An update and an invite: latrines and summer camp!

This Saturday is our closing celebration for the latrine project, and the masons have been working from sunrise to sunset to finish constructing the foundations, put the latrine covers in place, and teach the new latrine owners how to use and maintain their latrine to keep their family healthy! Here are a few photos:

How many men does it take to put a latrine cover in place? A lot! That thing weighs a ton.

A few of our masons teaching the families about hygiene, disease prevention and hand-washing.

Yay for completed latrines!! All that’s left now is for the family to construct the latrine walls, using a combination of mud bricks they make and cement from your donations.

Photos from the celebration this weekend to follow! Thanks again for helping my villagers help themselves. Together, we’ve really made a difference!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

And now, for the invite. I know many of you have already generously donated to building latrines in my village, and I don’t want you to feel like you can’t read my blog without me guilt-tripping you into pulling out your wallet. But I also know that there were several family members and friends who didn’t get the chance to donate to the latrine project before we reached our goal – so here is your chance to make a difference! :)

Wanna help send kids to summer camp?!

It’s that time of year again…school’s letting out, the weather’s heating up, and summer activities are about to begin! Here in Burkina Faso it’s not heating up any more than it already has (thank God!), but you can certainly feel the season changing – kids getting ready for end-of-the-year exams, women shelling peanuts to plant, and men gathering compost to use as fertilizer in the fields. And everyone is anxiously awaiting the rain!

This summer, while everyone and their mother (literally – you often see three generations working in one field at the same time) heads out to the fields to try and make up for last season’s shortage, a few other volunteers and I have decided to keep busy by collaborating on a big project altogether. And what better summer activity than camp!

After living and working in small villages for almost two years, we’ve found that young people from rural areas especially often have few positive role models and mentors to help them with things like developing healthy relationships with their peers of the opposite sex, understanding the importance of hygiene and sex education, practicing positive decision-making, and setting and achieving life goals. Together, we volunteers in the north would like to begin to change that. We want to bring smart, motivated students (age 12-14) into the city for four days packed with learning, growing, and fun. We’re working to identify positive role models within the students own rural communities who we’ll bring in as guest speakers, counselors and session leaders. We’ll play sports; create skits; take a field trip to use computers at a local cyber; discuss gender roles and how to change them for the better; learn about abstinence and sex education; practice leadership skills and decision-making; and create a healthy environment for the students to question what they know, learn what they don’t, and begin to take an active role in creating their future. And we’re really excited for it!

We’ve spent much of the last couple weeks making plans, holding meetings, and identifying local stakeholders and counterparts with whom to collaborate. The largest public high school in our regional capitol has offered spacious, safe facilities to lodge the campers, and classrooms and school grounds for learning activities. Another organization has offered to let us use their projector and other technical equipment for running classroom sessions. But we still need about $1, 700 to help us transport the campers to and from the city, feed them for the week, and buy basic materials like notebooks and pens.

Will you help us create this opportunity for more than 25 young girls and boys to attend a once-in-a-lifetime summer camp?!

Like our latrine project, we’ve got only a short window of time to collect funds. The camp is scheduled for mid-July, so we’ve only got ONE WEEK to raise the funds so that they arrive in time to buy materials and get ready!

To donate now, follow this link: https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=686-224

THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU!

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5 Responses to An update and an invite: latrines and summer camp!

  1. Mark Capecchi says:

    Bridget,

    You continue to amaze me with your efforts! Know that you remain in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for making a difference!

    Mark

  2. katie roby says:

    B! What a cool new project – I love it! And so will the kids who are lucky enough to take part in this amazing opportunity! And good luck and congrats on the termination of the latrine project – it is so neat to see the pics of the masons building and educating within their own communities! Keep up the awesome work! Love you!

  3. Kathy says:

    Congratulations on the finished latrine project. What an accomplishment. You have done such amazing work Bridget. I think this last one is the best for lasting change. I hope the villagers see what a difference it will make in their lives.
    With much love,
    Kathy

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