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Young people working in the field

I have been back in Burkina since 2 weeks. It is time to write my blog.

Eugénie arrived last Sunday together with Didier, Marie Paule and their niece Sophia.

Sophia comes to make a training of one month, Didier and Marie Paule are in Burkina to check on the “A Petits Pas” (APP) Foundation projects.

APP has been helping us to funds projects for 10 years now. Sadly Bertrand Auger, the founder of APP passed away last saturday at the age of only 52. He is leaving a lot of people orphan in Burkina and I am sure also in France.

It has been a privilege for me to have been his friend and to have shared those 10 years of development work in Burkina.

Nursery schools

Bertrand was a strong believer of opening nursery schools in the villages. Four out of the five we have built have been founded by APP.

With Didier and Marie Paule we have visited 2 of them this week. Parents in the villages do not believe that young children can learn things. It is as if the adults think that children’s brains only open up at 6 or 7 years old when they go to primary school. They are amazed to see what young children can do after one year of nursery school.

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Yes we can sing!

News from the LAP

In the beginning Bertrand did not believe that it would work if we opened a secondary school in the middle of the bush. After a few visits to the LAP he was convinced of its pertinence. APP is providing 50% of the yearly structural costs via sponsors.

The school was opened 4 years ago and the first group of students passed a national exam in June. We had only a 41% success rate. I say only since we expected at least 80%. We have now to analyze those results and take corrective actions so that we can reach those 80%.

blog 2015-07-09 4Didier, Marie Paule, Macaire, Emmanuel and Sophia in the garden of the 1st year students, looking at okra.

blog 2015-07-09 5The official lectures have stopped at the LAP end of May. In June and beginning of July, students are working in the fields of the LAP and learning some new things. They have 3 main activities: computer lessons, sewing and animation (singing, theater).

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Girls of the 1st year learning how to sew

Scholarship holders in Banfora

Bertrand loved to visit the students who are in boarding school. He was often taking them to the cascades near Banfora. A day out of the routine for over 50 students. APP sponsors 75% of our students there.

A large group of students were at the end of their secondary studies this year. Out of 15, 6 got their baccalaureate. Last year we had 0 out of 3. A younger group passed an exam after 4 years of secondary studies. Out of 9, 6 passed.

Not fantastic results, but better than the national averages.

Nature

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Kingfisher

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Watching you!

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Hippo kiss

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“Meli melo” of hippos

Proverbs about friendship

Le sort donne des parents, le choix des amis
Fate gives parents, choice gives friends

Les gens te pèsent ? Ne les porte pas sur tes épaules. Prends-les dans ton cœur.
People are heavy on you? Do not carry them on your shoulders. Take them in your heart.

So long Bertrand.

Hervé