'Barka' is an African word of gratitude, blessing & reciprocity. The best way we know how to say thank to you for your care, concern, generosity and willingness to join us on this journey, is to say 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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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:
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!
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.
BARKA Foundation would like to thank everyone who rose to the occasion of the Global Giving Open Challenge which earned The BARKA Foundation a permanent spot on GG's web portal. We also wish to express our gratitude to Global Giving for the valuable service they provide. Directly after becoming part of their family, they oriented us to the many services they provide, including this quarterly update to you and everyone who's made a donation to the cause through their site. Last week one of BARKA's photographs was selected as a finalist in the Global Giving's photo competition- thanks to everyone who voted for us!
In other news, BARKA raised almost $8000 through "Peace, Water & Wisdom Walks" with many schools throughout the northeast US. Co-founders Ina & Esu spoke to more than 1000 students in April and May alerting them to the global water crisis, the extreme need in Burkina Faso, and concrete ways to help and get involved. As a result students from 6 schools organized walks for water, a benefit concert, a pizza fundraiser, a hot dog cookout, and donated funds from dress-down day (who knew it cost $1 to wear jeans and t-shirts?!). BARKA is currently searching for donors to match funds raised through all these initiatives.
We still have a way to go before we have raised enough to return to Burkina to implement the project, however this Spring's activities have created a lot of momentum which we think will help attract further funding. Our nose is to the grindstone applying for project grants, creating new strategic partnerships, and searching for new volunteers.
A few last thoughts to leave you with-- Jazz for Peace contacted us about organizing a Benefit Concert for BARKA. This is still in the conceptual stage however there is a great deal of excitement about doing it in Burkina Faso during the International Day of Peace (September 17-21). We'll keep you posted.
All for Africa, a new solidarity partner, has made NYC Marathon spots available to BARKA for fundraising purposes and one intrepid runner, Monique Laurion of Quebec (sister of BARKA volunteer & donor Erika Laurion) has run right up to the starting gate to get her chance to be in the big race. Rumor has it she'll even carry the Burkina flag!
Thank you for your attention and support on so many levels. In a world rife with crisis, we feel blessed to be on this journey to create a culture of peace and provide a sustainable home for the children of the future.
With love and gratitude,
Ina & Esu
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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Founder of BARKA foundation