The Yoann Foundation: helping disabled women and children
This project supports women in need, particularly mothers of disabled children, or women who are, themselves, disabled. Numbers are currently 20
women and 20 children.
Help is given in a variety of ways: either direct
financial help, food aid or help to start up a small business. The women gather regularly, with their children, at the Franciscan Friary in Ouagadougou
where they are given the opportunity to meet with and talk to the team of volunteers who are administering this fund. Part of the remit of this fund is to ensure
that all women and children are given the opportunity to meet socially over a meal in order for them to get to know each other, and therefore to help and support each other. Women who are disabled or who have disabled children very
quickly become isolated from the rest of society. Therefore, bringing them together regularly, both in order to receive their aid and also to share in a big meal socially, has been a fantastic way of helping them to feel part of a loving family, accepted and understood, supported and loved.
The annual cost of this project is £10,000.
Protecting and educating young women and girls
About a two-hour drive to the east of Ouagadougou is the Catholic Diocese of Koupéla where we currently have four projects: 1) a refuge providing protection to up to 30 young women, 2) putting girls through primary school, 3) putting girls through secondary school and, finally, helping
a little nursery school.
The refuge (above): Young women, particularly from the more isolated villages, are very much at risk from being forced into a marriage too young, often to men much older than themselves. Les Amis funds a refuge to which young women can turn if they feel they have no option but to run away from home. At this refuge they are housed, fed, educated and trained in skills of beer-making, weaving, embroidery,
soap-making, raising livestock and growing crops to enable them to make a living for themselves. One or two of the girls are very young - too young to learn a trade. We are therefore putting them through school. The annual cost of this project is £5,000.
Primary school: the 20 girls we are putting through primary school are children
whose parents cannot afford to pay the fees. The cost for putting just one girl
through primary school for a year is just £50. This covers not only the fees but also
the cost of absolutely everything they need such as equipment, uniform (where there
is one) and food. The annual cost of this is £1,000.
Secondary school girls (above): we are paying all the costs for 10 secondary school girls, all of whom have been orphaned of either one or both parents and who are being looked after at the St Monique Home. Since this project began some of the girls have gone on to university, the costs of which we are also picking up in the hope that the support we have given and continue to give will result in the girls achieving their very best potential. The annual cost is £2,000.
Added to this are the funds we now make available to those ex-St Monique girls who wish to access further vocational training.
We love to help, when we can, the delightful but very run-down little nursery school (left). After an inspection they were told they needed
to build a toilet for the children as there are no toilets at the moment. They’d
also like to have some round tables in the classrooms and to have the swings in the playground repaired.
Seamstresses (left): at the St Joseph's Training Centre in Fada N'Gourma, to the east of the country, we are funding the training of eight girls in the skill of dress-making. This is one of the best ways of giving a girl a trade due to the vast majority of dresses and other local outfits being made to measure. There are no off-the-peg shops as there are in Europe: clothes have to be made from scratch. The annual cost of this project is £2,000.
Also in Fada we financed a new building for a small primary school (right). Their previous accommodation comprised six classrooms, four toilets
and a kitchen. We were happy to assist them with a new building which now provides them with a meeting room, a library, an administrative office and ICT room. We then provided the funds for the construction of seven shops along the perimeter wall of the school. These shops are now fully leased out and will provide a regular income.