Dear BARKA Supporter,
We have just completed an 8-month activity plan in Burkina Faso. During that time, the BARKA team reinforced the capacity of the water committee in Lampiadi, facilitated community gardens in 3 villages where BARKA had drilled wells, advanced our menstrual hygiene management program to support and empower girls by adding a 7th school, and organized a national 5-day event in conjunction with World Water Day that significantly added to the water sector's ability to work together and share information about best practices in Burkina Faso.
The last thing we did before leaving Burkina was to work with our local partner org, Initiative : Eau to test the water quality of every BARKA well. This is important because over time, wells and even underground water sources can become contaminated. Thanks to USAID's West African WASH program, BARKA trained each water committee how to "shock" their well with a micro-dose of chlorine every 6 months.
The good news- each water committee has been doing the maintenance treatment on schedule and without any prompting from us! The results proved it- no contamination in any of the wells which have been shocking their wells.
What's next for BARKA Foundation? This summer, a delegation of 4 key BARKA staffers will be visiting the US for the first time ever. After flying into NYC, they'll visit partner communities of Marblehead and Swampscott, MA, then visit Great Barrington, the sister city to Fada N'Gourma. We'll spend some time at BARKA HQ in Maine, and then attend a Native American ceremony to share some indigenous spiritual wisdom between Ma Afrika and Turtle Island. Let us know if you'll be in the area- we'd love to see you and introduce you to some of the people who make BARKA's work on the ground something worthy of your support!
Thank you for being with us on this incredible journey. Stay in touch.
Greetings from Burkina Faso BARKA Friends,
You may have heard about the recent terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou. Although we were only 1km away from it and even heard the explosion, all BARKA staff are well and now safe in Fada, out of harm's way.
We've been working non-stop for the past 4 months to increase the efficiency between NGOs working in the water sector. BARKA Foundation is working with the Ministry of Water, the largest water NGOs in the country, and the US Embassy to address Burkina Faso's water crisis.
As a close advisor once said to us, there are many water-related NGOs doing good work here in Burkina, but no one knows what the others are doing-- imagine what we could accomplish if we worked together. This basic idea of facilitating greater cooperation to achieve a more sustainable collective impact is the theme and point of inspiration for this event.
BARKA has assembled a Dream Team of partners to help implement this Herculean task:
The Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Initative:Eau, Eau Vive, Wateraid, Global Water Partnership, Regional Chamber of Agriculture, Agence de l'Eau, the Water Museum, the Governor of Fada, the Mayor of Fada, and IRC WASH.
There are also a host of Dignitaries involved:
The Minister of Water, Niouga Ambroise Ouédraogo, is the High Patron of the Event
The Minister of Mines, Omarou Idani, is the Co-Patron
The US Ambassador, Andrew Young is the "Godfather" of the Event
Minister of Culture, Abdoul Karim Sango is a Special Guest
And UNICEF is our Major Sponsor.
The event website is now live. Check it out!
WHAT IS THE WATER FAIR?
BE WITH US BY HAVING YOUR NAME READ ALOUD AT THE GALA!
Even though it's not possible to transport all of BARKA's supporters to Fada N'Gourma to enjoy this event with us in person, we will read aloud the names of ALL DONORS who make an inaugural donation to help launch the International Water Fund at the Gala Dinner event.
Click here to make a donation to the International Water Fund, and let us share your generous support with all of Burkina! Barka!!!
Dear Friend of BARKA,
The rains have ended here in Burkina, and this year produced a harvest of mixed results. Sesame, black eyed peas, millet and sorghum were OK, but the corn crop failed due to rains coming too late and too infrequently. We are not yet sure how severely this will impact the eastern region.
It's now getting very dry and dusty, however at least the temperatures are a bit cooler as Burkina Faso enters the Haramattan, when winds blow from the Sahara and at night it gets down to 60°F (brrrrrrr :-) It's all relative, temps during the day still soar well above 100°F!
At BARKA Foundation, we are monitoring our most recent work, particularly through water quality testing.
BARKA is also developing a new project: we are partnering with the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to produce a "Water Fair", a 5-day event in Fada N'Gourma in conjunction with World Water Day (March 22nd). Its objective is to bring together all the actors in the water domain (NGOs, government ministries, enterprises, water users) in order to facilitate greater cooperation and awareness of each other's work, in short to maximize our collective efforts. At the Fair we will also launch "The Water Fund", a mechanism to raise funds for BARKA's future water projects in the eastern region.
Be the first to make an inaugural gift to The Water Fund right here through GlobalGiving! We will keep you up to date on this event's progress.
Thank you for your support. We couldn't do what we do here with the people of Burkina without you!
Dear Friend of Burkina Faso,
We are returning to Burkina Faso at the end of this month!
For the past 3 months (when heavy rains grind things to a halt in Burkina), we've been engaged in fundraising activities in the US.
In fact, last month we met with the Town Manager of Great Barrington, MA and several movers and shakers including business leaders and members of the Board of Selectmen to discuss the sister-city relationship between Great Barrington, MA and Fada N'Gourma. Both cities now have new heads at their government and have begun communicating to determine what they can each do to help one another. We also discussed how to engage community members, businesses and schools in order to build inter-cultural bridges. BARKA refers to such initiatives as part of its commitment to the principle of reciprocity.
For us here at BARKA, charity is obsolete. The new development paradigm is about reciprocity-- how we can help each other to create a more sustainable world and a culture of peace.
You are an integral part of BARKA's worldwide community and the embodiment of this idea of reciprocity. You have chosen to help people you've never even met, and have witnessed the results of your choice to become involved. Have you experienced any reciprocity in supporting this project? Tell us how your involvement in this cause has affected you. We'd like to hear your story of reciprocity.
Barka is an African word of gratitude, blessing & reciprocity.
Ina & Esu and the BARKA project team
Dear BARKA Supporters,
The last 3 months were full of very intensive work on the ground for BARKA Foundation.
We implemented a project to empower high school girls to stay in school through menstrual hygiene management. It's hard to believe, but something as natural as a woman's menstrual cycle can mean the end of a girl's education in a country like Burkina Faso. It's a taboo subject, and girls aren't informed about menstruation until it happens. Schools have no resources to support these girls who are often shunned and humiliated. BARKA worked with two powerful female teachers to lead a series of sensitization trainings that reached more than 2000 students in Fada. The project was a huge success and will continue in the Fall when schools resume classes.
BARKA's theatre troupe also performed a new play to promote improved agricultural techniques to help smallscale farmers deal with the effects of climate change. Post-performance debates were lively and full of engaged dialogue by the local population who made commitments to using these new simple yet powerful innovations. This project was also a major success- BARKA's 2nd "hit" in the domain of theatre sensitization.
As if that's not all, BARKA Foundation took important initial steps to begin selling water filters in the rural market. This is a project to create a sustainable business to produce, sell and distribute ceramic water filters. BARKA is partnered with a local ceramics company and 2iE, a water research institute, both based in Ouagadougou.
In our first session to introduce and sell filters to a rural village, we gave a presentation of how they work and explained the benefits and need for water filtration. Out of the 20 families who were present at the meeting, 12 of them purchased filters- that's 60%! This was a very auspicious debut and provided further proof that rural villagers will purchase filters for health reasons, even at a time of year when income is scarce.
We'd like to thank you for your support of BARKA's work in Burkina Faso and want you to know that your financial contributions are going to good use to create resilience, empowerment and prosperity for some of the most vulnerable people on the globe. Barka!
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