Monday, October 27, 2008

'Mission report'

Wednesday, October 22nd 2008 (day 1 of 2)

Participants: Amadou Valian, Rie Mahira, Kathrin Hubner, Alix Pahaut, Moumouni Dialo

1. Sampelga

-1 building in concrete with 2 classrooms and a small office turned into the warehouse, 1 building in mud brick with straw roof with 2 classrooms, latrines (i.e. toilets) in concrete, roofless mud brick kitchen
-291 students (123 girls, 168 boys), all benefiting from school meals
-received for the first trimester: 2850 kg cereal, 700 kg beans, 359 l oil
-the warehouse where the food is stocked is not very clean, especially because of spiders and bats; recommended to clean better
-the food stocked is piled directly on the floor rather than on wooden pallets and the piles lean on the walls- they should put them on wooden pallets and off the walls so the goods can ‘breathe’, as well as to make them less accessible to insects
-‘if the kids come to school in the morning and see there will be no meal, they leave at lunch break and don’t come back in the afternoon’

2. Waboti 2

-1 building in concrete with 3 classrooms and a warehouse room, latrines (i.e. toilets) in concrete, mud brick kitchen
-105 students awaited, but only 6o have attended so far (the official start date for school was October 1st)
-received for the first trimester: 1050 kg cereal, 250 kg beans, 124 l oil
-the school hasn’t started giving out meals, they are waiting for the rest of the students; we ask them to start giving out meals anyway
-warehouse is well maintained, although they don’t have real wooden pallets to put the goods on they made some with bricks; there are WFP posters on the wall explaining how to measure the rations for each meal

3. Aligaga 1

-4 mud brick walls and a straw roof in construction, 1 little mud brick hut as warehouse
-82 students (55 boys, 27 girls) are signed up
-received 1200 kg cereal, 300 kg beans, 152 l oil
-classes have not started yet because the classroom is not built yet; this school is only one year old, and last year the classroom was made out of thatch straw walls and roof, which were was eaten by the goats during summer; the villagers promise us that they will finish the classroom this week and that classes can start next week
-the goods, even though stocked in a tiny little hut, are on wooden pallets and not piled against the wall


General comments:

-All schools reported having a functional parent’s association, as well as a ‘monitoring committee’ for the goods

-Five out of six schools reported serious problems in collecting financial contributions from the parents. The goods are of course free (provided by WFP), and since this year school attendance and materials are also completely free (provided by the government). However parents are asked to make a 1000 francs (1.52 Euros) contribution per child per year to pay the cooks, buy the pots to make the meals, etc. (basically to run the kitchen).

-Parents can be very reluctant to pay this. One teacher tells us, ‘of course they are poor, and some don’t understand what their money is used for, but it’s also a question of priority- they are reluctant to sell a chicken in order to pay for a whole year, but when it’s their child’s baptism, which is an important social event, they’ll sell an entire cow!’

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