelous” our health care project as “marvelous.” It’s marvelous and surprising because it’s made up of continuous exceptions that aren’t in our purview, but that we simply cannot not attend…

 

By describing these specific cases, I hope to have given you a little bit of perspective of an invisible, yet present thing:  each and every one of them also embodies what it means to be a “Friend of Rimkieta.”

 

And for all of you who follow us, but still aren’t “Friends of Rimkieta:” it’s really easy, and I encourage you to do so! (Link to become “Friend of Rimkieta”)

 

Thank you all, with all my heart!

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