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Friday, February 14, 2014

Unexpected victory

Week 6 began well as we had finished all product descriptions in English meaning we could begin to move onto other projects (even if Jean and Esther continue with the French translations!)

On Monday Laura, Ben, Orla and Esther looked into starting the promotional video for Tigoung Nonma and became even more excited for this task after seeing previous volunteer’s videos. After a few hours spent sifting through videos on the TN computer, we had all become ‘directors’ of the Tigoung Nonma promotional blockbuster! Eventually we were able to pick out some useful film and have a better idea of what we wanted to do. We hope to start filming soon and especially look forward to visiting the TN artisans in the next week which is a prime opportunity to get material for the videos. We are also excited to finally meet the artisans and see them hard at work.

On Wednesday, a French lady who works for the International Committee of the Red Cross, contacted Tigoung Nonma about a disabled woman, Mariam, who she sees every day on her way to work. Mariam has severe physical disabilities and begs in the street with her niece. Hannah and Ben visited Mariam’s home with Zoénabou to ask for the opinion and permission of her husband. Mariam's husband has a serious visual impairment, which may have made him more willing to an offer of help. Unfortunately Mariam’s hands tremble constantly so it would be impractical for her to work as an artisan, but Zoénabou proposed another way for TN to help. She will draft up a plan and a budget for Mariam to set up a stall outside her home selling corner shop essentials to the neighbourhood, which the French lady is more than willing to finance. It was inspiring to see the work of Tigoung Nonma having a direct impact on the life of a person living with a disability. One less person begging on the streets of Ouaga is a small but valuable victory.

Later in the week some of the Tiggy team were able to show their support for national volunteer John as he was presenting his final masters presentation at his university. Ben and Hannah brought back the news that John had had success with his nerve racking presentation and had passed. He definitely looked a lot more relaxed when he got back to the shop than compared to the previous few days. Ben was also pleased to have gotten to see the university in Ouagadougou which he described as having new modern buildings and good courses. Laura was able to use this time to do some research into shops back in the UK who may be interested in stocking some of the artisans work. She was able to find a few potential businesses and is now looking to contacting them; hopefully we’ll have some updates on this in future blogs!

Ben has also had some luck in looking for publicity for TN as he plans to write a letter to Gill Harvey, who edits the Bradt travel guides he’s been reading. After doing much research into this he discovered that she travels around West Africa frequently and has invited her to visit Tiggy in his letter. Fingers are crossed in hope that she responds as this would be great both for publicity for TN and raising awareness of disability in Burkina Faso.

With half of the TN team off to Bobo for the weekend, Hannah on a gender training day in the IS office, and John and Esther entitled to a day of recuperation, having worked a previous weekend at SNAC, the team had the Friday off (although still an early start for those travelling to Bobo.)

We look forward to catching up with everyone at Tiggy on Monday and hearing about the trip to Bobo. Tune in next week to catch up on the trip as well.





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