Dear BARKA Supporters,
BARKA has been hard at work these last few months preparing for its most ambitious project to date: to provide water, sanitation and hygiene for 5 villages which will benefit the lives of 30,000 people. Project partners include The Rotary Foundation, USAID, Winrock International, and One Drop Foundation.
This project is a testament to BARKA's increasing maturity as an organization, and its growing reputation within Burkina Faso as an outfit that does things right. Through technical assistance provided by Winrock and USAID, we will be working at an even deeper and more comprehensive level to create sustainable and transformative change for villagers through the provision of water. BARKA staffers are being trained on a technique known as "water accounting" which takes an entire village's water needs into account, plots all village water points through GPS coordinates and analyzes the optimal way to balance out water needs for drinking, for agriculture/livelihood, and for animals.
We're also very excited about working with One Drop. This is the water NGO formed by Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil. Like BARKA, One Drop uses theatre and the cultural arts to get across vital messages of basic hygiene and the need for hand washing. One Drop will be training the theatre troupe BARKA already works with, and helping us to reach more people with performances that will be supported by lights, costumes, set design and other spectacular production values.
To help make all this possible, we're hiring our first fulltime employee on September 1st to help coordinate the project and would like to introduce you (see photo below). Her name is Pauline Ducreux, she is from France and recently graduated from BioForce, one of the world's leading schools focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene. Pauline worked with BARKA in Tantiaka and Lampiadi previously and has proven herself as a tremendous asset to the BARKA team on the ground.
We look forward to keeping you abreast of our progress and will be back in touch again before we leave for Burkina Faso.
Thank you for your continued support, understanding and solidarity. We couldn't do this without you!
Ina & Esu
Greetings to all supporters of clean water in Burkina Faso!The BARKA Foundation has phenomenal news to share: the village of Lampiadi has a new well and clean water for all the community to share!With your support and funding made possibly by the Rotary Foundation, combined with BARKA's hard work on the ground and the community’s enthusiasm and leadership, The BARKA Foundation was able to facilitate the drilling of a well and installment of a pump for the village. The people of Lampiadi organized two groups: a water and sanitation committee which underwent six months of training by BARKA's local staffers to understand how to maintain the well and to organize finances. This committee chose a group of "hygienists" who received a two-month BARKA training in hygiene education to be the permanent change agents to teach other community members. The pump pushes 2,000L of water per hour, sustaining the village and bringing them a need that is a basic human right.After the well was completed, BARKA and the village of Lampiadi organized an inauguration not only to celebrate the first time their village has seen clean water, but also to show their gratitude to everyone in the United States and in Burkina Faso who helped make this dream a reality.Simultaneously, the village of Tantiaka (only 12 km away from Lampiadi) has been stepping up its game in building the capacity of their water and sanitation resources. After seeing Lampiadi’s successes, they are even more motivated than before in working hard and mobilizing action in improving hygiene throughout the community. Again, thanks to your support, the committee leaders in Tantiaka will be able to reinforce hygiene education in the community and add a Menstrual Hygiene Management component to ensure that girls not only stay in school, but also receive the necessary support to address this often neglected and taboo issue.The villages of Lampiadi and Tantiaka are an example to all developing communities. They are continuing to take charge of their future and are working hard in providing additional training to the local water and sanitation committees in each village. As they know how to collect funds from each villager to save money for future repairs for the well, the population is taking full ownership of all project activities and building their capacities to manage them successfully.None of this would be possible without your much needed support. We are blessed to have you on our team. Thank you Rotary International, Marblehead Rotary, and Swampscott Rotary. We are back in the States to continue working hard in mobilizing a change in Burkina to bring clean water to the rest of the population.Barka!
Greetings all supporters of clean water in Burkina Faso!
We have some excellent news to share with you: BARKA Foundation has received a grant by Rotary International to drill a new well in the village of Lampiadi, only 12km from Tantiaka, and as a part of this grant, we will be able to continue our work in Tantiaka to strengthen the resilience of the community and continue to build the capacity of Tantiaka's water & sanitation committee. This grant also calls for reinforcing the hygiene education in Tantiaka we began with your support in 2012, and we will now include hygiene education in the local school which includes the all-important aspect of Menstrual Hygiene Management to ensure that girls stay in school and have the necessary support to address this often neglected and taboo issue.
In fact, today, BARKA's consultants are in Tantiaka and Lampiadi working specifically to provide added training to the local water & sanitation committees in each village. This will ensure that the committees understand the importance of collecting funds from each villager to build up savings for future repairs for the well. This process also allows the local population to take full ownership of the project activities and to build their skills to manage them successfully.
This progress would not be possible without your much needed support. We feel blessed to have you on our team, supporting this work and sharing in our successes. We'll be in Burkina next month and will keep you posted on our progress. Barka!
Ina & Esu and the volunteer team of BARKA Foundation
Dear BARKA Foundation Supporters,
Ina and Esu recently returned from an eventful trip to Burkina Faso. While there they were welcomed by new villages-- Kanougou, Boungou, Dankibargou, Kouare, and Natiabouani to assess the water and sanitation situation for an upcoming project that will take place in 2014.
The first village that Ina and Esu visited was Natiabouani, a village with a popular market that attracts people from all over the region. The people of the village get their water from a river. The village has applied for wells with the government, but has not received a response yet. Natiabouani is well organized and motivated.
The second village was the the village of Dankibargou. The nearest well is 16 kilometers ( about 9 miles) away. The villagers brought Ina to a dirty stream which is used as the village’s primary source of drinking water. The village has no school, no well, no sanitation, and no water committee. The village of Dankibargou is made up of 3 different tribes: Gourmache, Moussi and Fulani tribes. Each tribe speaks a different language. During the meeting BARKA had with villagers, 5 languages had to be spoken to communicate (Gulimanchema, Morè, Fula, French and English). Peace and harmony rule this community. The villagers agreed on the importance of women to help form a committee that would manage the well and determine its location. The village was willing to raise 500,00 CFA ($1,000) to participate in the drilling of the well.
The third village BARKA visited was the village of Boungou. The population of the village is almost 5000 people. The village has 8 wells (none of them are broken) but is in need of 16 more according to the local government. Boungou is very well organized. The people have a water committee, association of water users, and a special committee for hygiene. The school has 3 classrooms and 120 students. There are latrines at the school and a well that is relatively close to the school. This is a model community to work with.
BARKA also visited the village of Kanougou in the neighboring province of Kouritenga. When Ina & Esu met the village chief and dozens of representatives from neighboring villages, they were surrounded by men. Ina’s first question was "where are the women?" After all, everyone agrees that water is women’s work. The women were all working in the fields but came to visit as everyone walked to the proposed site location for the well.
BARKA and partner APRG also went to the village of Lampiadi where BARKA will be drilling a well, repairing a well, and starting hygiene education programs later this fall. When Ina and Esu arrived in the village they were greeted with song and dance (see photo below). When they left, they were gifted with more than 100 eggs-- a precious form of currency during the "hunger season" when crops are planted but not yet harvested.
The Lampiadi project is imminent and Ina and Esu head back to Burkina soon to oversee its implementation. You can expect a full report of BARKA’s progress in Lampiadi in the next project report.
We want to thank you for your steadfast support of this work and for being part of the BARKA family. We could not be making such amazing strides to help the people of Burkina Faso without you.
Alleigh VandeMerkt and BARKA Staff in US and Burkina Faso
Dear BARKA Foundation Supporters,
My name is Alleigh VandeMerkt and I am a new intern for the BARKA Foundation this summer. I am a sophomore, business major at Endicott College and have been working to bolster BARKA's social media. Recently, BARKA has been preparing for its annual strategic retreat which will take place in Maine during the last weekend in June. Just hours after the retreat, Ina and Esu will leave for Burkina to lay the groundwork for several projects on the ground in Burkina Faso.
BARKA will continue its hygiene education program in the village of Tantiaka and will meet with the village of Lampiadi to prepare for the water and hygiene project there later this year. Rotary International recently granted BARKA and the Marblehead Rotary Club $36,000 which will cover the cost of drilling the new well and hygiene program for the village. We are thrilled to receive the single largest grant in our organization's history, however it covers only project costs. There are still many expenses that go into implementing such a project which we need to raise. We appreciate your continued support to help make that possible!
In other news, BARKA is creating new ways to connect with our community. For the past few weeks, I have worked closely with Ina & Esu, BARKA's co-founders, to be able to share latest news and new photos regularly on Facebook and Twitter. We also now have a presence on Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. I encourage you to check out the many new photos that have been uploaded including: pictures of the BARKA Headquarters in Unorganized Territory, Maine, pictures from the village of Tantiaka, and photos from the Peace, Water, and Wisdom run that was organized by John Bapst High School and more. Please connect with us on any of these websites. We would love to hear from you.
We look forward to keeping you updated on the work being done in Burkina this summer through our social networks and newsletters. As always, we are incredibly grateful to be on this wonderful journey together.
Alleigh VandeMerkt and the BARKA Staffin US and Burkina Faso
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Founder of BARKA foundation