Saturday, 19 May 2018

Half way through: Our adventure so far...

Discussing subjects which might often be considered ‘taboo’ is an important aspect of learning and opening your mind.  Continuing with our cultural exchanges, last week Djeneba and Georgia held a discussion regarding sexuality.  In the U.K. although we recognise that there are some struggles with being open and honest about sexuality, it’s understood that the population is generally very honest and accepting of different aspects of an individual’s sexuality and sexual expression.

Cette semaine, ce fut au tour de Djeneba et de Georgia d'aborder un nouveau thème d'échange culturel: la sexualité. L'équipe ASK considère qu'il est important d'aborder des sujets parfois considérés comme "tabous" afin d'acquérir une meilleure ouverture d'esprit et d'apprendre d'autrui.
Georgia and Djeneba; talking openly about sexuality / parlant de le sexualité

 Sex education is openly talked about in schools and sexual health services are readily available.  In Burkina Faso, it was noted that sex education is regarded as highly important and that people should be able to talk more openly about it in order to get the advice they need. Although it’s improved over the years, it’s felt that there can be changes made to be more open and informative to individuals exploring their sexuality.  

Là encore, de nombreuses différences culturelles ont été observées. S'il est vrai que même au Royaume-Uni, parler de sexualité n'est pas toujours bien reçu, les Burkinabè considèrent qu'il s'agit de conversations à tenir uniquement dans une sphère privée - quand conversations ont lieu. Nos deux cultures ont reconnu l'importance de l'éducation sexuelle à l'école, qui, selon nos volontaires Burkinabè, devrait être plus mise en avant au Burkina. De la même manière, et même si des progrès sont notables grâce à la nouvelle génération, les questions d'identité sexuelle sont bien moins observées qu'au Royaume-Uni.

Working within a local community has been very successful so far for team ASK, but we wanted to reach out even further to spread knowledge & raise awareness. On Saturday, after an early rise we headed to Sabou for the day with the handibasket and theatre troupe teams.  When we arrived, we were very happy to see that word had gotten around about our visit and the crowds were quickly forming as we prepared to give the demonstrations.

Au-delà de nos petites sessions d'apprentissage privées, nous avons continué à travailler dur pour atteindre nos objectifs. Nous nous sommes donc levé à l'aube samedi dernier et, accompagné de notre troupe de théâtre et de notre équipe de handibasket, nous avons pris la route de Sabou, où plus de 800 personnes sont venues nous rencontrer!
The handibasket team put on a great display of their talents and it was incredible to see the crowd being so involved and supportive! After a quick break, the theatre troupe prepared for their performance of a comedy sketch.  The crowds continued to gather and the laughter from the audience only brought in more people - our final numbers came out at 800 people reached! 

over 800 people reached in / Plus de 800 personnes touchées à Sabou
Malgré l'absence de paniers de basket, notre handiclub a délivré une incroyable performance et hommes, femmes et enfants se sont précipités pour les voir jouer. Au son des rires du public réagissant à la performance théâtrale de notre merveilleuse troupe, plus de locaux encore sont venus nous trouver. 

Working in partnership with such talented groups of people helps us far surpass the goals we set and most importantly allows people living with disabilities the opportunity to show that they are capable of doing anything they choose to do.

Nous nous sentons chanceux de travailler aux côtés d'associations si talentueuses, qui montrent chaque jour un peu plus que vivre avec un handicap ne signifie pas qu'on ne puisse pas choisir sa propre voie.
theatre performance at / pièce de théâtre à Sabou
Back in the office, breeding training was delivered over three days to allow people to gain certificates to improve professionally in this area. This was a big success for us - this type of training means more people have the capabilities to make good use of their skills with a recognised qualification.

Loin de nous arrêter là, nous avons donné une formation en élevage pendant trois longues journées au bureau ASK. Suite à cette formation, nous pourrons délivrer de nouvelles attestations permettant aux participants de s'imposer professionnellement.

As the training reached its final day at the office, we left to meet the other teams for the mid-term meet-up. Meeting the other teams gave us the opportunity to present our work so far and talk about our successes and challenges.  It was helpful for all teams to hear different perspectives about how to approach the work they’re carrying out and how they’ve worked to overcome any challenges they’ve been met with. All of the projects are doing great so far and are keeping up with their goals, the day provided some great discussions about each other’s work and we left on a very positive note!

Cette semaine a aussi vu arriver notre réunion de mi-parcours avec les autres équipes ICS du Burkina. C'était bon de revoir tout le monde, et nous avons tous beaucoup appris du travail des autres, des différentes approches et idées mises en avant par chaque équipe.

So after a very busy week, the team is feeling very positive & even more determined to reach our goals for the remainder of the placement! Next week, we’re hoping to deliver another awareness raising session and continue with the classes we’ve been giving. Thank you for reading, until next time!

Ce fut donc une semaine chargée pour l'équipe ASK... mais également une semaine pleine de rebondissements et de récompenses. Il nous tarde de vous retrouver la semaine prochaine... pour toujours plus de prouesses et d'aventures!

credits: written by : Leanne Dunbavin and Marie Batbie                            photos: Viviane K., Georgia G. Drissa O. Tristan S.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Crossing Cultures & Broadening young minds

Alongside the main mission of ASK to improve the lives of people living with disabilities, we recognise that it’s equally important to exchange cultures and learn from each other as part of a team.  Each week, the team have been working with their counterparts to deliver presentations on topics to explore the cultural differences and similarities. First up, we had Jennifer and Macaire talking about feminism in the U.K. and Burkina Faso.
Hormis notre principale mission qui est d’améliorer les conditions de vie des personnes handicapées, nous reconnaissons que les échanges culturels sont tout aussi importants pour une meilleure intégration et apprentissage entre les membres de l’équipe. Chaque semaine deux membres de l’équipe font une présentation sur un thème donné.

Macaire  & Jennifer - Sharing their thoughts on / Partagent leur idées sur le - FEMINISM (E)

Feminism is a very modern concept, but the fight has been going on for a long time, for example the suffragettes back in the early 1900s in the UK.
What Jennifer spoke about was how females are viewed in the UK and how it is okay to choose a career before or instead marriage and having a family. Or that it’s also okay for the dad to stay at home to help out with children, but most often both parents work. She also spoke about how women are considered an equal and their own person and that women do not have a ‘place’ but are simply of their own free will.

It was clear that there was a big difference between the two cultures although women were revered and respected within the Burkina Faso culture, a women definitely had a place within the kitchen and the home raising the children and that the men would work. It would also be pushed that the women should marry younger and if that meant leaving further education then it was a good decision. However, the Burkinabe people did tell us this was a much older generation way of thinking and things are now changing and in fact a wonderful quote from Marcaire was:

‘The women are part of our society they are an important part and should be treated as such, they are intelligent and this should not be wasted. We would not survive without the women here’

It was interesting to see the two sides and how both are not yet perfect but are improving, and both sides felt they gained more knowledge off each other! We hope to continue to do more culture exchanges each week, and next up is Djeneba and Georgia on Sexuality!  One of our main principles is to remain open-minded to each other’s ideas and opinions, so this session was a great way to explore different viewpoints either side hadn’t considered before and put some context and meaning to the attitudes and practices.  We look forward to more discussions regarding education, work, family & politics. 
La semaine dernière Macaire et Jennifer nous ont parlé du FÉMINISME et des Droits des femmes au Burkina Faso et en Grande Bretagne. L’équipe a débattu sur les différences et les similarités qui prévalent dans les deux pays.
Continuing our awareness raising, on Friday the team delivered speeches at a high school to 314 students. As well as discussing the different types of disabilities people live with, we asked the students their thoughts & prior knowledge about disabilities to make the discussions personal and allow them to explore and challenge their own ideas.  Through self-reflection and open discussions, we hope that people can learn from not only our sessions but also each other. 
More than 1000 children reached / Plus de 1000 enfants déjà touchées

Although delivering sessions to such large groups can prove challenging, these groups mean the team has already far surpassed their original target of reaching 600 people! And the numbers continue to climb - another primary school session on Tuesday demonstrating inclusive sports reached another 516 children! At this rate, we’re positive that our work will create a lasting impact amongst the children and beyond.  Afterwards, we distributed the information booklets we had been working on at the office, which will be passed around the school. 

Dans le but de promouvoir les droits des personnes vivant avec un handicap et de changer les mentalités, notre équipe a poursuivi cette semaine l’une de ses principales activités à savoir la sensibilisation. C’est dans cette optique que s’est déroulé le vendredi 4 mai 2018, une session de sensibilisation au lycée Sougrinoma. Durant cette journée nous avons pu toucher cinq classes soit 314 élèves.
A l’instar de cette journée, nous avons également tenu une autre séance de sensibilisation le mardi 08 mai à l’école primaire bloc sud où nous avons pu toucher 516 élèves.
In other activities, we delivered a brand new first aid kit to the handibasket team last week. The team are training really hard and it looks like another victory against HSB is on the way! We also met up with the theatre troupe this week, who will be using the ASK office to deliver sessions & receive qualifications in theatre training.
HandiClub receiving the brand new first aid kit / Nouvelle trousse de secours reçue par l' Haniclub


 Comme inscrit dans son programme, notre équipe s’est rendu au stade municipal le jeudi 3 mai ainsi que le dimanche 6 mai afin d’assister aux entrainements du Handiclub. Un kit de premier secours leur a été remis, et nous avons commencé la formation de théâtre avec les membres du club théâtral, à la suite de laquelle une attestation leur sera délivrée.

La journée du jeudi 10 mai a été riche en échange et en partage. En effet après l’entraiment du Handiclub au stade, nous avons répondu à l’invitation d’un des chefs d’équipes à son domicile. En guise d’agrémentation à cette journée, nous avons décidé de cuisiner tous ensemble différents plats que nous avons partagés dans la gaieté et la bonne humeur. VIVEMENT la prochaine invitation !!
On Saturday 12th April, we’ll be making a trip to Sabou to deliver awareness raising to the local communities. This is an exciting opportunity to expand our reach even further & will challenge the team to deliver awareness raising to a different audience.  Until next week, thank you for reading and we look forward to telling you all about the trip!

Credits : written by Leanne Dubavin & Viviane Kabore and Jennifer Coles                                    photos: Darius F.  Viviane K. Marie B.