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Recently in Africa Category
Read the full article here.
On Thursday June 21, 2012, an official handover ceremony was held in Pissila, a rural community of the North Central Region of Burkina, in order to inaugurate the BRIGHT II 132 school complexes.See the whole article here
The ceremony was graced by the presence of Ambassador Thomas Dougherty of the United States, the Prime Minister Luke A. Tiao and officials from the Region.
The Burkinabé Response to Improve Girls cHances to Succeed (BRIGHT) Project funded by the U.S. government and implemented by USAID through a consortium of NGOs contributes to the growth of educational provision at primary school by the construction and a support to the running of 132 school complexes for girls in rural areas in 10 provinces where access levels and keeping girls in school were the lowest. As a result, in June 2012, more than 27,000 girls and boys were enrolled in BRIGHT schools and 789 new classes were built.
In his speech, Ambassador T. Dougherty said that "education is the cornerstone of the development of any nation" and that "girls' education in particular provides a significant return on investment".
The governor and the representative of the students also pronounced speeches in which they appreciated the U.S. government's friendship and efforts for girls' education and improving women's conditions.
After the official handover of the keys of the 132 school complexes by Ambassador Dougherty representing the U.S. government to the prime minister representing the government of Burkina Faso, the officials visited some classrooms and planted a tree to highlight this friendship.
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That was my
first impression after reading this Wall Street Journal article: "An E-Reader Revolution for Africa?"
Maybe I'm pulling a Sarah Erdman, author of "Nine Hills to Nambonkaha." While a great writer, I was put off by her negativity towards technology that actually facilitated and empowered the lives of Africans in rural villages (complaining about the new light posts because it diminished her views of the night sky...please).
But a Kindle for every student? I think it's fair to say that the education system in numerous African countries needs improvement, but should kindles really be at the top of the list?
Maybe it has nothing to do with my pulling an Erdman, but just about how much I romanticize real books, and my reluctance to accept that kindles are the new thing.
Or maybe, I'm just jealous.
Whatever it is, I'm really curious to see how this "one kindle per child" pans out over the next few years. How effective are they? What happens when it breaks? Are students really more engaged in their school work with a Kindle? Does using it help improve a student's academic success? Anyone doing a research project on this? Michael?
Thus, I was not surprised to once again run across an article about Burkina and an imminent food crisis. This time in the Huffington Post in an article called "The Forgotten Crisis: As the Hunger Season Sets in, Burkinabès Need Not Worry about Body Image." The author provides an interesting viewpoint, though, as well as some perspective for those of us in the western world. She talks about how a lot of people in Burkina do not have enough to eat while in other countries 5 year olds are being put of diets because they eat too much. As we all know, I'm not one for the "oh poor Africa" gimmicks because they provide a picture of a helpless continent that can only be saved by more "developed" countries. A Modern White Man's Burden. But this article makes you think about all the gluttonous food we consume/waste and the millions of dollars we spend every year in a fight to make ourselves thin.
I think the author misses the mark a little bit with the article. In general, Burkinabè do not have body image problems. They are proud when they have meat on their bones. She forgets that even those Burkinabè who are well-fed (like the woman who teases her friend that she is definitely not malnourished) are thought to look beautiful and healthy. Also, they are well enough off to eat well.
At the end of the day, it's an interesting article, but it leaves you wondering what the author is really saying. Just that we should count or blessings and reorganize or priorities? That we should be sending some of our waste to Burkina to feed these children? That we need to send money. She makes an awkward analogy between The Hunger Games book series and the "hunger season" in the Sahel. She just ends the article with a quote "'You see, food and time are running out,'" but offers no suggestions on what we, the audience, can do to help.
We began the evening with a delicious dinner. Elisée had the "poulet yassa" and I had the "mafe" which is basically a peanut sauce. It was so good that Elisée was certain an African "Tantie" was in the kitchen, but a quick peak revealed the great chefs to be two young Hispanic men.
The setting is very tiny and intimate. The seating is a little too crowded together, but the fast service makes up for it. After dinner we headed to the bar and enjoyed hibiscus and tamarind cocktails. At around 10pm, the setting changes. One by one, as patrons finish eating, the staff quickly remove the tables and chairs, to transform the room into a small dance floor with a DJ in the back. Dancing begins immediately. The music was fantastic, a real mix of traditional and modern music from throughout Africa. Elisée was pleasantly surprised after hearing a song from the Congolese musician Awilo Longomba, a song he hadn't heard since high school.
I loved the mix of people dancing in the club. There were a lot of men and women of all colors, and definitely a lot of Africans. I still say that the best dancers on the floor were an elderly interracial couple who had to be in their mid 60s. Overall, a lot of fun, and definitely a place we'll return to.
You betcha! Sit back and learn a little something with the musical stylings of Halley Brus and the PCVs who've adapted Feist's "1,2,3,4" into a catchy tune about handwashing. Enjoy!
I just had a skype conversation with Dounko in order to show him how he could install the new computer that we received from the Ouagadougou US Embassy. This would have been easier with a video but the internet speed in Burkina can not support a video conversation. So Dounko sent me photographs of all the computer parts and we began our "photo tutorial" online. The final act would have been to plug the power cable. But, there was no power cable! Next thing to do is that Dounko should go to buy this missing cable at the famous Zabré Daaga Market (being a burkinabe you can find every thing you need at this market) Our photo tutorial should continue tomorrow in order to run this desktop computer, the second in the FAVL office. Thanks to the US Embassy who gave us two computers, We will use one in our Ouagadougou office and one in our Hounde office.