December 2018, the Village Debout team meets in Burkina Faso. During this session, a new village applies to the program. It is Wolokoto, 20 km from Bobo-Dioulasso, in the bush.
Right away after arrival, we make a stop at the village, who is going to be passed on the knowledge and funds, from the previous village Toukoro. In a few minutes, a gathering is improvised. Their commitment is impressive. It is quite obvious it is going to be a strong project.
A few meters away from the meeting, right in the middle of the village, we explore the location of the chosen spot for the profitable activity they chose, which is a groceries shop. Note the little wall under the tree.
A few days after the meeting, the wall is destroyed, work has started, they are building a new house for the shop, before even getting the loan… that is resoluteness!
In the meantime, trying to keep up, we produce a logo, inspired from their drawings. The project takes shape, with its identity, its culture and the know-how of the community. Autonomy is a great source of dignity! Kourou Dia is the name they chose for their village-wide association. It means « altogether ».
Walls are raising, the shop sprouts off the ground.
In a few days, the work is done, the shop is ready!
Here are the standing masons, one of whom is a visitor from Switzerland. The shop needs furniture and stock, on its way… This is early January 2019, the project started only one month ago!
The first stock is actually made out of beers, in order to cover a grand ceremony, dedicated to their ancestors. 1400 bottles are bought, with a 2’000€ loan from friends of Village Debout who are following-up our Whatsap Group. The funds will entirely be reimbursed to our dear followers two weeks later.
The shop, with its blue wall, is submerged by the crowd. All the beverages are sold, profits are good enough to buy the first round of many articles which will be on sale in the shop. They started the second phase of the project -economic leverage- without any debt!. That is a first in Village Debout history!!!
The shop, viewed from inside, with its first stock spread on the shelves. Profits are coming. First talks are held about what the first public service will be.
In the meantime, Kourou Dia decided to provide the women with cheaper cereals which they use to prepare a local drink, the « Dolo ». The only condition is that in return, they commit a small sum to a common fund, which only women will manage, and will be dedicated only to women’s project, as long as it is local. It means local materials and production.