Investing in sustainable development

Blog: Visit of Bona and Political situation

It has been very warm in the past 2 weeks with very little cooling at night. And then since couple of days, nights have been a bit cooler. Nice!!

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The néré tree (African locust bean) with its look alike “Christmas” decoration.

Political situation in Burkina

In May there will be the election of the town councils from which the mayors will be chosen. It is now the time for the various political parties to appoint candidates for the councils. The party which has the majority in the parliament is the MPP. Most of the leaders of this party come from the party of the ex-president Compaore. The way the candidates are appointed is exactly as before: nepotism.

In one of the area of Bobo Dioulasso, the members of the MBB did not agree with the appointment made from the headquarter of the MPP of the leading candidate. They marched several time in Bobo towards the office of the party. One time the women came out with pots and spoon making a lot of noise.

I guess nothing is changing.

Visit of Bona

In February we had planned a visit to the village of Bona. To our surprise, very few people had shown up. We then told them that we could not discuss about projects with so few people. The next week a delegation of the village came to Bobo to excuse the village: it was a problem of communication inside the village(??). They also invite us for the 17 of March.

When we arrive in the village there was a lot of people. They had also chosen the date to be a Thursday (no school day for the primary school). It started with the women dancing.

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On one hand it is very good to see so many people, on the other hand it is difficult to properly communicate with this type of crowd. Our message for this trip was: what will Bona do for their youth?

In the villages were we work 50% of the population is under 14 years old. Many young adults who are out of schools are idle in the village at least during the dry season. Some will go to Ivory Coast looking for work, some gold digging and some will try to come to the city in Bobo. This leaves still a lot of young people in the village.

We have been talking many times about this problem, but they do not seem to look for solution themselves. The first question is: will the young adults staying in the village really work during the dry season? The second one is: if they work in the village, will the income generated go to the fathers or can they keep it?

Regarding the second question most probably the answer is no, which makes that the answer is also no to the first one.

We ask the villagers if they could imagine a group of young adult developing an orchard for example. The answer was no coming from the elders. They do not want to give away ground to young males’ adults as a group. But they say that each family can probably dedicate some ground for this purpose.

We also know that enterprise in the village will not work because of social constraint….. We are still looking for answers, but major change of mentalities needs to come at the village level before some proper development can happened.

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Odile used this trip to distribute mosquito nets and second hand clothes to the women association. She also presented a locally made improved oven which they will be able to test for a few weeks.

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The mosquito nets have been funded by NASF. Woman who wants one needs to contribute € 1,5 per net.

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Presentation by Odile of the improved oven. Women carrying bags of second hand clothes


Students went back to school 10 days ago after a 5 days cooling period at their home. We have changed some of our support staff and we are trying to improve the communication between all the different groups staying on the site of the LAP: students, teachers, support personnel… We believe this lack of communication is the main reason of the previous event.

Students were collectively punished (points out on behavior). Midterm vacation have started yesterday for 10 days. This gives us time to put in place or activate existing communication tools at the LAP.

Some more civism cannot hurt. We have started to set up the flag of Burkina each Monday morning and it is brought down on Saturday mid-day.

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Children watering the vegetable gardens

Funny bird

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The Bearded Barbet.

Barbican a poitrine rouge

Proverb of the week

The words of the elderly might be bitter, but they are full of wisdom.
Les mots des anciens peuvent être amères, mais ils sont pleins de sagesse.

Hope you have a great week.


Lycée Agricole Privé (LAP)

lap-logoASAP objective is to give children in the villages of Burkina Faso the opportunity to receive quality education. Begin October 2011 the LAP (Private Agricultural Secondary school) opened its doors. Go to the LAP website

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