Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So Far So Good

Week One

We began the week by brain storming ideas and trying to get a good understanding of the way the company is run, and what progress has been made since Tigoung Nonma was created in 2005. We had general introductions to the TN staff and had a short tour of the surrounding areas. The volunteers also got to know each other by introducing ourselves, our occupations, studies and how we ended up in Burkina. 

                                                                  Cohort 13 Brainstorming Ideas       

As our first day of work came to an end we were very optimistic about 10-week placement. We seen previous cohorts had achieved great things that have helped TN to move forward and grow as a business. Hopefully we can follow in their footsteps. 
On Tuesday, we drew up a goal specific plan for what we want to achieve whilst here in Burkina.   
We prioritised certain elements of the business like, marketing, training, awareness raising, fundraising and the catering service. After everyone contributed many different ideas, a discussion was headed by our team leader Melodie, and we quickly ruled some of the suggestions, like a music festival, because Burkina is currently entering its wet season. However, many other brilliant ideas were proposed and we have drawn up an official plan for what we can achieve whilst out here.  
On day three we had a visiter from the European Union, Thierry Barbe. He came to discuss business opportunities, for example, generating funds for a new premises. He also spent a while hearing out the TN leaders explain the difficulties which they face within such a challenging environment. We hope after a very successful meeting, Thierry will return to TN to help provide solutions to the issues which were discussed in the meeting.
Thursday was another brilliant day at TN. We spent the morning decorating the premises as were hosting US soldiers for lunch. 

TN provided the food through their catering service and us volunteers helped to serve the food and then clean up afterwards! After the volunteers and soldiers got to know each other the TN staff led us through to the shop where the soldiers fell in love with many of the Artisans products! This led to a very successful day for the business as we generated a great profit. Many thanks to the US soldiers for their support! 

Today marks the end of our first week working at Tigoung Nonma. Both British and national volunteers agree that it has a been a brilliant first week. We have all been assigned to a variety of tasks and can’t wait to get stuck in next week. 

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