Monday, 13 February 2017

Marketing outing and community meal

 In December 2016, the first ICS cohort finished their placement at AVO, having done training sessions in Shea butter production, we found a lot of products such as lip balms, soaps and body butters in cupboards by the entrance to Mama AVO’s office. During our first few days as volunteers, we realised the lack of marketing for these products and so we decided to integrate this component into our team plan so that there would be a number of businesses using these products. Therefore we planned two marketing outings, both of which took place during the fourth week of our placement, the Monday and Wednesday.
We liked the Monday outing but the most interesting was the Wednesday one in which we went to the market about 3 miles from AVO. Slowly but surely we got out and presented the products to anyone and everyone we could find who wanted to listen to us. All went well until a group of men refused to buy the products as they were made by women, which offended but also amused us, what chauvinists!

Selling products to local businesses in Koudougou

At this time, we realised that it was time to return to the office and so we set off back en route a little heavyhearted as it had seemingly all passed very quickly. Once we arrived at AVO, we were welcomed by a crowd of children who had come for the community meal which filled us with joy. We quickly tallied up our accounts of the days marketing and were delighted with what our hard work had achieved.

The children had come in abundance, they were so cute that it made us want to do nothing else but throw ourselves in the middle of them and entertain them, something which the volunteers had done with great pleasure.

Then came lunchtime; the children rushed to line up but before they were allowed to get their food they had to wash their hands with soap and clean water. The meal finished and the maths classes began, the children were split into two groups: the young ones and the old ones. After much practice with addition and division, we let the children go as some of them live kilometres away from Koudougou but had made the effort to come anyway. We watched them all leave happy, which made us really happy too. You could say that we made the children smile but after everything, it was the children that really made us smile !

Supervising the children's handwashing

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