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Monday, March 2, 2015

Striving for Perfection


This week's blog has been written by Moussa and Will about the week's activities as well as a discussion of the phenomenon of globalisation and its impact on our work at HSB/ISD.

Daryl struggling with the
internet in the HSB office
          As usual, the working week began early as blurry-eyed we arrived for 7am at CEFISE only to find it was a teacher-training week, and therefore there would be no inclusive sport all week (ABPAM was also closed).  Ruing the missed minutes in bed we would never reclaim, we returned to the office. First of all, as a team we filled in our Mid-Term Report which is designed to measure the progress of the objectives laid out at the start of the program in the Team Planning Tool. We discovered although we had accomplished  many of our aims, or were well on the way to completing them before the end of the placement, there remained many which we had been unable to even start such as setting up youth sport teams at HSB. This can feel frustrating but I guess this is reflective of the often slow pace of change in development. Having said that, there is an old saying that goes 'Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence'. As a team we wanted to set ourselves ambitious targets so that they would inspire us to achieve more than if we had set modest goals. Furthermore, it’s often the small tasks which can be as, if not more important than larger showpiece events. For example, although our events at Pabre and Tampouy are incredibly effective in promoting disability rights in Burkina, tasks such as compiling an inventory of our equipment or producing informative documents for the next cohort are important for allowing the showpiece events to happen.

Jana and Moussa taking a break from arts &
crafts to play with the kittens
     On Tuesday morning we were once again at CEFISE, not for inclusive sport, but to run an awareness-raising session for the students of 5ieme 2 (about Year 8 age in English school terms). We felt it was probably the best awareness session we had run to date probably because of an increased confidence on the part of the volunteers and also an engaged class that provided insightful answers and questions. The rest of the morning was spent maintaining our social media presence by uploading some brilliant photos and videos from last week's events at Pabre and Tampouy as well as planning for a community awareness event to be held in the village of Réo at the weekend. Réo is about a two hour drive from Ouaga and therefore the event is a fantastic example of how we're trying to extend our activities outside of the capital. The event will be similar in organization and structure to last week's community awareness event at Tampouy; music and refreshments as well as inclusive and disability sports for people to try out. In addition, we are taking several Handicap Solidaire Burkina athletes to run interactive Q&A sessions about disability and more specifically disability sport. Because of the distance involved the event is costly but we are confident it will be as successful as Tampouy. After lunch, part of the team went to Ross' house where they paper-maiched the animals that the children made at ABPAM last week out of plastic bottles, cups and sellotape. The plan is that at the next APBAM art session the children will cover the animals in brightly coloured fabrics.

      On Wednesday morning Moussa and Jana went to HSB wheelchair tennis training but due to moto problems the training had to be cancelled. However as true sports enthusiasts Moussa and Jana ran laps of the tennis court! Moreover, some of the team (Rachid, Duncan, Jonas and Will) visited two local lycées, Lycée Marien N'goubai and Lycée Bambata, to organise holding awareness-raising sessions with the students. After lunch, we had our weekly group discussion and the topic this time was globalisation and interdependence, which we will reflect upon in the last paragraph. On Thursday we revisited Lycee Marien N'goubai to finalise arrangements for the awareness sessions, which were due to start the next day. In the afternoon, the national volunteers delivered a French lesson and the British volunteers an English lesson to continue developing the team's language and communication skills.      

Jana leading a goalball match at our community event in Reo 
        The office was somewhat quieter on Friday as half the team had the day off to compensate for working the event at Réo on the Sunday (the rest of the team have the following Monday off). Regardless of the lack of bodies, it was still an action-packed day as we had two consecutive awareness sessions at Lycée Mariam N'goubai with the 5ieme 3 and 4ieme 1 classes. Both sessions were received well and as a team we are proud that now we have run awareness sessions at two different schools, with a third school on the horizon. Furthermore, during our cohort we secured a permit authorizing us to work in any public schools in Ouagadogou so hopefully future cohorts will be able to expand the number of different schools we work at further.   

         As mentioned earlier, the theme of our group discussion was globalisation and interdependence. In this last paragraph we want to explore the relationship between our ISD project and the phenomenon of globalisation. In the group discussion Jonas defined globalisation as the harmonising of different cultures across the world, and in many respects our project at HSB-ISD, and indeed the whole ICS programme, is both a cause and a result of this harmonising process. The ICS programme is a result of globalisation as it has allowed better contact to be established between the UK and countries such as Burkina Faso, and facilitated increased contact between different charites and development agencies across the world. Globalisation permits British and Burkinabe volunteers from different cultures to work together to promote disability rights through inclusive sports here at HSB/ISD. Another benefit of globalisation is that it allows us to contact British and other global companies and organisations to provide resources i.e. equipment and inclusive sports handbooks that we can use here in Burkina. Finally, the rise of global social media allows our team to access a greater number of people more easily, and disseminate important socio-economic and cultural ideas about disability rights. Thus in summary, although globalisation undoubtedly produces some negative effects, if harnessed in the proper manner it can be a force for good in all countries. 

That's all for this week, we hope you found it interesting and thank you for taking the time to read our blog. If you would like to follow our work you can find more information on our social media pages listed below.



Facebook: Burkina Faso Inclusive Sport

Twitter: @BF_Inclusive     


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