Pamela's Blog

What happened when Pamela visited Bethel School and Burkina Faso - yes, love at first sight!

  "    I have read of travellers claiming to have fallen in love with a country at first sight. I had been rather sceptical, but now I understand.

I fell in love with Burkina Faso. I was there for only a few days, but knew immediately I would desire to return.

I visited Bethel school in Gourcy in February of this year, and met some of the teachers and pupils at the school. I was so impressed with the children's desire to learn. (I know this is a generalization, but they really were keen to acquire knowledge) When speaking to them of the food programme, which provides a lunchtime meal for those who are in the most need, their first comments were not "It's good to get food", but "as I don't have to travel to home and back at lunchtime, I have more time to study".  Another response was iIf I eat at school there is more food to go round at home".  The sense of community is very strong.

Apart from the classrooms, we visited the sewing project, where both boys and girls are learning how to make clothes. [such an important requirement] and the gardening project where students are learning the techniques of growing produce, however, irrigation is a problem as water has to be drawn from the well and then piped to water containers in the vegetable plot. The food grown is used for the lunchtime meals and, if in the future there was any excess, will be sold in the village.

The children travel to school on foot, or cycle, often in bare feet. The weather gets so hot that often bicycle tyres burst in the heat, something that had not occurred to me.

We were fortunate to be able to visit some local villages and meet some of the parents of the pupils at Bethel school. I met the mother of Naomie, who I now sponsor. It is really wonderful to feel a direct connection to the child I am sponsoring, to picture her at home and at school. I hope that the little I can do will help Naomie to get her foot on the road, so she can then stride forward towards the fulfilment of her hopes and dreams. "