Friday, 18 April 2014

Hello from HSB Cohort 8!

We are Ali (Team Leader), Kat, Alexis, Steph and Franceline - together we make up the new Burkinabe-British team HSB. We started our work here on Monday 14th April. Have a look at our smiling faces below...

For the past week we’ve busied ourselves with working on a plan, and talking about our objectives for our placement. The next three months look set to be chockablock full of activities and things to do. On Thursday morning we also had the chance to meet the children of Espace Bambino. 

Starting as we mean to go on - head first and full steam ahead - this week the team have been assisting HSB with their involvement with the fourth annual Festival PASSANA, a festival celebrating Burkinabe culture which this year has included the promotion of the rights of people living with disabilities as one of its principal themes. 

We were lucky enough to attend the opening of the festival on Tuesday evening, and got to see a spectacle of fantastic traditional music and dance, as well as being introduced to the representatives of government ministries and an important and well-respected chief, lawyer and historian. There was also a showing of a Burkinabe documentary about the tradition of joking between ethnicities here in Burkina. 

Today, Friday 18th April, Festival PASSANA came to HSB! HSB held an open day or “Journée Porte Ouverte”, which the volunteers all helped out with, decorating HSB, welcoming guests and acting as photographers. HSB hosted various traditional musicians, and some of the HSB children, some with a disability and some without, performed a welcome song and a dance routine. HSB then showed a film about the challenges which people living with disabilities face in Burkina Faso, and conducted a question and answer session in the aftermath.

The event was really successful, with lots of interesting points made in the post-film discussion. We got to host the famous Burkinabe singer Papa Webo! HSB also formally presented three tricycles, which were funded by the Taiwanese Cooperation and made by HSB’s welding workshop, to three HSB members. Everyone enjoyed the entertainment and the open day was very well attended.

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