Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Aching Heart

Ninety- three students in a single sixth -grade class. One teacher, no aides, few books, no resources, no electricity and 105 degree temperature. 
93 students  65 girls   28 boys

Is it any wonder students struggle to succeed in school? And yet children here want to go to school. They want to learn to read and write and do math. They want a brighter future and chance to escape the cycle of poverty.

Happy to receive the gift of flashcards

Wall to wall students

At the end of the day students don’t rush off to dance class or sports teams. They go home to collect firewood, wait in line to draw water from the village well, help prepare meals, do laundry or care for younger siblings.

All this makes my old educator’s heart ache.

Teachers trying to make a difference

Yet there is hope with sponsorship. Many children who are presently in school would not be enrolled at all without the help of sponsorship.So while there remain many problems and the system is not ideal there is still hope for a brighter future!

This is why we do what we do! This is why we build schools and promote sponsorship.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

An Unconventional Thanksgiving

Who says you have to eat turkey to celebrate a day of thanks? Our day started out by stopping by a drilling site just in time to see water begin to flow from the ground. 

We then continued on to a clinic for malnourished children.
 Mama,baby and four year old were all good passengers as we made the long drive.  The eight -month old baby weighs only 10 pounds. Her four- year old sister, though average height, also weighed in below normal. Each was evaluated and determined to be chronically malnourished.

Each will also be given vitamins and antibiotics to get them back on their feet.

  The family will remain at the clinic where mama will be taught to prepare more nutritious food for her children. 

In a short time they will be released to return to their village  where life will continue to be a struggle but mama will be equipped with new skills and recipes using foods that are available to enrich their basic diet.

There are so many reason to give thanks! This year I am especially thankful for drilling teams who come to remote regions and give the gift of water to a thirsty people. I am also thankful for clinics where malnourished babies are given a second chance to grow and thrive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Gifts of Rice and Backpacks

Sponsored children and families come together twice a year for a distribution of rice and back to school supplies.

It is a time to meet parents and guardians and share the generous gifts our sponsors provide to each child.

This week we gathered together to update information on each child and check on  how each one is doing. It gives us a chance to praise their efforts and encourage those who may be struggling.We record family contact info, grades students are in, school  progress,  inquire about health and general pertinent information. Not unlike" Meet the Parents Night" at our schools back home.

It is a time to greet parents and guardians and share the generous gifts our sponsors provide to each child.

It is a very rewarding experience.

Children and families are so grateful that school fees are paid, books and school supplies are provided, uniforms are purchased when required and  that rice is provided to each sponsored child.

Distribution sacks of rice

You too, can be a part of this worthwhile program. So many children are still waiting for a sponsor.
                                                   If you would like to sponsor Sadolba ,please contact me or Ruth Cox.
Do you have room in your heart to sponsor me ?

For the price of a daily cup of coffee, this boy can receive an education and have enough to eat.

Monday, October 29, 2018

"Call the Midwife"

Our medical center was recently blessed with the addition of three new nurses. This brings the medical staff up to a total of seven. There is never a shortage of patients and our nurses are kept very busy both day and night. Having additional staff reduces the load and provides needed down time for our busy medical team.
First baby delivered by our new midwife

Our newest midwife has just been on the job for one week. Already he has delivered two healthy babies, both on the same day !

Both midwife and baby are doing fine !

Proud Mama with her first baby

Baby number seven for this Mama
We thank God for the availability of medical care in our village. Many lives are saved and  except for emergencies beyond the expertise of our nurses, 
trips to distant medical clinics are no longer necessary.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Back to School 2018

Last week was the first of many back to school distribution days for us this year. It is one of my favorite events. It always pleases me to see the smiling faces of the youngsters as they receive gifts from their sponsors.

Children here are just like children in the US. They love getting a new backpack and new school supplies.  In addition to this, their school fees are paid  This is a significant blessing to their families. School fees for children seventh grade and older range from $70 to $180 depending on grade and school. They also received  a 100 pounds sack of rice.

Many thanks to all who sponsor, donate items and pray for these precious children. I wish you could be present when these gifts are shared and share in the joy you have made possible. May God continue to bless you.

We are so very grateful !

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Things That Make Us Smile

This beautiful young woman is Djeneba. She is engaging and ambitious! Recently she walked up to our house with her handmade baskets hoping to make a sale. We were truly impressed and bought some of each size.After talking with her,we learned that she has two young children. She works in her fields to grow corn and other food to feed her family. When that work is done for the day, she goes home and makes baskets.She invited us to her house to see her at work crafting her baskets. We were truly impressed. She and another woman in her family gather the fronds from local coconut trees and skillfully produce these beautiful baskets. We would love to see her succeed in her small business.

Caterpillars anyone?

For a certain period during the rainy season, these large chenille caterpillars can be found in abundance in our area.In the early hours before dawn,woman and children can be seen flashlight in one hand and container in another,happily collecting caterpillars. It is considered a delicacy. 
I think it is an acquired taste !

Friday, July 6, 2018

It's The Little Things

It's the little things we tend to take for granted that mean so much to our Burkinabé friends.Just this morning we were able to make a little girl's day by giving her a beautiful T-shirt dress. She was so proud to model it for us.

Thanks so much Margaret Cox
and Meremac Bluffs Senior Living Community for making this possible.

We couldn't imagine a classroom with no books but here children are excited to have a textbook.Most village schools either have no books or a single book must be shared by three or more students. When a friend found a contact in France who was ready and willing to mail French textbooks and novels to our school, students were thrilled. For the first time a classroom library will be available to our middle school students. Thank you Dawn Malcolm !

Sadly upon our return we learned that two widows in our sponsorship program have died. Malaria is the suspected cause of death.  One widow who died cared for her grandson since his birth.We were able to give Siaaka a photo of his grandmother who meant so much to him.