Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 10: We fabric bead you farewell!

Sadly we are in the last week of our placement at Kabeela and, as we approach our final days here, we have begun to reflect on our experiences.

Our stay at Kabeela has certainly been a busy one and we can all say that we have achieved a great deal. Over the course of the past ten weeks we have immersed ourselves in a variety of activities, ranging from research, website and social media updates, the writing of funding proposals, the setting up of a child sponsorship scheme, running income generating activities, theatre and environmental clubs, organising professional training sessions for Kabeela members, opening Kabeela’s new co-operative shop, organising a general assembly and an open day, as well as creating a new database of Kabeela members. Phew! We would never have imagined being able to achieve so much in such a short space of time.

Cohort 7 (from left to right): Valentina, Isso, Louise, Lucy, Cat, Tasha and Jas
For each member of cohort 7 certain activities and events stand out. For the British volunteers, Cat really enjoyed helping to set up and launch Kabeela’s new co-operative shop. It required cleaning out, painting and decorating a small building in the association’s grounds, to create a space for the women to sell their goods and increase their income and self-esteem. Lucy took great pleasure from participating in International Women’s Day 2014 with the rest of the Kabeela women. It involved walking in a parade through Ziniaré, to recognise the rights and achievements of women worldwide. Jas found her involvement in the setting up of a child sponsorship to be extremely rewarding, helping to provide some of our members children with a brighter and better future through receiving an education. For Tasha, she thoroughly enjoyed organising and attending Kabeela’s Open Day 2014. Listening to the President of the association listing all of its achievements made her feel like she had helped to make a great difference.  

As for the Burkinabé volunteers, Isso took great joy from putting her drama skills to good use whilst running Kabeela’s theatre club. She was able to teach and direct the women so that were able to perform an awareness raising play on the subject of family planning in surrounding villages. Louise took a great deal from organising a training session for the women on the transformation of shea butter into a cosmetic product. This will enable the members to produce a wider range of products in Kabeela’s new co-operative shop. Finally, for our Team Leader Valentina, a memorable event was listening to the women discuss their daily challenges during a theatre club session. In particular they discussed the topic of polygamous marriages, the treatment received by their husbands and all the domestic tasks expected of them. It was a real insight into the life of women in Burkina Faso and the social conditions they must live under.

In sum, we have learnt, experienced and achieved a lot during our time at the women’s association of Kabeela in Guilongou. We hope that the next cohorts stay will be as fruitful and rewarding as ours, as they continue running the projects we have set up for Kabeela’s members as well as adding their input to create new and exciting ones.

Thank you for reading our posts throughout our stay. We hope you enjoy the next cohort's blog!

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