BARKA Foundation

The BARKA Foundation's mission is to serve as a catalyst for achieving the MDGs in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Our methodology is community-led, grassroots and combines indigenous and modern technologies to develop a set of best practices in areas of clean water accessibility, sanitation, irrigation, sustainable agriculture, women's empowerment, education, healthcare, and renewable energy. BARKA's work is ultimately about co-creating a culture of peace.
Jan 19, 2011

Winter 2011 Update

Team BARKA
Team BARKA

Greetings Dear Supporters and Stakeholders of The BARKA Foundation,

Things are moving forward quickly.  We finished 2010 with a great deal of positive momentum, having signed MOUs (partnerships agreements) with Project WET Foundation and H2O For Life.  Project WET focuses on hygiene education and will be helping BARKA to specifically tailor hygiene education materials to the language, culture and region of the Gour'mache people, the beneficiaries of this project.  H2O For Life will be pairing schools in the US to help raise funds for certain aspects of this project, such as the drilling of the well, the fixing of a well, and so on.  The really exciting part is that we're in discussion with both organizations about extending hygiene education to all 58 schools of the Gourma Province in Burkina Faso (this is the province where Tantiaka, or La Petite, is located).  Then each of those schools will be paired with 58 schools in the US.  In BARKA's next trip to Burkina we'll be exploring details and laying groundwork for this to happen.

In other exciting news, as readers of our newsletter already know, "Team BARKA" raised over $20,000 in the NYC Marathon, $14,000 of which will be added to the funds you've already contributed for this project.  Team BARKA consisted of 3 Canadian marathoners, all from Quebec.  This has opened the door for opportunities to engage with new communities, particularly Quebec City and Montreal.

In US-based community news, we recently spoke with the Rotary Club in Bridgton, Maine which expressed a deep desire to work with BARKA on this project.  Our outreach to Rotaries, schools, faith-based and civic organizations, youth and women's groups is ongoing... if you know of anyone who might be interested in getting involved, please let us know!  Feel free to call us directly at 413-446-7466 or email us at inaandesu@barkafoundation.org.

December's campaign to increase the number of monthly online donors was a success as that number increased 150%.  Please let us know if you'd like to become a monthly donor to The BARKA Foundation. Thank you all for your continued support.

Lastly, we ask you all to keep us in your prayers and positive thoughts as a proposal is going out this week to a major donor organization which may help us return to Burkina as early as February or March for a period of 3-4 months to implement this project that you're all a part of... when we go, we'll be taking you with us every step of the way through project reports, blog entries, photo and video uploads, tweets and more. 

With love & light,

ina & esu

Links:

Oct 29, 2010

Fall Status Report

Greetings Project donors, supporters and stakeholders,

We feel blessed to have so much support around us.  In recent months BARKA Foundation has attracted several pro bono advisors in the field of sustainable development who are helping us in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising and project development.  The results can be found in the attached document: WASH + Irrigation + Reforestation.  The document designer, Jennifer Cain, also donated her services and did a stellar job.  The Project Summary extends the project posted here on Global Giving to include irrigation and reforestation, two components which will enable villagers to generate income.  Without this type of financial mechanism within a village, breaking the poverty cycle is not possible.  BARKA Foundation will be using this document to apply for grants and major gifts for both project and organizational funds.  Please check it out to get the full picture of our work, methodology and vision for a village micro-model to create sustainable empowerment and autonomy.

A brief recap of other activities includes the following:

  • 3 Canadians from Quebec have already raised over $16,000 for BARKA by running the NYC Marathon which will take place on November 7.  Check out our website for updates and to follow the runners during the race. They'll be wearing BARKA t-shirts and draped in the Burkina Faso flag! See link to online press release below.
  • BARKA's co-founders, Ina & Esu, are putting the finishing touches on an Echoing Green Fellowship Application. Although extremely competitive, 2/3 of past winners have achieved sustainability for their organizations. 
  • BARKA is continuing to deepen its relations with schools in NY, MA and ME- Ina & Esu are scheduled to speak at an assembly at John Bapst Memorial High School in December, and later this month will be re-connecting with schools in Berkshire County to continue integrating BARKA's sustainable development work into service-learning curricula.  Conversations have begun with Calhoun School in NYC and BARKA is discussing a student exchange program for seniors at Marblehead High School for Spring 2011.
  • Stay tuned for e-commerce from BARKA's website- DVDs, t-shirts, gift cards, and Ina's one-of-a-kind knitwear and jewelry... in time for the holiday season.  Special thanks to volunteer webmaster (mistress) Ali Thomson and Ed Dowd working hard for BARKA in Europe.
  • Thanks to a team of volunteer video editors found through Idealist.org, BARKA has begun logging and editing 80 hours of previously unseen footage from the 6 months spent in Burkina during 2009. A new documentary film is underway and will be submitted to FESPACO, Africa's largest film festival.
  • Lastly, BARKA's relationships with Rotary Clubs continue to expand.  Earlier this month Ina & Esu gave a presentation to the Marblehead Harbor Rotary Club which is currently considering a sponsoring role for BARKA's WASH+ Pilot as part of Rotary Foundation's Future Vision Plan.

Thank you all so much for your continued support on all levels.  At this point we've secured funds for a trip to Burkina in December during which BARKA will conduct final research, planning and confirm in-country partnerships before project implementation.  As always, we'll keep you posted.  Barka!

Links:


Attachments:
Jul 29, 2010

A Visit to Barka Foundation in Burkina Faso

During my brief visit with the Barka Foundation in Burkina Faso I was able to meet with three individuals closely associated with the organization: Anna, a former translator and administrator, Daniel, a current Board member, and Peace, an enthusiastic supporter and collaborator. Each individual spoke highly of the organization’s founders, Ina and Esu, whose love, dedication, and zeal has been made obvious by their many trips to Burkina Faso and the commitments that have been made by the Barka Foundation.

The Barka Foundation does not have any current projects in Burkina Faso. Instead, the organization is presently involved in a sizeable fundraising campaign from which it hopes to earn enough capital to begin an ambitious series of projects in a small village outside of Fada in Burkina Faso. So, while I was there I was unable to visit any projects and unfortunately I did not visit the site of future projects, at the request of the Foundation, which was understandably concerned that my visit would send mixed messages to the community.

However, I was fortunate to hear about some of the organization’s past endeavors, including a walk for water, a concert, and a film series all of which were hosted by Barka Foundation in collaboration with other organizations in Ouagadougou. Daniel, who helped to organize these events, explained that they were the first of their kind in Ouagadougou and was excited about their success. I was also able to speak with Anna about the ways in which Ina and Esu have worked with the Burkinabe community to identify the needs in their village, particularly clean water and sanitation, in anticipation of future projects.

I’m looking forward to returning to Burkina Faso in the years to come to see the impact that the Barka Foundation has on the ground.

Alexis just recently returned from a month-long visit to West Africa where she visited several GlobalGiving projects. Learn more about her trip at www.itfwa.wordpress.com.

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