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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

So Long, Farewell, Beogo



We can’t believe we’re writing our final blog already! Week 10, our final week at HSB, is coming to an end. Where had the time gone?

 

We’ll tell you where the time’s gone! It’s been filled with awareness-raising, festivals, inclusive sports, website maintenance, IT training, English lessons, error 404s, Espace Bambino, wheelchair basketball, movie-making, visits to the welding workshop, translations and grant applications!




 

Our last training session with Moise



 
 
As Kat and Steph prepare to leave, and Alexis and Franceline prepare to move on after a whole year at HSB, here are our final reflections:

 

Steph


The chance to volunteer in Burkina Faso has been eye-opening. We’ve had the chance to experience Burkinabe culture through being truly welcomed into the HSB community. I’ve learnt a lot about working in a team in a multicultural environment, and I’ve been lucky to be part of a fab team – it wouldn’t have been the same without you - and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. I especially hope that the updated Change a Child’s Life scheme will grow from the foundations we have given it to be a real success.
 

I’ve learnt so much at HSB. Before coming, I had little experience of disability issues and how they affect people’s lives. This is not something I expected when I applied to the ICS programme, but it’s been a fantastic learning curve. The whole HSB community and what they are trying to do is really inspirational and I’m proud to have been even a tiny part of it.

 

Kat


The opportunity of working alongside HSB, seeing the work they do for people living with disabilities and the impact they have on the local community is truly inspiring and I will never forget the things I have learnt and experienced. Being on a placement in Burkina Faso, living in a new environment and working alongside national volunteers and the local people, has been an entirely new but amazing experience for me! It has enabled me to gain an insight into a different culture and way of life, with the different values of society and their sense of community, which I found to be especially interesting and had an unexpected, yet positive, impact on my personal beliefs and values. This experience has made me more determined to experience new cultures in the future and I hope to return to Burkina Faso and visit HSB in the future!

 

I would like to say a big thank you to ICS and International Service for the opportunity, to all the staff at HSB for welcoming us and contributing towards my experience, the national volunteers Franceline and Alexis, Steph as team member and our team leader Alison, all without which my time in Burkina Faso would not have been the amazing experience that it was! Thank you! J

                                  

Alexis

 

At the end of my year placement as a HSB volunteer, I can only express my satisfaction with the challenges I realize. I have only joy and personal fulfillment as feeling this day. In addition, I have gained unforgettable experiences and knowledge. I don’t feel sad to finish my placement because I know that at HSB the doors will always be open for me and that I can spend my free there and I will do it!

 

Franceline

 

Before starting with my reflections I want to thanks International Service for the amazing 12 months I have spent at Handicap Solidaire Burkina. I had never thought about working with disabled people but gradually I have inserted myself in their world and forgotten all the clichés I had about them. I realized that no one is inferior to another; all human being are equal and deserve the same chances in life.

 

These 3 months was the last I spend at HSB  I was really  disappointed  because I was at the end of my placement I don’t regret anything.

 

Every day when I wake up and ride my motorbike to come to HSB, I am really happy to come and give support to the staff, and above all the children at Espace Bambino that I love deeply. Now I can say without any doubt that I find my way which is to work in humanitarian sector to help people in need. I am now what ICS wants me to be - a real world citizen.

 

I hope HSB athletes will participate in to the Rio 2016 and that our Welding Workshop will be known worldwide.

 

My best wishes to the children of Espace Bambino will be to get more supporters. To UK volunteers I will say huge thanks for the amazing moments we have spent together, I learnt a lot from UK volunteers, especially what working in a group means. To Handicap Solidaire Burkina I say “ASSOMO dindin, Nebana”. In Lyele, the language of my ethnic group, that means I love you, much, HUGE thank you. I will never forget you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

And a last word from Ali, our Team Leader...

 

The last 11 weeks have gone so quickly and, as so often is the case, it feels like we are only just beginning to really get to know HSB and understand our role within the organisation, and yet the time is already here to reflect on what we have been able to accomplish. Of course, as a cohort of ICS volunteers, we are only 5, with only 9 full weeks in which to try and work towards the long-term objectives of our partner organisation. However, thanks to the support of HSB and International Service, I think that what we have achieved over this intense, hectic, occasionally stressful, but always interesting few months is really to be commended, particularly given the focus which has been placed on the sustainability of ICS activities. Having been Team Leader at both HSB and Tigoung Nonma, none of this would have been possible without a team of committed, passionate and energetic volunteers, who have always kept up the momentum, even though I haven’t been able to spend as much time with them as is normally the case. I am so happy to have had the privilege to work with Franceline, Alexis, Kat and Steph, and hope that this experience will lead to many more exciting things in the future. As for me, I am staying on at HSB as Team Leader until September, so watch this space for updates when the next cohort of HSB volunteers arrive in July.

 

Until then,

 

Merci HSB, Barka, Nindaare!

A farewell volunteer for HSB, hosted by the volunteers!




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