For dignity, they stand up!

The Ouolokoto village gathered on the 27th of February, and its people stood on the future walls of the College…
Their mobilization is total. they demand to be allowed to start building, and make bricks, although the funds are not ready yet!
The sand was delivered, paid for with their own money, recently collected among themselves, to go ahead, and keep their dignity! Sand is right in front of the future walls, already up, thanks to the people!
Students’ parents are waiting for us. Pressure is high to get the college done quickly. No more choice for us, funds have to be raised, no matter what, tata!

The future high school for Ouolokoto

An application for a grant was recently submitted to the « 1% Fund for development » in Geneva. VD doesn’t have this kind of means yet.. But we do have other talents: We just got a heavy support from the Mayor of Bobo 7, which is going to make quite a difference in getting things done!

Population is impatient! the elders recetnly met, following a fund raiser among the futur student’s parents. they demand to start the works already, well ahead of the actual construction, which doesn’t even have an agenda yet. But it is a matter of dignity they say… So off they go, and start making bricks, under the scrutiny of the foreman of course. They are indeed unstoppable. their mobilization is overwhelming, since the very first day. it is a real challenge, and VD is up for it!

Illuminating end of session Bobo-2019!

This morning, Kouroudians keep accelerating, and organized a visit on the land one the villagers gave the association to build the school. Immense! Unbelievable mobilisation!

All mobilised for the college to come!
Short visit to obtain the Oulokoto’s elders blessing to build the college.
Then cherry on the cake, the last paper required to apply for naturalization came in this morning, last day of this memorable session 2019. Big day!, Allelujah! The application is in the system, crossing my fingers! My identity, my dignity!

Session 2019

Village Debout family is complete yet again, for the next two months, in Bobo-Dioulasso Burkina Faso. Intense period, full of encounters, activities, new projects, and many surprises, most of them good,and then some..

Kouroudia’s welcome committee came to greet us, the next day of our arrival

The next day, we inaugurate our brand new bar, « Chez Mabel », place where we can talk about our projects, which is also a restaurant and a bar. It is the informal head-quarters of Village Debout.

Today’s surprise is the arrival of the VD team on a 1956 Massey Ferguson tractor that still perform admirably. It will be let to local farmers for a lesser price, to support their activities.

During the inauguration party, many blessings are offered
Some days later, we are going to Dafra, very important spiritual place near Bobo.
The sacred fish of Dafra

Some days later, we are going to « Chez Mabel » to deliver two fridges, in order to offer the coldest beer around and attract more customers. All profits are used to finance villages loans… This is a great incentive for everyone: a common goal that make sense… Implementing autonomy!

The VD bar is 100% operational!
The firs fresh drinks!, under the winter temperature of 37 degres C…
Annual meeting with the Kouroudia association, uniting the Ouolokoto village. The shop is working fine, and substantial profits are made. The way to finance future public services is clear!
A great event, with the full VD team gathered for this blessed day of the first general assembly of VD, set to create formally our association in Burkina Faso. Awesome!
Started 10 days ago, a crowdfunding was launched to finance a bike that can go everywhere.. very important to reach our village partners, accessible with onlychallenging dirt tracks. A million thanks to all those who contributed. OUr local treasures will be soon be shipped over to each of you! This was our first request for donation, since all our funds have been invested in village profitable activities loans.
In our farm, to harvest red and white sorgho, gathered and brought up the hangar for drying.
Then a meal all together after the effort
This session is reaching its end, last orders are made. Our head taylor is hurrying to finish a last minute order, beach bags and a few taylored clothes. (you get to choose your own fabric and shape… for a very good quality and cheap price…)
Wild honey, shea butter from our first village partner « Toukoro », which association is Bendia, hence the product line name.
And our famous, with no equal, cashew nuts
A beach bag, talyor made
A professional djembe, made by a luthier who provides the best musicians in Burkina
In the last days, a meetings is organized with the Kouroudia association. It seems the construction of a college is on the table!

Indeed, a hundred teenaged students must go to a college in Bobo-Dioulasso, 20 km away, with no possibility to come back home at night, only the weekends. Food and sleep are not granted, far from it, and it jeopardizes their studies. The fees are outrageously expensive for their parents, hence the conversation between Kouroudia and VD. Whenever the building comes to existence, then the government will take over and pay for all the required positions, teachers and staff alike. We are working on an application to obtain a donation from the « 1% fund for development ». VD doesn’t have this kind of means yet!

The inhabitants and their teenagers have already started to make bricks for the buildings, and a land is being identified. As usual, « Kouroudians » are ahead of everything!

No to be left behind, VD submitted the file to the « 1% fund for development » the very next day in order to co-finance the project. (App. one third will be provided by VD)

We are ready and determined. Our bond is vivid, and holds many promises.

What an immense gratitude, shared among all of us. It’s a kind of magic.

On our shared land around the bar, we are planting cashew trees together in order to produce our own cashew nuts, which you guys love so much. PIP!

Kouroud Dia keeps charging!

Kourou Dia staff at work the 19th June 2019

Since Village Debout recently created this new plateform, they made a real size version of our new logo on the front wall of their shop.
Thanks guys! Awesome!

Village Debout at Wolokoto, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina 2018-19

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.

Informal meeting at Wolokoto

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.

After a very successful meet with Kassibaga association in septembre 2018 in Geneva, VD managed to deliver 15m3 of equipment for disabled persons, from Geneva to Bobo Burkina Faso, on time! The beginning of a very shiny partnership! Here the President of Kassibaga- Burkina at the pick-up, cheering!
A few weeks later, Kassibaga representatives (on the left) and VD’s are celebrating our partnership on the ceremony day when the equipement is handed over to the beneficiaries. A very happy day indeed!
Some of the delivered equipment, the wheel chairs, long awaited by the members.