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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Active week







The HSB team with our very important staff passes!!!


Week 3 has been a busy week for the HandicapSolitaireBurkina team!!
We started the week off by creating awareness raising leaflets – which we had to finish within a two hour deadline for the printers!
The leaflets outline HSB’s aims and information about the many activities that HSB supports and organise. These include – Espace Bambino, The Welding Workshop, The Drop-In Centre and HandiSports.
After finishing the leaflets we had our final Moore lesson and our newly acquired language skills were put to the test at a local market!  With the help of our teacher we managed to negotiate fabric prices from 1500f to 1000f!
For the rest of the week HSB had the privilege to take part in and be a part of Festival Passana  - a local festival held in central Ouagadougou. The word Passana means no one should ever feel like a stranger – and it certainly felt that way when we entered the festival!
There was an extensive repertoire of activities ranging from traditional African music and dance, to Handibike Sports and Burkinabe cuisine.  It was a fantastic opportunity for the team at HSB and the local community to be a part of giving HSB the opportunity to fulfil its own mission!
We helped to set up tents, the stage and the impressive HSB banner, inviting and welcoming children and adults alike to participate in a range of our awareness raising activities and games! To begin with we introduced the balance boards an activity whereby each child had the opportunity to stand on the board and copy the activities of the volunteer – a challenge in itself!  We then proceeded to put blindfolds on the children whilst they were on the boards and then asked them to complete the same activities – some of which included trying to touch their feet, and hopping on one foot on the board! This activity was extremely popular and within minutes there were 50 children wanting a turn! (After some commotion we persuaded the children to queue and wait for their turn!!) The other activities included blind folded running, throw and catch with only one hand and hoop toss - whereby the aim is to initially throw the hoop onto a mat with numbers and the number the hoop lands on corresponds to the number of points you receive – then the children were blindfolded and span round by one of the volunteers before throwing the hoop. Hoops were flying in all directions which caused great hilarity for the children.  We were able to give the local children the chance to experience (if only briefly) some of the difficulties and challenges that people with disabilities face every day - something which we are sure will stick with them for many years to come.
 


Setting up the stage!


As the day went on (in 45 degree heat!) a section of the road was transformed into a basketball court! The incredibly talented HSB handibasket team and a few of the UK Volunteers joined forces to play in a match with a lively audience consisting of 200 adults and 150 children! The skills that the HSB Burkinabe players demonstrated was mesmerising for all the spectators. As you can see in the photo below the skills of the UK volunteers was very entertaining for everyone to see! After the match, all of the volunteers handed out the leaflets that we had created earlier in the week to spectators so that they could find out more about the work undertaken by the charity HSB.
Local children playing the blind running activity!



As the day went on (in 45 degree heat!) a section of the road was transformed into a basketball court! The incredibly talented HSB handibasket team and a few of the UK Volunteers joined forces to play in a match with a lively audience consisting of 200 adults and 150 children! The skills that the HSB Burkinabe players demonstrated was mesmerising for all the spectators. As you can see in the photo below the skills of the UK volunteers was very entertaining for everyone to see! After the match, all of the volunteers handed out the leaflets that we had created earlier in the week to spectators so that they could find out more about the work undertaken by the charity HSB.
 
The HSB basketball team with a few extra additions!



  



On the Friday morning there was a conference held at the Festival site to discuss and highlight a number of issues that people in Burkina Faso face. Approximately 35 people attended the conference many of whom had disabilities. The conference was led by a panel consisting of the organisers of the conference who were joined by a number of the staff from HSB. In particular two of the points raised were incredibly relevant for our work with HSB. The first was the severe lack of disabled access around Ouagadougou and the second was the morality of men surrounding disabled women. There are a number of traditional myths that Witch doctors preach that affect disabled women. For example, it is thought that men will become rich and be ridden of their sins if they sleep with a disabled woman. The conference was therefore important for highlighting issues that people in Burkina Faso face and what work can be done to try and improve conditions for people with disabilities.
All in all Festival Passana was an incredible experience for everybody involved it was a pleasure to be a part of and something I know will be remembered for many years to come!



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