Friday, February 13, 2015


It seems like we only just arrived yesterday, but here we are, our 5th week in Ouagadougou and halfway through our project! This week, Jana and Yvette reflect about what has been achieved so far in our team, and what we still have left to achieve in the next 5 weeks.

Jonas leading 'les jeux de cercle' at CEFISE
Our sports sessions are now running like clockwork every morning at CEFISE and ABPAM, and the kids seem to be really enjoying themselves. We have introduced a couple of new games this week at CEFISE, to keep the kids on their toes! The first one is a relay type activity using tennis balls placed on top of cones – the first member of the team must run back and forth to each cone collecting the tennis ball and placing it in a bucket, while the next member of the team must run back and forth from the bucket replacing the tennis balls on the top of the cones. We also introduced a jumping activity, which is great for practicing long jump and triple jump skills. Three mats are placed on the ground, and each child must jump from mat to mat either with their feet together, like the long jump, or from one foot to the other, like the triple jump. Who knows, maybe we’ll have an Olympic athlete on our hands in the future!

Blind-running in an awareness-raising session

Another achievement of ours is being able to run the awareness-raising sessions at local schools. We managed to obtain government permission to deliver these sessions at any school in Ouaga, which is fantastic. Our first sessions were theory based, taking place in the classrooms, but now we have moved on to the practical sessions as well. We teach children inclusive sports activities such as blind running and goalball, which makes them think about what it is like for people with visual impairments to play sport. A great favourite is also the game of passing a ball between different sized tubes, of which each child has one. While doing this, some children are blindfolded, some are made to put a hand behind their back, or some must sit down, to try to replicate the challenges that a person with a disability may face.

A major personal achievement for all of us is our language skills! Whether it be French, English, Moore, or French sign language, I think we are all improving leaps and bounds. Personal achievements for us British volunteers in particular has definitely been adapting to a completely different way of life than what we’re used to, but one we have embraced wholeheartedly. Even if this means embracing sickness, as well as the 40 degree heat and regular electricity and water cuts!

Meeting the celebs at BF1 TV studios
A definite highlight for us all this week was having the chance to appear on Burkinabe television! On a daytime chat show called ‘Zenith Mag’, the staff of HSB, along with the HSB athletes and the volunteers from both HSB and ISD, were all able to talk about the charity and the activities we have been doing. It was great that we could help raise the profile of HSB, and we even got to meet some TV personalities!

So what is left to achieve in the next 5 weeks? Still on the cards is planning our inclusive sports events at Rio and Tampui, helping out at ASSB’s football practice, providing teacher training sessions on inclusive sport at CEFISE and a local teacher training college, and continuing to source equipment for HSB. We’ll keep you updated with how we get on of course, hopefully with success stories all round! 

- Jana Browne

During the week, we spent 3 days at CEFISE and 2 days at ABPAM doing sport as we usually do. On Monday, the team did sport with the children at CEFISE. We did the relay, jumping game and throwing and catching. Then Djelika, Daryl, Jana, Moussa and Yvette ran an awareness-raising practical session with the sixieme class (about 12 years old). We did blind running, goal ball, and the tube game.

Yvette preparing arts & crafts for ABPAM
On Tuesday, we also did sport with children at CEFISE. We did the relay, ball throw, tennis ball shuttle runs, and jumping. Then we did another awareness-raising practical with Djelika, Rachid, Will, Duncan and Jonas. For the practical we did blind running, goal ball, and the tube game. Jonas, Rachid, Will and Duncan went to Ross’s in the afternoon to prepare the arts and crafts for our art session at ABPAM on Thursday.

On Wednesday, we did the tennis ball shuttle runs, relay and ball throw, then all of the HSB-ISD team moved to BF1 TV studios on channel ‘Zenith Mag’ to raise awareness of the charity.

This week we haven’t managed to do sign language lessons, but we developed some new games for the sports activities instead.

On Thursday at ABPAM we did goal ball, zoomball and blind relay with the children. Afterwards we led the arts and crafts session with Ross. On Friday we went to ABPAM too and we did sport with the children.

I am happy because I find myself useful to the community, and the children are very happy when they do the activities.

- Yvette Voandonou

So at half-time it seems our team has bonded and settled in very well, what challenges will the next 5 weeks bring? Thanks for reading this week, remember you can follow our journey on Facebook and Twitter to see how we're getting on. Bilfou (Moore for 'later')! 

Twitter - @BF_Inclusive

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