Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Busy, busy Week 9!

My, what a busy week we had in Week 9 of our placement! In fact, so busy that we’re only able to write up about it now: we had events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

In this blog, our penultimate one of the placement (sob), we’ll catch you up on some of the cool things we got up to in the week.

On Thursday, we held a big sporting event in Katre Yaar, at the court where we usually do our basketball training. The event involved: 
4 inclusive sports activities for the local children to join in with (goalball, deaf football, boccia and blind running)

  • An excellent demonstration of wheelchair basketball from the HSB athletes
  • Live music from Papa Wemba, the captain of one of the basketball teams
  • An information board to teach those attending about disability sport and the work of HSB
  • A tombola, through which we raised 18,100FCFA to go towards the Espace Bambino

We had a brilliant time, and the event got lots of positive feedback from the children and the athletes, so we were really pleased!

We went to a village in the suburbs of Ouagadougou called Nagrin, where we delivered an awareness-raising session in the school attended by Razak, one of the children from the Espace Bambino. Although there were only 19 children across the two classes involved, we felt like this session was particularly valuable as they really didn’t seem to have much knowledge about disability at all. We really hope that this “introduction” to the concept will set them in good stead for understanding people with disabilities in the future. 

We also took the chance to interview the head teacher about how things are going with Razak’s inclusion in ordinary classes. Although he has some concerns about how to ensure that Razak is learning, and has had no formal training in inclusion of children with disabilities, the teacher was confident that being at school with others his age is the right thing for Razak, particularly as all children have the same right to an education. It was encouraging to hear the attitude of this teacher, although a little concerning that primary school teachers do not necessarily get trained in inclusion in a country where the rate of disability is 10%. 

Saturday was the busiest day of all! 

Firstly, we had an awareness raising session at a school. This went really well and the kids seemed to have a great time – they were desperate for us to come back soon and play more inclusive sports with them! 
Then, things took a more sombre turn as sadly, it was the funeral of the HSB coordinator’s father. We went to Pabré, about an hour from central Ouaga, to attend the ceremony. It was beautiful to see how many people attended: he was obviously a very well-known and loved person in the village. Our condolences are with his family.
Finally, almost as if to continue the “circle of life,” the three Brits attended the wedding of a niece of Alima, the secretary at HSB. It was such a lovely occasion: we were surrounded by caring, friendly, brightly-dressed people and also by babies, which we got extremely gooey over!!

Safe to say, by the time it came to Sunday, a rest was in order! 

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