Most popular posts:
We are entering the final stretch of the year 2021, which has been anything but easy. The global COVID-19 crisis, again intensified by a new variant apparently resistant to available vaccines, and the expected downturn in global stock markets have been bad enough. This difficult background has been worsened by substantial insecurity in Burkina due to terrorism that has been “in crescendo” throughout the year. In the last six years, terrorism has been responsible for thousands of civilian and military deaths, and has displaced almost 1,500,000 people (7% of the population). Still, Uncle Pepe’s care from “Up There” has been unflagging during this first year without him here with us.
“Learning to read and write allows us to integrate into society, to leave ignorance behind and to improve our daily lives.” This is one of the answers to the end-of-year “satisfaction survey” from one of the women served by the “Mothers’ Literacy” project. It couldn’t sum up any better the greatness of this project, which is much more than teaching numbers and letters!
“I am very sorry to have to share the news that last evening, Amdiatou was admitted to the emergency ward of the hospital, where she passed away during the night. Tests were positive for malaria, which, though still unconfirmed, is the likely cause of death. Although we did not wish for her to leave us so soon, she has passed without suffering and has been happy once again over these last few weeks. Rest in peace
I’ve been short on inspiration for a few weeks. Nothing to be worried about; the accurate diagnosis being the heat of this time of year. Then, on Sunday, May 16, the World Day of Light was celebrated, and as if by magic, and appropriate to the cliché, “I saw the light!”
Organizing the elections for staff delegates always worries me. I’m not quite sure why, as I’ve organized quite a few without significant complications. Perhaps it is because the process involves a timetable of formalities, with meticulous deadlines to meet, or because of the difficulty of finding the candidates themselves. Yet, despite my fears, we have new staff delegates!
“Dans la causerie du dimanche, nous avons appris aux enfants qu’ils doivent tous apprendre à vivre ensemble, comme des frères, et favoriser la compréhension et l’amitié entre toutes les nations et tous les groupes raciaux ou religieux, sinon nous allons mourir ensemble comme des idiots” (“In the Sunday talk, we explained to the children that they must all learn to live together, as brothers, fostering understanding and friendship between all nations and all racial and religious groups, otherwise we will die together like fools”). So describes a report by Jacques, who leads the street children program, about one of the formative talks we gave.
I can think of many ways to begin 2021. A little bit of “Philomena” in Burkina would no doubt be one of them. Yet, the best of all is the blessing of three new classrooms in the “Valencia” nursery school, which allow us to serve more children, increasing our capacity from 300 to 450.
Dear Tío Pepe,
Now you’re really going to have to make an impact – from heaven!
I recently heard that some African politicians consider bicycles to be a symptom of the continent’s failure to advance. Yet, cities with the highest urban cycling rate are “rather advanced” cities and among the richest in the world. Seven years after the delivery of the first bike for Rimkieta, and having arrived this month to 4,000, I cannot be more proud and grateful. Surely, some 15,000 “Rimkietans” today have a means of transportation.
“AB’s case isn’t an isolated one; FAR saves lives. I believe you know this and that it’s only fitting that it be known.” Mme. Brigitte, child psychologist.