Saved from female genital mutilation!

Saved from female genital mutilation!

While we were designing one of this year’s new projects, the awareness campaign against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) – a practice prohibited and penalized in Burkina Faso since 1986 but unfortunately still very active – none of us could have imagined how much impact it would have within 48h after launching it. This has me smiling as I sit at my computer.

Women: Units of Exchange in Burkina

Women: Units of Exchange in Burkina

We are in the middle of the busy period of granting school and university scholarships for the new academic year. You can imagine the feeling in the air: there is a lot of commotion, meticulously organized, but a lot of commotion nonetheless. There are happy and satisfied faces all-around: on the mothers, on the boys and girls receiving the scholarships, and, of course, on us, who have the privilege to bestow them. But the reason why one mother was four days late to pick up the scholarship for her daughter has triggered an anxiety that I’m having trouble overcoming.

Already 9.000!!! (trees planted)

The start of the rainy season, around May or June, marks the beginning of the new tree planting.  And like every year, when it’s over, Jacques – the project leader – reports on how it went. I love how he recounts it, with the depth and seriousness with which he works, and that all of us try to apply.  I’m sharing it with you today. 

Wak? (The Evil Eye…)

Wak? (The Evil Eye…)

The father of a friend of mine passed away a couple of days ago. I want to believe that an autopsy would rule out the reason why he – overnight, without any previous symptoms of illness – was said to have died: a “wak” (evil eye) from a family member with whom he was having a dispute over land-property.