2017 Day 14

Day 14

Monday 23 January 2017

We started the day by heading down Koudougou’s main road towards the university.

We support four girls at the University of Koudougou, which was shut down for months last year after a fire in the administration building. Some students, none of ours, had to start over after their records were destroyed. At least the building was now functional.

The administrative office couldn’t confirm that our students were enrolled, and sent us over to the finance building.

Those in the finance building couldn’t help us and wanted to send us back to the administrative building. Never mind; I don’t have time for this. We’ll check next year when I hope they’ll have their act together. Our next stop was the Lyce?e Wend Songda, where two candidates for next year’s aid are enrolled—Rosaline and Mai?lice. The temperature was in the 90s.

We found the school easily. I’ve been here several times before.

Some students were relaxing in the courtyard during break.

Philippe Bassinga, the school’s director, briefed us on the two girls. Rosaline was strong in history and geography as well as in English; she could study literature at university. Mai?lice was strongest in French. She might do English-French interpretation. We thanked him.

We traveled along an unpaved road to the Lyce?e Sougri Nooma, where a third candidate for 2017-18, Me?laine, was enrolled.

Me?laine was called into the Director’s office. She seemed terrified.

We reviewed her grades. She was strongest in geography and math. Maybe she should do science.

At mid-day, we stopped at Rosaline’s home to meet her Dad. He spoke no French.

Rosaline is the eighth of nine children. Their house is tidy. They seem to be fervent Christians.

Rosaline’s bed doubled as a chest-of-drawers and desk.

She says she wants to study economics and work in a bank. Maybe we can help with that.

Before lunch we stopped at CEMEF, Noe?lie’s dressmaking atelier. We discussed a budget for Ze?nabou, the student who started at CEMEF last fall but is not able to pay her tuition, and Estelle, who will be starting CEMEF right away, a half-year late (for health reasons). Settled.

After lunch, we drove to Sogpelce, the grammar school where Safiatou was doing her one-year internship as a teaching assistant.

It’s not unusual for there to be 100 students in a classroom. But they always seem well-behaved…

…and look like they want to learn.

Our next stop was the Lyce?e Ge?rminal, where Clarisse was enrolled. She is the fourth candidate proposed by our sister organization, Solidarite?—the one who didn’t show up at the general meeting yesterday. We tracked her down. The Director, Arthur Ouedraogo, briefed us on her grades—about average; maybe a little low.

Clarisse was called into his office. I briefed her on our association.

She seemed thrilled by the prospect of going to university, but she’ll first have to pass her baccalaureate exam at the end of the year.

Our next task was a practical one. I had wanted to give Noe?lie 55,000 f CFA (about $85) to buy a bicycle for Estelle—because she’s been ill since birth, there’s a limit to how far she can walk. But Noe?lie said we could buy a used one every bit as good. We met at the central market, near the mosque.


She enlisted the help of a friend, a car mechanic. He looked over the bikes available and chose this one for 38,000 f CFA (about $60). Sold.

We were all happy.

Our last appointment of the day was at the Koudougou Institute of Management, where Edwige is in her last year of Master’s study. She has matured nicely. I think she will succeed as a human resources manager. A school administrator told us that the Government needs such people.

She will have to do a six-month internship this year and then base her Master’s thesis on it. She’ll probably need a year to write her thesis, then defend it.

I’m counting on her to be one of our big success stories.

The Institute is in a three-story building, which for Koudougou is a skyscraper. From the balcony, I could look down on the bus station. I thought I was going to have to take the bus back to Ouagadougou tomorrow, but Christiane is sending Abdoulaye to come get me. Bless her.


Email: info@chanceforchangecharity.org