When I told my friends Seb and Ana that we were going to Burkina Faso, I was surprised to discover that they had been there! In 2008 they spent few weeks helping a French association in Ouagadougou, the capital city. During their stay they built a very good relationship with “Tintin”, the guy who is in charge of the association in Burkina Faso, and they are still in touch with him and his family on a regular basis.
Seb, a former colleague of mine, is one of the major contributors of VGWB: that’s why when I visited “Tintin” at their new school I felt like if a circle was closing.
The French association Aide ton Prochain operates in 5 different countries mainly in the fields of Education and Health. Thanks to remote adoptions, they cover the education costs (the school is not free here!!!) for 124 children, of all ages and from all districts of Ouagadougou, that otherwise could not afford it. They also offer regular health revisions for their students and, in case of local emergencies, they run special fund-raising campaigns to give a immediate help. Moreover, in 2012 they created their own professional training school for girls (that traditionally here have less chances of receiving a proper education since there’s a common belief that “their future husbands will take care of them”), starting with Sewing. The Sewing course lasts 3 years (the first students will graduate next months) and it currently includes 24 girls overall. “Tintin” would like to start also an Hair-styling course of 2 years but he is not sure yet to have the resources to make it happen in September. It’s not easy to follow properly all the students, so different one from another, as one of the teachers explained me during my visit with an African proverb: “One only stick can guide 100 cows, but to guide 10 men you need 10 sticks”.
It was very interesting to learn how the school works and it was super-fun to meet the girls. We took hundreds of pictures together and I even acted as model wearing their cloths!
Thanks a lot to for the great welcome and good luck for your final exams… anyway, never forget that, as “Tintin” says, even if you are not successful at school you can be successful in life 🙂
It would be amazing if VGWB could help “Tintin” and its association to make some of their projects come true… I’m sure that also Seb would feel that the circle of friendship had closed!