Right now in Guinea Bissau we are coming to the end of the rainy season, going into our 11th year working in Guinea Bissau. We are still managing to improve year upon year. Work during the rainy season is very difficult, with transport more trecherous than ever, mosquitos and challenges for the market gardens, but we power on. We would like to take this opportunity to share some of the achievements since last years' rainy season.
In the past year, we have brought safe drinking water to over 11, 000 people in Guinea Bissau. This is an outstanding achievement, especially considering the remote nature of the regions we work in. Additionally, we trained 10 young people to maintain the wells. We make sure that each village has several people with the knowledge and skills needed. Those people live in the villages, meaning that when a well needs attention there is always someone who knows how to fix it.
Kids helping their parents fetch the daily water for their homes
Since April last year, we have trained over 350 women on sustainable farming methods and supported villages to set up three new market gardens. These give people access to a balanced and healthy diet, and are a source of economic, social and emotional empowerment for women. Women sell excess yields at market, meaning that for the first time in many of their lives they are making their own money.
The women’s group in Naga taking stock of the market garden produce
We held 69 workshops focusing on equality last year. As a result, over 550 women have reported and demonstrated more confidence in participating in village decision-making. That’s not all, at least 652 men have reported and showed more supportive attitudes and behaviour towards women. Women now have opportunities to take more active roles in their villages. They provide healthcare, income and vegetables and they participate in decision-making committees.
The women’s group in Tchil getting ready to start farming
This is a key aspect to ensure independence. We can help build financial independence in two ways. Firstly, individual incomes can be increased by providing training for people on construction and mechanics, sustainable farming and how to find local economic opportunities. Secondly, whole villages can become financially independent by establishing community-wide micro-saving schemes.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been seeing severe hardship and food shortages across the country. While much of the western world is reutrning to a sense of normality, many people in Guinea Bissau are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic, fiancially and with regards to health. We are tackling this virus and its effect on some of the most underserved areas in Guinea Bissau whilst of course ensuring the safety of our staff and residents of the villages whom we serve.
We are focusing on building more hand washing stations, providing health and hygiene training, horticulture training and on raising awareness of coronavirus. We are working in partnership with the Guinea Bissau Government and other organisations, to increase our effectiveness.
We are looking for donations to support those vulnerable people whom need support with water, food, more opportunities for people to earn income, and information on how to stay safe.
Until then, stay safe, stay positive and from everyone here at WellFound, thank you for your support.
If you would want to know more about our work in Guinea Bissau, please email email@example.com