2019 Day 3

Day 3: Ouaga-Koudougou, 11 January 2019

Breakfast at the Karité Bleu is always a pleasure.

Anne busied herself translating my photo report of yesterday into French.

The ride took about two hours.

We approached Father Albert’s street—no names, no numbers, no garbage collection.

Father Albert was welcoming as always.

He now has a parish, is chaplain of the University Norbert Zango and his Archbishop has given him a huge project to raise funds for and to oversee the building of a school of higher education for catechists.

It was Father Albert who proposed building student housing on a plot of land he owned near the university. Our sister organization in France, Solidarité Goëlo-Burkina, raised money over a good six years; the project is now complete. The rental income pays for the schooling of 45 girls a year at the secondary level. Since 2010, every girl aided by Solidarité who passed her baccalaureate exam has received a grant from us to go on further.

We next went to the University of Koudougou, recently renamed l’Université Norbert Zongo after a journalist assassinated while he was investigating corruption in the government of ousted President Blaise Compaore.

There we met Augustine, who was to start last October the first of three years of study of French to become a French teacher at the secondary level. She was still waiting for courses to start.

We met with Landry Yameogo, Director of her faculty. He said the delays date back to 2015 when Compaore was overthrown. He could not say when the school year 2018-19 would begin. March? April?

From the university, we drove to Augustine’s house. Pure poverty.

She and her mother sleep in this room on a concrete floor, without even a mat.

Her father died in 2012; her six brothers are unemployed. Her mother sells charcoal made from burned tree branches.

Their bathroom consists of a hole in the ground behind the house. There is no electricity. I said I would seek a supplement to buy a mat, a mosquito net and a solar lamp.

Her Mom and two of her brothers

We then went to the home of Esther, our first psychology major. We helped her sister, Diane Alida, go through nursing school. I wanted to know how the job hunt was going. The courtyard was cluttered.

Their father had his right arm mangled in a car accident and hasn’t worked in 30 years.

Diane Alida greeted us first.

She recently took the test for government service and was waiting for the results. She failed the first time, but it was right after she had a baby by a man she doesn’t want to marry. Stay tuned.

We then spoke to her sister Esther.

She is in the same faculty as Augustine and, like her, has been diddling her thumbs waiting for classes to start.

Still, according to Father Albert, psychology is a science of the future for Burkina Faso. She will have a good chance of finding work. Let’s hope so.

With her sister’s daughter, Kendra, born December 2017.

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