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
For the past several months the BARKA staff has been hard at work planning the details of Phase Two of the project you've already donated to here on Global Giving. BARKA's new Country Coordinator, Pauline Ducreux (see photo below), is forming partner relations on the ground in Burkina Faso and helping us to detail the expenses for the project's forthcoming activities which include:
BARKA's two award-winning country-based partners include Association Chant de Femmes (The Association of the Song of the Women, which works with over 250 villages in eastern Burkina) and Tin Tua (which runs literacy programs in local languages and distributes the Multi-Function Platforms).
We anticipate returning to Burkina later this year to begin implementation on this next phase of the project. We are estimating its impact to reach beyond Tantiaka and positively benefit at least 2500 people.
We look forward to keeping you abreast of the latest developments and give thanks to you for your continued support of this important work. We can't do it without you! Together, we are changing the world.
Ina & Esu and the BARKA staff
Dear BARKA Supporter,
We wanted to reach out to you to share some wonderful news: BARKA has received two major gifts totaling $5000. We'd like to specifically acknowledge an anonymus donor and The Frederika and Wardner Gilroy Foundation and its Trustees Glen and Lesley Niemy for their generous contributions and unyielding faith in the work of The BARKA Foundation.
The situation in Burkina Faso has worsened since our last project report. Political instability to the north in Mali, increased climate variability, a rapidly growing population, declining soil fertility and rising costs of agricultural inputs have led to predictions of catastrophic famine and food insecurity in the Sahel. Your support of BARKA's work in Burkina is now more important than ever.
After the successful implementation of the WASH project in Tantiaka earlier this year, which you helped us to accomplish, we are preparing for next steps. Phase 2 of the project in Tantiaka involves the women of the village. They asked BARKA to help them secure a machine to grind the millet which will save hours of labor each day. Not only is this a time-saving technology, it will also lead to the creation of many small sustainable businesses providing social and economic independence to women for the first time in their lives.
In addition, we've identified a new village which desperately needs a well. Women of Lampiadi, a rural village close to Tantiaka, walk 7km every day for water. Can you imagine?! The village is so determined to address this dire need that villagers organized a water & sanitation committee on its own and even raised $1000-- an enormous sum in a village where the average income is roughly $.50/day.
BARKA is currently raising funds to return to Burkina to implement Phase 2 in Tantiaka and Phase 1 (clean water & hygiene education) in Lampiadi. Won't you join us as we move forward and deepen our work and commitment to the people of Burkina?
Meanwhile, there's lots going on at home in the US:
Thank you for walking this sacred path together with us. We are honored to walk alongside you. We send early holiday greetings and blessings for vibrant health and deep peace for the new year. Barka!
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Founder of BARKA foundation