Thursday, 15 June 2017

Handicap Solidaire Burkina Pabré’s Student Society Initiative

The flag of HSB flew as the elected students introduced themselves in a memorable inauguration ceremony”
What would we do if the ICS program was cut by the UK government tomorrow? What would the impact be on the beneficiaries of our partner non-governmental organisation, HSB Pabré? How could we reduce this impact and plan for a sustainable future? Considering our partnership with the local Lycée Municipal and our success in conducting awareness raising sessions in schools, a solution was conceived: the creation of a student society of committed young people to be trained in running their own awareness raising and inclusive sports sessions as well as promoting the rights of disabled people through organised events.

Mr. Alfred  Ouédraogo, CEO of Handicap Solidaire Burkina

Our Vision:
Handicap Solidaire Burkina foresees a world in which people living with physical, mental, sensory and intellectual disabilities are not marginalised or further impeded by society failing to adapt to their needs. In Burkina Faso, people with disabilities are often unable to access their basic human rights purely because of the widespread perceptions that disabled people are only able to survive through begging and unable to live life in the same way as others. The student society’s objective is to create a body of student ambassadors for the organisation, work to spread awareness of disabilities and the challenges faced by those affected by disability and become diligent in improving their community. Also, in giving rise to a generation of people who know that people with disabilities have the right to access free healthcare and education and are altogether equals to all others, HSB aims for a future where disability will no longer be a taboo topic or a barrier in Burkina Faso.

Exercising the right to democracy in electing the office

The mission of the student society is to plan and run awareness-raising sessions amongst fellow-students and support HSB at their community events. In the interests of sustainable development, the ultimate goal of the assembly will act as local ambassadors in the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities, and to protect and defend those rights within the organisation and in partner organisations. Challenging perceptions of- and including students who live with- disability in all activities within the school will also be an integral part of the society’s work.

The objectives were for this cohort to see recruitment and an election to fill the members of the office running the club, run training sessions for the students and support the office in directing weekly meetings. During the meetings, the club could: debate issues relating to disability; update themselves on current affairs such as any changes to the law or disabled people in the public eye; plan future events and generally grow and learn as young people in their abilities to become active citizens. In the future, the student club will grow and become more self-sufficient in working alongside HSB staff, without the need for ICS volunteers if they are unable to continue supporting them for whatever reason.

Mr. Jean-Claude Ouédraogo, Head Teacher

After speaking to the principal, Mr Jean-Claude Ouédraogo, and advertising the society, over 50 students put themselves forward to be members. On Wednesday 10th May, the first general assembly took place. Mr Ouédraogo gave a speech then each role was explained before students proposed their willingness to take on each role. The club members voted in an office of 10 students through a democratic process after some impassioned speeches from the engaged and eager candidates.

A very captivated audience at the launch

Student Society Official Inauguration
The following Saturday 13th May, the Lycée had their annual party celebrating the end of the school year, and HSB’s student society launch was the main event! Just before the football tournament named after the head teacher, the teams warmed up and the enthused crowd gathered for the biggest sporting event Pabré would see this year and a series of speeches were made. Firstly, the principal made his speech welcoming the initiative to the college and explaining the importance of the partnership with HSB.

National volunteer, Rabiatou Ouédrago

Next, Mr Alfred Ouédraogo, CEO of HSB took to the stage explaining HSB’s mission to the crowd. Born without the use of his legs, he has become a successful and well-respected member of the community of Pabré. The captivated audience deeply valued his word and the elected members of the office listened with interest as their first official introduction to the organisation.
The team leaders spoke to demonstrate the importance of the club in supporting the partner organisation. National volunteer, Rabiatou Ouédrago, delivered a rousing and emotive address, presenting her view of a fairer world in which people living with disabilities are able to live as though their communities are their families. She spoke on behalf of the team to express our gratitude and excitement at the launch of the student society and the tangible transformation of which they could be a part.

The flag of HSB flew as the elected students introduced themselves in a memorable inauguration ceremony. Proudly supported by the whole team of ICS volunteers, the crowd smiled upon the initiative which could signal a new era for the expansion of HSB since recently establishing itself in Pabré.

Inclusive Games
After the spirited football tournament, whilst the winning team collected themselves for the presentation of the cup, HSB were inundated by students and children from the crowd on the pitch for 2 activities: goalball and the ‘blind game’.

Introducing the Team

Goalball is an inclusive sport which HSB uses after awareness raising sessions with the purpose of helping to affirm the idea that disabled people can have fun just the same as them and implicates players within a situation of disability in order to create empathy and challenge perceptions.

A ball containing bells is thrown towards blindfolded participants who rely in their sense of hearing to stop the ball from entering their goal. They then attempt to score a goal themselves. Through this activity, students competed with great attitude and hilarity, learning not to be purely reliant on their capacity to see whilst competing with others in sport. The crowd of football fans loved the game so similar in competitive spirit to their favourite game but with an inclusive twist.

An overwhelming wave of children wishing to take part rushed towards the game with eagerness"


In the ‘blind game’, blindfolded students aimed to cut down prizes suspended from a chord. An overwhelming wave of children wishing to take part rushed towards the game with eagerness and almost drowned the supervising volunteers! Excited to play a part in the game, they quickly realised that it wasn’t as easy as it first appeared and lots of giggles ensued from onlookers.

Aiming for a prize

After a roaringly successful launch, the future looks bright for HSB Pabré’s student society. They will become financially self-sufficient through fundraising activities and be able to run their own events and awareness raising sessions and inclusive sport management. The spirited young people of Pabré are taking control of their local area and taking ownership of prominent societal problems, and their solutions.

The elected members of the office

Dans le but de perpétuer et consolider la mission de HSB, en partenariat avec ICS (International Citizen Service) nous avons eu l’idée de créer un club des élèves du lycée municipal de Pabré, en sachant que l’avenir, c’est la jeunesse. Avec les élèves du lycée du municipal parce que HSB à un partenariat avec ce lycée, les élèves ont suivi beaucoup de sensibilisation et pour tout dire, l’ignorance n’est plus énorme. Bâtir un projet durable par les jeunes de la communauté, Promouvoir un changement positif des mentalités de la communauté, un monde d’égalité où le handicap ne sera plus considéré comme une fatalité ni une marque. Éveiller des ambassadeurs qui vont défendre les droits des personnes vivant avec un handicap à travers tout la commune de Pabré, le Burkina Faso, l’Afrique et le monde.

Les élèves du lycée municipale étaient ravi de cette idée, beaucoup se sont enregistrés en tant que membre du club et ce sont engagés pour son aboutissement. Comme toute structure pour son bon fonctionnement à besoin de membres dynamiques et motivés.

Une assemblée générale fut convoquée pour la mise en place du bureau exécutif du club. Avant de commencer l’élection, le corps professoral du lycée municipal s’est fait représenter.

C’est ainsi que monsieur le proviseur a pris la parole, pour mieux expliquer aux élèves l’importance de leur engagement pour être membre du club. C’était avec grand dévouement, beaucoup d’enthousiasme que les membres du club ont voté à la majorité simple, les futurs membres du bureau.

La vision de HSB à travers la mise en place du club des élèves est d’avoir une société juste, faire accepter les personnes en situation de handicap, éradiquer toutes sortes de discriminations et briser le mythe de différenciation.

Pour officialise l’existence du club, il nous a été loisible de placer son ouverture le jour de la kermesse de fin d’année du lycée, lequel jour voyait en même temps le lancement d’autres clubs et la finale de la coupe du proviseur. Nous savons tous que le football est comme l’arbre à palabre, qui regroupe tout le monde. C’était vraiment une occasion pour nous de profiter faire connaitre ce club qui aura pour mission d’aider HSB à promouvoir les droits des personnes vivant avec un handicap, de protéger et défendre leurs droits au sein de l’établissement et des établissement frères.

C’est dans une ferveur communautaire, une ambiance de grand jour que nous nous sommes retrouvés tous au terrain dans l’après-midi pour l’ouverture du club. Avant le début du tournoi, monsieur Alfred OUEDRAOGO le directeur exécutif de HSB, le proviseur du lycée municipal, les teams leader et une des volontaires ont pris la parole respectivement pour souhaiter le bienvenu à tous ; quelques minutes de sensibilisation sur le handicap. Après les discours les volontaires de HSB et les membres du bureau du club ont fait leur entrée, c’était avec beaucoup d’applaudissement, de joie que la communauté de Pabré et les invités d’honneur nous ont accueilli sur le podium. Les membres du bureau se sont présentés par poste, c’était l’ouverture officielle du club.

Les volontaires de HSB ont accueilli à bras ouverts et avec ces nouveaux membres du bureau du club en leurs promettant de les former pour devenir de vrais ambassadeurs et à la leur tour former d’autres ambassadeurs pour conquérir le Burkina Faso, l’Afrique et le Monde ensemble.

 Cependant le tournoi du proviseur battant son plein, la communauté scolaire était en liesse. Tous étaient concentrés à suivre le match avec des cris, des applaudissements. Ces avec étonnement que les invités d’honneur ainsi que la communauté se sont rendu compte que l’ouverture du club n’était pas la seule surprise que avions prévu pour eux. Mais plus, il y avait aussi des jeux inclusifs (aveuglette et le goalball), que nous avons commencé à la fin du tournoi et avant la remise de la coupe du proviseur. Tout le monde était invité à jouer, les enfants débordaient d’énergie, ils courraient plus vers l’aveuglette parce qu’il y avait beaucoup de cadeau à gagner.

Les jeunes vers le goalball, l’un des jeux que les jeunes aiment beaucoup parce que, sportif, très amusant et à la fois éducatif.
 C’est pour nous une autre manière de les sensibiliser et leurs prodiguer des conseils :

« Personne ne doit être jugée sur la base de son handicap, désormais, faites votre possible pour inclure les personnes vivant avec un handicap dans vos actions de tous les jours

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