Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome to Ouaga

Paralympic project – Burkina Faso blog



Blog Week 1


Welcome to Ouaga

The team arrived at Ouagadogou Airport at 23:55 on the 5th July. We were welcomed with 31 degree heat at midnight and we had to cram 18 British Volunteers, their luggage and the leaders onto a mini bus. We then embarked on a mini trip around local areas dropping off the volunteers at their specific houses. We reached our house and our beds only to be woken up by a storm that would have made headline news in England.

The first week included introducing the project, introducing the team members, introducing the National Volunteers, French lessons, Moore lessons and a tour round where each team would be working. The Paralympic team and the HSB team were working in offices opposite each other as the projects would combine with many activities across the coming weeks. However, our specific office needed a makeover. So we were instructed to clear, clean and re-shape to room into a place suitable for working in. With a few distractions from local children and a few breaks due to the heat, we completed the task and gave the room the makeover it deserved.


On Wednesday, we were able to take a sneak peak at one of the many partners we would be working with during our time here. We went to community centre for disabled people called Saaba. Here, we gave them a demonstration of Boccia. Boccia is the sport that we will be doing with these people throughout the 11 weeks and was great to be able to get involved with local people so early on.

The visits to each team’s work place was interesting but not as interesting as the visit to Kabeela in Ziniare. At Kabeela, we were treated to a Burkina Faso version of strictly come dancing which was great fun and a little eye opener into a part of the culture that exists here. This day also consisted of a very hot trip to Laongo Sculpture Park which provided an insight to the history that surrounds the country. The heat definitely took some of the shine of this visit but nonetheless, it was very interesting.


Week 2

Toomd singre semaine! (working week!)

Monday – We started to plan the initial three month activities for a variety of affiliated sports clubs in Burkina Faso. These events range from the capital city Ouagadougou, Ziniaré and Bobo. Overall we decided on four objectives, raising awareness, sport education and coaching sessions and materials and resources. The raising awareness of disability sport sessions will come in the form of three community events, two in the capital Ouagadougou and one in Bobo, south west of Ouagadougou. We then agreed on the sport education sessions on where we should deliver them and which sports should be delivered for each disability. Finally we listed all the relevant materials we need for the upcoming projects.


In the afternoon we had our third Moore lesson, learning a variety of numbers from zero to one hundred or zalem to koabga.

Tuesday- today we started the day off by watching a power point presentation by Boukary on disability sport in Burkina Faso. This was very interesting as we learnt how little facilities and equipment they have at their disposal. Next we finished off the three month activity plan, by organizing where we will do the sports educations and when we will do them in the three months. We also decided how we will get the relevant equipment, whether this is having to buy them or make them. We finished the day off with our final French lesson, learning how to make small conversations.

Wednesday - today The Paralympic team visited Arche for the first time as a group. We had initially decided that we would do a Boccia demonstration for the group. However to our surprise we were asked to help out with ‘farming’. We were asked to get rid of the grass with what looked like an axe! This would allow the people of Arche to plan seeds in the left over soil. Overall this was very fun and gave us a better idea of what Burkinabe’s have to do to grow crops. After undertaking the farming the weather became too hot for any Boccia demonstration, so we will have to try again next week. In the afternoon we had our last Mooray lesson. We went round a local market meeting and greeting the locals. Zaarbray!

Thursday – Alarm at 5.30! Must get to Saaba very early so the weather doesn’t beat us! Arrive at Saaba at Half 7. Boccia is played to a good standard after last week’s demonstration and target practice was a success as all participants managed to achieve getting the ball through all five targets. However it wasn’t the heat that beat us this time, the rain came just as we were finishing up and washed away any chances of more activities! 


Friday – today we were all in the office getting to work on assigned tasks. Some of the volunteers were writing up strategies of the project whilst others worked on coaching packs for people who had not played some sports before, allowing them to be introduced to new sports. We were also set and individual assignment of doing a presentation on a disability sport for our partner HSB. The sports that were asked for were, Boccia, Handball and volleyball.



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