Friday, 24 March 2017


Team Leader, Auguste defining 'handicap' 

Heather, UK volunteer shares
her first impressions of disabled
rights since arriving in Burkina Faso

Guest appearance from our partnering associations.

On Saturday the 18th March, team ASK made their radio debut, starring Sammie, Heather, Auguste and Arouna along with two of our partners at radio Palabre in Koudougou. This gave us the opportunity to spread the word of our project and the ICS programme throughout the local community and to make people aware of our objectives. We began by introducing the context of the radio programme which was followed by an introduction of our volunteers and partners. 

Our programme was a discussion on disabled people's rights and the specific challenges faced by those living with handicaps in Koudougou. After a quick presentation of International service,  the presenter asked a number of different questions working from a set script with the volunteers to help guide the programme. This gave them the chance to discuss legislation on disability rights and to identify the key problems that exist with the application and enforcement of these laws in Burkina Faso. We also touched on the subject of poor living conditions of disabled people across West Africa, a large sum of whom end up begging on the streets as a result of a lack of education and opportunities. 

The presenter went on to put our British team leader on the spot with a few impromptu questions that she had to translate in English for our other British volunteer on the programme. These questions involved exchanges about their perspectives on disabled people living in Burkina Faso, and what they would do to improve the welfare of disabled people if they were in a position of authority. Despite a slightly jittery start to the unexpected questions from our British volunteers, they were quick to react to the spontaneity of the questions, and were put at ease by Arouna’s soothing words (soyez relaxes…). For a first effort on the radio, we all agreed that it was a job well done however it’s safe to say none of us should quit our day jobs!

The success of the radio programme left us on a high as a team. With less than a week to go, we’ve started to look back at all the progress we have made and the activities we have achieved as a first cohort. Despite its challenges and trying moments, we all believe that we have come a long way and have exceeded our initial expectations! We are confident and hope that the cohorts to follow will continue to make good progress in spreading our message across Koudougou!

Written by Callum Kennedy


La version française

Team Leader, Auguste définit 'le handicap'

Deux membres de nos associations
partenaires invités à l'antenne

Heather, volontaire Britannique partage
ses premiers impressions sur les droits
des personnes handicapées
au Burkina Faso.

Ce samedi 18 Mars a été une journée cruciale pour l’équipe ASK dans la réalisation de ses activités. En effet l’équipe a réalisé une émission radio à la radio palabre.Ce fût une opportunité pour l’équipe de présenter le programme ICS et ses objectifs avec la communauté locale. Après la presentation du context s’en est suivie celle des partenaires. 

L’émission a porté sur les droits des personnes en situation de handicap à Koudougou. L’animateur a saisi l’occasion pour poser des questions aux volontaires, ce qui leur a permis de parler des droits des personnes en situation de handicap et les problèmes d’application des législations afferantes et les conditions de vie de celles-ci.

L’animateur a mis en épreuve notre team leader britannique à travers des questions spontanées qu’elle devrait aussi traduire pour certains volontaires britanniques. Cela a suscité des échanges interactives pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie des personnes handicapées au Burkina Faso s’ils étaient toutefois en position d’autorité administrative. Avec des questions spontanées adressées aux britanniques, il aurait fallu des mots d’encouragement comme (soyez relaxes) pour les faire rester dans l’émission.

Le succès de cette émission conforte la position de l’équipe dans la réalisation de ses activités à succès. A une semaine de la fin du placement, nous voyons nos efforts couronné de succès vers l’atteinte des resultats de la première cohort. En depit des défis, nous osons croire que nous avons fait un si long chemin à travers les resultats obtenus qui sont au délà des programmations initiales. Nous avons foi que la cohort suivante continuera de diffuser notre message à Koudougou.

Ecrit par Arouna Ouedraogo

Monday, 20 March 2017

Nos Premiers Pas avec L'ordinateur

IT Class being taught by Rasmata, Natonia, Franck and Lily.

Our IT classes have been a memorable and successful experience for us as volunteers and for each of our students. Alongside myself there were three other volunteers in the IT classes, Natonia, Rasmata and Franck. The majority of our class had never used a computer before so we had to start right at the very beginning, teaching the class how to turn on and off a computer. As teachers we had to work hard to adjust our work pace making sure to not skip any vital steps in learning the basics of a computer.
By the end of the first lesson, we realised we would be faced with many challenges during our lessons. Natonia and I found the language barrier particularly difficult when it came to teaching and we were often left feeling frustrated and unable to offer any immediate advice or interject to help correct mistakes that our students made. We overcame this issue by learning a few key words in French such as cliquer (click), ouvrir (open) and fermer (close) which helped when observing the students . We also learnt a few words of encouragement such as très bien and excellente to congratulate the students when they completed a task sucessfully. We found that offering a quick demonstration of the task when we didn't have the language was effective as the students could copy and learn through watching.
Over the course of our classes , it soon became clear that the group were of a mixed ability, some proving to be very quick learners whilst others struggled to keep up. For those who learnt quickly, we made sure to prepare additional tasks to stretch them and keep them busy. These students didn't need quite as much supervision so we focused our attention on those who were struggling to help them keep up with the pace of the rest of the class.
One of the main issues we experienced throughout was the lack of computers for each student. Thankfully we were very lucky to be able to use the laptops of other volunteers and team leaders however this still only came to a grand total of three devices. Although challenging, we found a solution, placing three students around one laptop to enable those who were not directly involved to observe and to follow what each student was doing.
Before we started the lessons we prepared userguides for each of the students using photos to show them step by step how to create a folder, open Microsoft Word and save a file. We did this by inserting print screenshots onto a word document and writing instructions in french below each image. We then printed these out for our students to keep in hardcopy. The guides worked really well and by the second lesson all of our students could complete these tasks without referring to the guides.

Userguide showing how to open Documents.
Lily, checking through the Userguide.

As a group we decided that understanding Microsoft Word was essential for the associations as they had expressed a desire to be able to produce formal documents, write professional letters and type using a keyboard for their work. We covered a range of tools and icons on Microsoft Word such as modifying text font and size, bold italics, underlining, inserting a table and inserting a picture from a file. Our students were confident with these tools by the end of our lessons. Furthermore, another aspect that we felt would be beneficial to our associations was the creation of a Facebook page allowing them to promote and share their work with other users online. We set up a generic profile which they could all access using the same username and password and which we hope will serve for future cohorts to help market the association's activities.

A hand drawn keyboard to help demonstrate and explain each seperate key to the class. 

We suggest that the next cohort concentrate on teaching the associations how to use Facebook so that all the members can continue to benefit from this page. It was also suggested that the next cohort could look into creating individual accounts for those members who are generally more active online.

We’ve really enjoyed our IT lessons with the associations and we hope these skills will continue to be revised and progress with the next cohort to come.

Our students learning how to open Microsoft Word. 

Written by Lily Willard 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Exposition Event at Sabou

Theatre discussion forum with the public.

On Saturday morning we arrived at the office bright and early. After waiting for both volunteers and association members to arrive from all corners of Koudougou, we strapped their wheelchairs to the roof and piled into the minivan, ready to head to Sabou. En route we sang the ASK anthem along with other Burkinabe favourites to get us in the mood for what we knew would be a successful day.

Within 40 minutes, we arrived in high spirits at our destination and straight away got stuck into the inclusive sport sessions. We started off with a demonstration of Blind ball, Blind running and Injured soldier with our volunteers initially acting as participants, capturing the attention of the spectators around us. Luckily, it did the trick and managed to reel in both school students and children living nearby. By the end of our sports session and the beginning of our awareness discussion, we had accumulated over 300 children and young people within our audience ! Now if that isn’t a successful awareness session then I don’t know what is.

Torball session with the public. 

After our inclusive sports session, we went to explore the exhibition. This was being showcased by members of our disabled associations from Sabou and Koudougou, all of whom were very proud to show off their work! It was a lively event with an array of interesting products on display, some of which (bronze ornaments) were snapped up by our volunteers. Meanwhile, other members arrived with their work equipment such as weaving poles and fence makers. We were lucky enough to witness a demonstration of traditional weaving involving Rasmata, one of our National volunteers. We were able to soak up the atmosphere with a local Burkinabe DJ keeping the crowd entertained and in high spirits with some rockin' African beats. Whilst the exhibition took place, we warmed up the crowd with a few games of blindball using children from the crowd as participators. The aim of showing this sport was to highlight that those with sensory disabilities such as blindness can still play and enjoy sport competitively without their disability getting in the way.

Rasmata, our national volunteer trying her hand at traditional weaving. 

Exposition of association's products.

The climax of the day followed with the theatre play presented by the professional Theatre group of Koudougou. The play followed the story of a deaf child whose father mistreated him as a result of his disability. By the end of the play, we see the perceptions of his father change as he encounters others with disabilities who have been successful in life. The family start to better understand, listen and support their son. The overarching message we wanted to highlight was that disabled people can achieve the same as everybody else and that they must be given equal opportunities to succeed.

We all agreed that the play was a blinding success with over 300 spectators giving a raptous round of applause. The message of the play was further reinforced by a discussion forum hosted by the theatre group during which they invited members of the public to reflect on the play, asking for their opinions on different characters. It was also a great opportunity for some of our associations to share their experiences and to make the audience aware of some of the difficulties that they face. For the volunteers, this event really brought home just how important our work is and just how effective these awareness raising sessions truly are.

After a successful fair event we rounded off the day by visiting the 'campement' in Sabou where we were invited to share a drink with our association members from Sabou and Koudougou to celebrate a successful days work.

Well done Team! 😊

Written by Natonia Ennis, edited by Callum Kennedy.

La version francaise 

La partie discussion du théâtre avec le public

Cette journée du 04 mars à Sabou a été une très belle journée, chargée mais pétrie d’expérience pour nous TEAM ASK. Nous sommes arrivés à Sabou aux environ de 9h au siège de l’association WEND KUNI le président et certain membres nous attendait pour le début des activités.

Nous avons été accompagnés par deux agents de la sécurité sur le terrain pour la session sportive. Une fois sur le terrain, nous trouvâmes une foule immense qui nous attendait pour débuter cette session sportive qui initialement devait commencer par le handibasket avec l’équipe Handibasket de KOUDOUGOU, mais comme le terrain n’était pas adapté, nous avons par finir fait uniquement du sport inclusif. Les participants ont été très actives pendants ces moments qui ont pris fin par une courte discussion vers 11h.

Session de Torball avec le public.  

Il était 11h et quart quand nous embarquâmes, avec des cris de joie, des chants comme << ask, m yam là m wiisi, ask, m yam là m la>>, la police nous escortant jusqu’au lieu de la foire. Arrivés au lieu de la foire, les exposants étaient déjà sur la place avec leur savoir faire, pendant que nous visitions les stands certains exposants faisaient des démonstrations sur place et nous avons vraiment été épatés. Apres cela le président des handicapés visuels Mr ZONGO Ciby, lui-même artiste musicien nous a fait écouter de la bonne musique, suivit d’un cour moment de comédie avec le président de la coordination personnes handicapés de Koudougou Mr YAMEOGO Paul avec d’autres membres de l’association, pendant que le groupe théâtrale se mettait en place.

Rasmata, une des volontaires nationaux en train d'apprendre le tissage. 

A 14h 30 le groupe théâtral commença par ambiancer le coin avec des pas de danses avant de commencer le théâtre, tant attendu par le public. Apres le théâtre, nous n’avions qu’un cour moment de discutions parce que le théâtre avait déjà abordé tout les aspects. Ces merveilleux moments prirent fin par des remerciements des différentes parties et nous embarquâmes pour le retour à Sabou. Sur l’invitation de l’association Wenkuuni a une réception qu’elle a organisé, nous y sommes allés, heureusement c’était au campement et nous avons eu l’occasion de faire un peu du shopping dans les boutiques. Aux environ de 17h 30, nous reprîmes la route de Koudougou tous content et heureux. Merveilleux, merveilleux, merveilleux journée à Sabou et à la prochaine. 

Ecrit par Rasmata Kanfeogo 


Friday, 3 March 2017

A, B, C as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Abdoul leads a revision session of the alphabet

We kicked off our fifth French lesson this week with a packed class of eager students from our partner organisations. After squeezing in 18 of our members and a variety of assisitive aids including half a dozen modified wheelchairs we all outlined the lesson objectives of the day, with our two British volunteers delivering their best French accents!

French classes were in high demand from our partner associations, with Moore being the predominant language amongst our members. Unfortunately, many people in Burkina Faso living with a disability miss out on a formal education, meaning that some are illiterate in the national language of French. This can often mean that people living with disabilities face limited job prospects and have difficulties in pursuing a career.

As a new project, delivering our first few French classes has not been without its challenges, however this has given our volunteers the chance to get creative! Faced with no blackboard, no exercise books and a lack of pens initially, we improvised to the best of our abilities. We fashioned our own blackboard out of A3 paper and masking tape and had a quick whip round among the volunteers before each lesson for spare pens and paper. 

Heather showing off her best French accent for the class

Our first exercise got off to a laughing start as the class heard our Scottish Volunteer's best French accent whilst reciting the alphabet for the class to repeat as part of our revision. The class were quick to re-grasp the pronunciations that they had learned previously and we soon moved on to practice reading some basic words with the help of some newly bought textbooks. We were highly impressed by the ease at which our class could complete the first few exercises and it was reassuring to know that all of our alphabet practice hadn't fallen on deaf ears! No class would be complete without homework and we ensured our class didn't miss out with Callum's homemade exercises! We are looking forward to continuing our work with the associations and to see the continuous progress that we are confident our class will make over the upcoming weeks!

Written by Callum Kennedy and Heather Galbraith 

Monday, 27 February 2017


Koudougou's Handibasket team being coached

Friday 17th February was an enriching day for Team ASK with the long awaited arrival of HSB (Handicap Solidaire Burkina) in Koudougou. For those unfamiliar with Handicap Solidaire Burkina, they are a Non Governmental Organisation based in Pabre, a department of Kadiogo Province in central Burkina Faso. Similar to ASK, they are dedicated to empowering disabled people and challenging widespread discrimination against disability in Burkina Faso. Since HSB share our core values, using inclusive sport, we felt it hugely beneficial to invite them to Koudougou, allowing them to share their wisdom and knowledge in 
the field of awareness raising and inclusive sports.

Leaving around 7 o'clock from Pabre, they arrived with a minibus full of energetic volunteers, staff members and wheelchairs strapped securely to the roof. Having detoured by Ouagadougou on the way, HSB successfully collected several members of their handibasket team who kindly agreed to coach our team. We were all delighted to see the bus pull up at the stadium (as well as a tiny bit relieved), after what had reportedly been an 'eventful' journey.

Focusing the session around sports management coaching and inclusive sports training, the day was to be organised in two halves, one of which was to take place on the basketball courts with the HSB coaches whilst the inclusive sports session was to be held on the neighbouring pitch. For our basketball team, the training was a chance for them to learn how to warm up properly, focus on key skills, learn new drills, refine their technique and better their game. It was a huge success with many of our members left feeling exhausted but thoroughly satisfied. This support, structure and training is exactly what our team here in Koudougou need to continue to develop and welcome in new players.

Handibasket team working together on team drills.

Likewise, the inclusive sports training was very informative. We were superbly coached by Bea and Nick, two members of the HSB team who, after providing a quick definition of inclusive sports, showed us a variety of adaptive games. Each sport was designed to put members of the public in the situation of a disabled person, making them aware of the challenges they face and reinforcing our overarching message of inclusion. Disabled people can and must be given the chance to achieve the same as those without a disability!

Below are several examples of the type of games HSB demonstrated:

Injured Soldier

This involves throwing a ball in a circle to each participant and those who drop it, lose an arm and a leg each time until they are 
eventually kneeling on the ground with only one arm to catch the ball. This game clearly demonstrates how difficult it can be when we have restricted mobility. 

Injured soldier, inclusive sports game. 


This is a game for the blind. Using a special ball with a bell in the middle, the players must locate the ball and roll it to the other side in order to score. They must listen to locate the ball rather than using their eyes. Once thrown, if the ball crosses the line then the team scores a point. 

Team ASK practising Goalball with HSB, a game for the blind.

Bucket game

This game incorporates several different disabilities. Similar to a relay race, there are two teams who compete against one another, some of whom are blindfolded, some using crutches and others who have no use of their hands. The volunteers must race to collect water from the bucket at the other end and bring it back to their own bucket. The team with the most amount of water in their bucket at the end wins. This game was extremely effective and is a particularly fun one to run with a younger target audience.

HSB v ASK playing the bucket game.
HSB volunteer showing the use of no hands.

Lilly, one of our UK volunteers playing the bucket game, blindfolded.

Blind Running

During this game, the volunteers are blindfolded and must run along a string and back. The string is there in order to guide the blind volunteer safely to the finish line. Although very simple in theory, this game perfectly demonstrates just how challenging and scary life is for those who have no vision.

Ruben attempting 'blind running' along a string. 

We would like to thank HSB and their coaches from Ouagadougou for such a thorough and inclusive training. Not only were we able to develop new skills and learn new games but HSB also generously donated a Toorball for which we are extremely grateful. This resource will allow Team ASK to better support the members of our blind association and to continue to develop inclusive sports for all types of disability.


Written by Samantha Royle 



La version française: 

L'équipe de Koudougou en phase pratique de la formation.

La journée du 17 février était très fructueuse en enseignement. En effet, nous avons reçu la visite de HSB (Handicap Solidaire Burkina) pour profiter de leur expérience en termes de sensibilisations et de sports inclusifs. Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas HSB, c'est un ONG qui se trouve à Pabre dans le province de Kodiago. Comme l'équipe ASK, ils travaillent sur la protection et promotion des droits des personnes vivant avec un handicap en utilisant le sport comme moyen de renforcer leur message.

Accompagné de leur moniteurs de handibasket, l’équipe de HSB a donné une formation a l’équipe ASK suivi d’une séance d’entrainement a l’équipe handiclub de Koudougou. 
La journée a commencé par un exposé sur les bienfaits du sport animé par Abdoul Aziz Ouedraogo et Arouna Ouedraogo. Apres cela s’en est suivie la séance d’entrainement proprement dit pilote par les deux moniteurs de HSB. Trois tours du terrain ont marqué le début des entrainements dont trois volontaires nationaux Abdoul Aziz de HSB, Abdoul Karim et Franck de ASK ont pris part a ladite séance de réchauffement avec l’équipe de handibasket.
A la suite du réchauffement, les joueurs ont enchainé avec les jeux de passe-passe et de shut au but. Après l’équipe a été également formé au système d’attaque dont avec une pratique de deux défenseurs et trois attaquants. Pour boucler la séance d’entrainement, les joueurs ont été utiles en technique de tir sur le but qui consistait a visé le carre noir de la planche.

Pour s’assurer de la bonne compréhension des techniques enseignées, l’équipe a été divisé en deux pour un match qui a permis de montrer la compréhension rapide des techniques apprises. Durant toute la séance, Abdoul Karim Kanazoe et Arouna Ouedraogo (deux volontaires nationaux de ASK) ont assisté pour s’approprier des techniques pour assurer la suite des activités alors que Adam de HSB à jouer le rôle d’arbitre.

L'équipe de Koudougou et de HSB en plein entrainement.
Au niveau du sport inclusif, nous avons été brillamment coachés par Bea et Nick. Après nous avoir défini le sport inclusif, ils nous ont appris les différents types de sports qu’on pourra pratiquer lors de nos prochaines sensibilisations. Ces jeux ont été abordé pour le grand plaisir de notre équipe

Quelques exemples de ces jeux: 

Injured Soldier 

Vous perdez un pied et un bras si vous n'arrivez pas à attraper la balle. Ce jeu vise à sensibiliser les gens sur les difficultés auxquelles font face les personnes vivant avec un handicap. 

Injured soldier, le sport inclusif. 


L'équipe ASK en train de pratiquer le Goalball avec HSB, un jeu adapté aux aveugles.

Bucket game 


Un des volontaires de HSB sans l'usage de ses mains.

Lily, une de nos volontaires britanniques en train de chercher le seau

Course des aveugles 

Ruben, volontaire britannique qui court aveugle en utilisant une corde pour le guider.  

Par la suite nos hôtes nous ont donné des conseils relatifs à la pratique des sports inclusifs et les précautions qui y sont liées.

Pour allier l’acte à la parole, nous avons tous rejoint le terrain pour une pratique de ces différents sports. Après avoir préparé le terrain nous avons commencé le jeu one arm, one leg et par la suite bucket game, blind running, three legged race et enfin le boccia. Juste après les jeux nous avons pris une photo d’ensemble et les remercier pour leur disponibilité.  


Ecrit par Farouk Zare, Arouna Ouedraogo et Abdoul Karim Kanazoe.