Monday, July 13, 2015

Sport Pour Tous

Every morning this week we have been playing and teaching sport at CEFISE, a primary school dedicated towards children with hearing difficulties. Sport varied from gymnastics, one knee two knee, Football and tennis (and a side of French cricket). After quite a tiring morning we regrouped in the HSB office and spoke about whether we could continue doing sports activities within primary schools, though it was soon going to be the summer holidays for the children. We came up with the idea to create an after school sports club, and so the week was filled with various trips and phone calls to several primary schools around the area. 

Hannah with pupils of CEFISE at the closing ceremony
This week was also mainly surrounded around the concept of planning for future events. For instance, at the end of July we will be doing a summer sports camp lasting for five days and so we had many discussions and even slight disagreements on which activities we could do. In our minds we wanted this summer camp to be filled with various ‘sports day activities’ such as the 3 legged race and sack race. But on another note we also wanted the day to be filled with tough competitions such as Athletics which gives us the option to do many different types of track and field events such as Shot put and relay races.

On Thursday evening after work we participated with an organisation called ‘Sport Pour Tous’ (Sport for All) and there were easily around 200-300 people, and we were planted at the front row. Our team leader managed to speak for around 5 minutes about what we do to the rest of the crowd in order to raise awareness about the true meaning of what it is for everyone to be able to do sport. We did around an hour session of Aerobics, a lot of dancing and it was fairly exhausting! However, on a high note some of us managed to get on Television, had we known we would have shown off more moves.

The dance troop at CEFISE
Finally, on Saturday we were kindly invited to join CEFISE on their prize giving day. Everyone dressed to impressed, many of the young boys wore black stripped suits and the girls dressed like a princess for the day with bright colourful dresses and little high heels. During the ceremony and in between the prizes where the students received a new schoolbag filled with stationary, there were some shows put on for the parents. Some girls did some dancing, a couple sang some songs, one of the boys even sang the Alphabet and some children showed off their English skills by holding a conversation between them.

Nous sommes à la fin de la troisième semaine, cette semaine a été une semaine de dur labeur. C’était la semaine où nous avons du rechercher des nouveaux partenaires. C’est ainsi que nous sommes allés au Ministère des Sports et des Loisirs, lequel nous a invité le jeudi 2 juillet à une séance de ‘Sport pour Tous’, sur le plateau de Pissy. Donc, nous avons pu tisser un partenariat avec le Ministère et l’évènement auquel nous avons participé, nous a permis de nous faire connaître comme organisation HSB-ISD. Egalement, il faut noter qu’on a pu tisser un lien avec l’orphelinat d’AMPO.

Enfin, le samedi 4 Juillet, l’équipe a participé à la clôture de l’école CEFISE. Le groupe a montré des activités de sport inclusif aux parents d’élèves et, ensuite, les Team Leaders ont procédé à la remise des prix de fin d’année.

Moussa, Luca and Will

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Introducing Cohort 13

Welcome to Cohort 13! Bienvenue à la Cohorte 13!

It's time to introduce a new team to the organisation HSB-ISD, this time round we have a big team to continue the work here and a new Team Leader, BA Inoussa. They arrive in Ouagadougou a week ago now and after giving the new Brits their first experience of drinking water from a sachet, allowing them to get to grips with the 'little' differences here in Burkina Faso and handing them over to their host homes, we got stuck into the induction week. You will hear a bit from each of them below, they have all thrown themselves into the planning of the activities and I feel that we will successfully continue in getting our message across to those in need during this cohort. This week we were lucky enough to be able to go to ABPAM to finish off the art project that the last cohort started with the CPs (6-7 yr olds), it was great to see a new lot of faces being able to continue and complete work that was started by cohort 12.


Cohort 13: From top left - Moussa, BA, Emmanuella, William, Natasha, Momo, Ezekiel, Hannah.
From Bottom Left - Luca, Nadège, Sebastian, Celia

Waiting outside the gate I did not know what to expect. How many children would there be? Would there be cousins and friends also living under the same roof that I would soon be living under? Literally with open arms I was eagerly greeted into this newly built home in a town called Belleville, a new area in Ouagadougou. I do not think I have ever played snakes and ladders and UNO so much and also so competitively! The illusion of a language and cultural barrier quickly disappeared as we swapped enthusiastically family photos and began swapping language lessons.


Je me nomme Emmanuella Toé volontaire nationale placée à HSB/ISD. C'est un grand plaisir et un honneur pour moi de prendre part à ce programme. Les quelques jours de formation avec tous les autres volontaires Britanniques et nationaux étaient formidables, on a fait beaucoup d'échanges sur le plan culturel relationnel et surtout de partage d’expériences (quand tu écoutes madame Couldiaty partager ses expériences tu ne peux que chercher à aller de l'avant dans l'humilité et la foi). Depuis lundi dernier nous faisons du sport inclusif avec les élèves de CEFISE BENAJA et d'ABPAM. Ces premiers contacts avec ces personnes en situation de handicap m'a beaucoup émerveillé surtout en voyant leur habilité à faire le sport, à apprendre rapidement et à appliquer les règles de jeux. Ce contact m'a galvanisé davantage à m'investir pour leur cause.

Vive le volontariat à International Citizen Service!


Final mask making day at ABPAM

David still loves to run
Our first week has been somewhat challenging on all aspects of living in Burkina Faso. The weather has certainly made things harder as I have not yet acclimatised so it is making me lethargic. Although I came here very unsure as to what my role in the project would be, I do now feel like I have a better understanding. This week we have visited CEFISE and ABPAM to teach inclusive sport and crafts, it was a great experience that opened my eyes to the different hurdles that can be overcome by these resilient children. With the local volunteers we have also started to plan a weeks sports camp we are running later on in our cohort, which has allowed us to bring our own skills to the project. Celia and I were introduced to our host family last week and we couldn’t have been more openly welcomed. I feel like I am at home with the family and our host mum has been giving me French lessons and is being very forgiving of my fussy eating!


Salut les amis moi je me nomme KOUENOU MOUSSA. Ces deux premières semaines de mon placement furent l’un des moments les plus émouvants de ma vie. Car dans ces deux semaines de mon placement je me suis senti dans un nouveau monde et j’ai appris chose en si peu de temps. La première grande expérience était de travailler avec des individus d’horizon et de cultures différentes. Au début je pensais qu’il était impossible de travailler avec des gens dont on ne parle pas le même langage. Mais aujourd’hui j’ai sais que la différence de langage ne peut en aucun cas constituer un obstacle à la collaboration dans une équipe de travail.

La deuxième expérience pour moi était d’apprendre du sport aux personnes en situation de handicap moteur à CEFISE(Centre d’Éducation de Formation Intégrée des Sourds et Entendant) et enfin la troisième expérience a été d’apprendre du goalball aux personnes aveugles et malvoyants à l'ABPAM(Association Burkinabè des Personnes Aveugles et Malvoyants). Puis de les apprendre aussi de l’art.

J’invite les internautes à suivre nos pas et de s’imprégner de cette riche expérience de la vie.


Got off the plane tired and thirsty but really excited. My first time ever in African soil was accompanied by the ever-present heat wave and by the first of several queues that were to come, that of immigration. After some paperwork and the unusually friendly faces of the immigration guards, we finally stepped on official Burkinabe soil. Greeted by a myriad of friendly faces, we encountered our team-leaders and hopped on a bus that miraculously took us to our first resting place in Ouagadougou.

Getting used to the heat, mosquito nets and the constant attention we got because of our skin colour, our first week focused on a general approach of our roles as volunteers as well as the mutual greetings between British and national volunteers. However, our main event of the week developed around the host-families, whom we met and started living with early on. This immersed us right away into the national culture and the Burkinabe’s habits inside the household. Weekend turned out to be quite amusing as British volunteers gathered together to go for a swim at Hotel Ricardo to escape for a bit the scolding Burkinabe sun.

Our second week developed following the activities of our concerning projects, myself being in Handicap Solidaire Burkina Inclusive Sport Development (HSB-ISD). Such activities were carried out in two schools, CEFISE and ABPAM, specialized in the teaching of children with hearing and visual impairments. The sports and art-crafts activities the group performed turned out to be quite amusing for both the children and us. Group work has, however, not gone as smoothly as the sports sections. Indeed, the planning of future activities has resulted to be quite tricky and challenging. Nevertheless, as weeks go by, I believe that we will be more up for the challenge. Our main motivation is to know that what we achieve here can really make a difference.


Moi c’est Doly Yéri Nadège depuis le 15 juin j’ai fait connaissance avec les volontaires britanniques la première difficulté ça été la barrière de la langue mais avec un peu d’effort on parvient à se comprendre doucement. Avant d’arriver à HSB-ISD j’avais une autre vision de la vie des uns et des autres mais après ces  quelques jours d’activité telles que la gymnastique, le teins, le foot avec les enfants au CEFISE(Centre d’Éducation de Formation Intégrée des Sourds et Entendant) et à ABPAM(Association Burkinabè des Personnes Aveugles et Malvoyants).  Je réalise que j’ai beaucoup de choses à apprendre des autres et aussi je peux contribuer à faire passer le message des personnes en situation de handicap donc à changer le monde. C’est le début d’une grande expérience.


This week has been not only physically challenging but mentally as well. I say this because I have never worked with children with disabilities before and it has proved hard work but as the day gets on you look back on the morning and you see how much fun the children and the team had with showing the children sports through sign language and through hands on sports. The children this last week have shown me how they learn and see the world even if they can’t physically see which makes all the difference. We have visited two primary schools this week and both have been very excited to see us and to engage in our sports program. This week for me has been an eye opener to see what it’s like for people with disabilities I just wish I could live in Burkina and continue helping them.


Salut, moi c’est ZOUNON Ezekiel U. L, volontaire de la 13e cohorte ICS à HSB-ISD (Handicap Solidaire Burkina-Inclusive Sport Development). Cette deuxième semaine de placement a été très intéressante et enrichissante pour un premier réel contact de groupe avec les camarades volontaires ISD, et les enfants des établissements de CEFISE et de l’ABPAM. Au sein de l'équipe, l’ambiance y est bon enfant, la collaboration se passe bien malgré souvent quelques chocs d’idées et la séance d’échange culturel constitue l’une des plus relaxante et intéressante activité.

Du coté des enfants, j’ai personnellement ressenti cette nécessité de flexibilité d’adaptation en vue de faire face aux différentes situations d’handicapes qu’ils traversent. A ce niveau également l’ambiance était des plus agréables avec la pratique de divers sport adapté à chaque enfant selon la situation d’handicap. Au finish on se rend compte que ces enfants ne sont pas différents des enfants dits " normaux" ; ils débordent tous d’énergie, de créativités et ont tous ce besoin de se distraire et d’être en contact les uns avec les autres, bref de s’épanouir.


A lot has happened already since landing in Burkina Faso two weeks ago. The first week was all about meeting the team and introducing ourselves to the in-country volunteers. The training days were great. I learnt a lot more about the country, about the different projects that the International Service works with and how us being in Burkina is making a huge difference to the lives of others.
The language barrier for me personally has been difficult. I do believe that you should come to Burkina Faso with a decent level of French. Then again, you do have French lessons, which may only be basic but it does make a massive difference to your overall experience. With the in-country volunteers and your host homes, making an effort with the language will allow you to enjoy the experience a lot more.

Looking at the project itself, HSB-ISD, we have worked with schools in the morning this week and the experience has been fantastic. We started at CEFISE, a school for the hearing impaired. We played mini games like football, 1 knee/2 knee, tennis and gymnastics. We could tell that our work and the work of previous volunteers has been a success as the children absolutely love it when we come over to play sport with them.

We have also been introduced to ABPAM, which is a school for the visually impaired. Here we used balance beams where the children could concentrate on their balance as well as trying other things whilst on the balance beam. We also did blind running. This involved a long piece of string, with a plastic handle on the string, so the children could run a certain distance whilst staying in a straight line. We then played goal ball, which is a game where the children would sit opposite each other between a set of cones. They would then throw the ball to the opponent and try to get the ball passed them. The balls are made of a spongy material, with bells inside, so they can hear when the ball is coming.

Overall, the first two weeks has been a major success and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Working every day to make sure this cohort is a big success.