Several children who were helped to have orthopaedic operations are now doing well.
Herve had a club foot and is pretty well restored to normal walking/running. Clement had a second operation which involved a months stay with his mum at the home of the surgeon in Abomey. His progress is pretty good, I will meet up with the family soon. Soulange had a recent and successful Tenotomy and Michail is recovering from a
correction to a very painful and debilitating 'foot-drop'.
The flooding in Dogba is lasting longer than usual, according to our project partner Dieu Donne Kakpo. They - a team of five - have been reaching the school by boat from Yovodonon. All roof tiles have now reached the school and are currently being fitted. All three classrooms are being used although still in an unfinished state. Painting and
plastering remains as an essential job to protect and preserve the development.
Many of the initial 52 primary children supported to attend school have now progressed to Secondary School where the annual costs are greater. The country has no fee for Primary Education, but the families must pay for uniforms
and equipment. For Secondary there remains the compulsory parental contribution in addition to uniform, equipment and exam fees. Around £40 per year covers the greater part of this, though transport for some remains a problem. Many are walking 12+ km (8 miles) to school and pay residential costs during the week, returning home at weekends.
Apprenticeships cost around £140 for the three years and University attendance costs around £400 per student.
As I am shortly going out again to Benin with Dick Wheelock (the engineer who spent much time helping and advising on strengthening the Dogba school flood-proofing structure) I look forward to being able to give you more information soon along with some photos!!