Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Bread of the Monkey or a Strawberry Milkshare?

This week has been a busy week for team AVO here in Koudougou.

The day after our awareness raising session in Doulou we had the community meal with the children and we had many lessons to teach. We gave a lesson in French, a lesson in maths and a lesson in hygiene. We also tried to organise the meal by having a register and a system to ensure all the children were fed. As always, it was a hard day but also a very rewarding one!

On Friday, we helped AVO to organise a training session for the women in the production of “Grumeaux du Pain de Singe”. It is hard to describe exactly what this is – and it definitely isn't bread of monkey. It combines a mix of flour and caramel, and tastes a bit like strawberry milkshake. You can eat it as it is or you can add it to water to make a drink.

We were also lucky enough to finish work a little early on Friday, to meet up with the volunteers working with UGF/CDN in Reo, who came to town on a marketing trip. We met them after work at the workshop of a local artisan. Here, we were shown how he created a variety of things using the bronze from melting old taps! A favourite was the bronze peanut.

After a relaxing weekend, we spent most of Monday in preparation for our awareness raising on Tuesday.  We visited 2 villages on Tuesday – Sabou-Gouguin and Nariou-Ronsin - so we left Koudougou bright and early. The awareness sessions with the local communities (including both men and women) were really successful – as we had extended the presentations to include hygiene, access to health care, and equal rights for education. After all our practice with the presentations, we were like a well-oiled machine! And the demonstrations always make everyone laugh.

We then went through our questionnaires with the women, who were all very engaged and forthcoming as we talked about their living conditions and what future training sessions might be useful for them.

 Despite it being a very long day (we didn't get home until 18:00!) we all enjoyed ourselves - particularly because we jumped at the chance to eat atieke in Sabou at lunchtime, and very briefly visited the crocodiles!

Later in the week, we also started our first marketing and literacy lessons with the AVO women, which are particularly relevant as we start our run up to AVO’s Open Day on the 26th!  The women were all very interested and engaged, although it’s always a challenge try and deliver the sessions between English, French and Mooree. The work just never stops here at AVO!

Written by Abbie Izzard (British volunteer)


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