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Friday, July 10, 2015

Kabeela and the Millennium Development Goals

It has been a rather busy week here down at Kabeela!

Firstly, we successfully provided IT lessons for our staff, helping them to access the internet and perform basic navigational tasks, which they found very useful. In addition we also provided French lessons for the lovely women of Kabeela helping to improve their levels of basic literacy.

Later on in the week we also put on our first Theatre Club of the cohort. The women loved taking part in our Theatrical games and were also really engaged in discussions about our FGM Awareness Raising Programme. We hope to build on this topic during our time here at Kabeela.

Our final session with the women this week was our soap production Income Generating Activity (IGA). Needless to say the women are experts at soap production and were happy to show all the volunteers the process.

As part of our Group Reflection Session this week, we discussed the Millennium Development Goals created by the UN in 2000. Each of the MDGs are an international effort to focus development activities in eight key areas, ensuring clear and measurable targets are to be achieved by 2015.

In light of this topic, we thought it would be interesting to see how our work here at Kabeela so far, fits in with the MDGs.

1) Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

The IGA allows women to utilise skills and techniques that they have already obtained in an enterprising manner. IGAs such as soap production, provide an independent and sustainable income for the women.

2) Achieve Universal Primary Education

Whilst Kabeela does not cater for Primary aged school children directly, it is certain that by providing French lessons for the Women, we are improving their levels of literacy in order to offset the damage caused by severe lack of formal schooling.

3) Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

The Theatre Club helps to empower women and promote gender equality through our programme of awareness raising against FGM, warning of the dangers of such a practice that helps to facilitate the subjugation of women in many communities.

The French and IT lessons provided by Kabeela empowers women by allowing them to become more independent through their ability to read and write. IT classes will assist them greatly in terms of running their own business and engaging with the wider society through their confidence to access the internet.

IGAs provide a platform for the women to become financially independent, consequently empowering them to change their status in society, by becoming financial contributors, in turn helping to promote gender equality.

4) Reduce Child Mortality

By providing the women with information regarding FGM (which affects many children under the age of 5) in the Theatre Club, we can help to prevent deaths that have been caused by severe loss of blood or infection due to this practice to infants.

5) Improve Maternal Health

The Awareness Raising Programme against FGM included within the Theatre Club can also help to prevent future health complications such as infertility, obstructed births and death during childbirth, for mothers who have previously undergone FGM.

6) Combat HIV/AIDS and Malaria

Although none of the activities we did with the women included awareness raising against HIV/AIDS and Malaria, we could try to include this in the coming weeks.

7) Environmental Sustainability

Kabeela has already ensured the environmental sustainability of the production of the Moringa Soap as the women cultivate their own Moringa at Kabeela. This will ensure the longevity of the production whilst also avoiding the need to source the material elsewhere. Additionally, the products of Kabeela including bags, purses and key-rings are all made from recycled materials such as plastic bags and pagne.

8) Global Partnership for Development

ICS and International Service's partnership with Kabeela encourages young people from both the UK and Burkina Faso to work together, specifically to empower women in rural Burkinabé communities to fight gender inequality. This is a great example of a global network of people engaging with worldwide development.


It's great to see that our work here at Kabeela encompasses many aspects of the MDGs, especially in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women. We hope that future cohorts are able to incorporate the new Sustainable Development Goals into their work at Kabeela.


Written by Hannah

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