We have learned that there was a deadly attack in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, today in which eight gunmen and eight security were killed and over 80 people injured, including civilians. The attacks were aimed at the French Embassy and the military HQ.
Reports suggest that this was a terrorist attack aimed at retaliating against France’s increased effort to combat terrorism in the regions. Another reports suggests it might have been carried out by disgruntled members of the military.
We are waiting to hear from our partners at APDC to ensure they, and their families have not been affected. We will also have to wait and see if this will affect Charles Tankoano’s trip to BC in a couple weeks.
Right now there is too much uncertainty but if you would like more details check out the following articles (Ouest-France is in French).
We would like to introduce Mme. Lydia TAPSOBA who is currently supporting our partner NGO, in Burkina Faso (APDC) with Gender and Gender Equality activities. Lydia is a sociologist and holds a professional degree in Social Statistics and a Master’s degree in project management. She has over 15 years of experience in community development, communication for behavioral change and gender mainstreaming in development programs. Lydia has worked with the following NGOs: Medicus Mundi, World Neighbors Oklahoma, Save the Children, and the Catholic Relief Services in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo.
Recently, Lydia was hired by APDC as a Gender Equity consultant. As part of the current grant from Global Affairs Canada, greater emphasis is being placed on gender and gender equality and although this has long been part of APDC’s activities, they sought to add to their knowledge of topics in this domain. Lydia supported the development of the APDC Gender Action Plan, the training of 4 APDC field workers on gender and food and nutrition security, and rural entrepreneurship. She is also in charge of monitoring the implementation of the gender action plan. She has also trained 72 women leaders from the project villages on gender and gender-based violence.
Lydia is currently Gender and Nutrition Specialist for the Sahel Resilience to Food and Nutrition Insecurity Program. She is vice-chair of the board of directors of Mwangaza Action, an international NGO specializing in social mobilization issues.
Lydia is married and has a 3 year old daughter. Judy Gray had the pleasure of meeting Lydia last February while in Burkina Faso and hopes to spend a short while with her again this year, in the project area, during an upcoming mission to Fada.
This is what we know about what is happening in Honduras so far:
On November 26, 2017 Honduras held national elections and the region is still in a state of political tension. The Organization of American States has called for a re-election, and opposition parties are citing election fraud, but the Honduran election commission has declared the re-election of Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández.
The resulting protests and violence resulted in at least 31 people dead.
The US State Department has recognized the re-election of Mr. Hernandez despite opposition from US politicians. Canada has not officially endorsed or condemned the elections.
Protests are continuing, and state police are visible in all major centers and along roads, making it difficult to move around the country.
Our partners at Vecinos Honduras are safe and, unfortunately, used to political unrest.
Below are more in-depth articles which get into the history of the region, the accusations and some of the politics.
A great article from the Independent written before the election giving background into the political situation in Honduras
By Gabriel Newman based on information from Suresh Shrestha
In the small villages of Nepal almost all women, except for the few who have private baths or toilets at their house, must bath outside openly at the public tap or traditional sources, such as rivers, wearing their clothes (just opening the area up to the bra). Obviously, this is not ideal from a hygienic perspective or from the perspective of personal freedom and privacy.
Where there are outside toilets/baths with enough space, women may be able to bath their entire body, but this practice is very rare. Whereas, women who have private bath/toilet at their homes, especially in town with concrete houses, can remove all outer clothes before bathing.
World Neighbours is currently working with TTS to build toilets in Ramechhap but the current design is small and cannot be adapted at this stage of the project to include bathing space. When the design was chosen the issue of women’s bathing was unknown to us and had not been factored in with most projects in the region.
We will however, look at adapting the design for future projects as we think this is an important issue. This would also require incentives to convince villagers to adapt to the idea of a bathing and toilet room.
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Please consider making a donation to World Neighbours Canada in someone’s name.
Your family member or friend will receive a beautiful handmade card with a photo from one of our programs, and a needy community will benefit from your generosity. Our cards are made individually by our volunteers, so if you would like photos from a particular country that we work in, just let us know!
And remember, the entire amount of your donation will go directly to support one of our programs in Nepal, Burkina Faso, or Honduras.
To arrange this, visit our donation page by clicking here. You can choose to make a one-time or recurring donation of any amount, and enter information about who you would like us to send the card to.
by Libby Denbigh, with information from Suresh Shrestha
“The best-laid plans, or, what comes first, the toilet or the house?”
In Nepal, for example, the government has decided to push ahead with a plan to ensure that every village household is equipped with a toilet. The goal is to do away with the centuries-old practice of open defecation in the rural areas. To Western minds, this seems a worthy ambition. But to some Nepali families, those who have lost their houses in the earthquake of 2015, this edict can seem nothing short of ridiculous. Since the quake, many people are still waiting to qualify for government assistance to rebuild their homes. Why, they ask, while camping atop a pile of rubbish that used to be their cozy cottage, why should we build a latrine when what we really need to be doing is putting a roof over our heads?
For Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti, or TSS, our partner NGO in Nepal, and by extension, for World Neighbours Canada, this poses a dilemma. Because of our mandate, our funds from Canadian donations have been earmarked to build toilets in some of these same villages. But there can be resistance from villagers who see this as just a way of putting the proverbial “cart before the
horse”. For some of them, the only way they can see to hold the government accountable for their lack of housing is to say “no” to the construction of toilets. No house, no toilet.
Understandably, TSS is reluctant to be caught in the middle of such a dispute. Luckily most villages which are working with TSS do understand the difference and are still willing to go ahead and install latrines with donations from World Neighbours Canada.
As the youngest member on the WNC Board of Directors, I had the unique opportunity to explore the historical roots of our community partnership in Ramechhap, Nepal during a short visit to the country in early January 2017.
This year, we are celebrating 28 years of partnership with Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti (TSS is our partner organization in Nepal). TSS was established in 1984 by the late Mr. Jagadish Ghimire and Mrs. Durga Ghimire. Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of reflecting back on the early days of the organization through stories that were shared by individuals who have been part of the movement since the 1980s, such as Suresh Shrestha (current program coordinator) and Dr. Suman Karmacharya (current physician at TSS hospital). I remember sitting in the TSS courtyard and following the descriptive narrative of what the buildings and facilities looked like 10, 15, and 20 years ago. Often, I have had the honour of hearing about the Ghimire family, the family’s vision and commitment that inspired the creation of TSS and how their roots in social justice created a community-based foundation for everyone to build from.
This visit, I had the honour of meeting with Mrs. Durga Ghimire and her son, Himal Ghimire. It was truly a unique experience to learn about their journey with social justice, literature, and advocacy in regards to Ramechhap and also at the national level. Mrs. Ghimire is a renowned activist for women’s rights, safe migration and human trafficking. She founded Agroforestry, Basic health and Cooperative Nepal (ABC Nepal), which is an organization that is grounded in advocating for the rights of women and dismantling human trafficking practices. Further, the late Mr. Jagadish Ghimire is remembered by the nation for his great contributions to Nepal’s literature, his lifelong commitment to activism and grassroots planning, and his political contributions. On this occasion, we sat, reflecting back on TSS, sharing a meal together, and fostering a relationship that started 28 years ago by folks at World Neighbours Canada, some who we are still honoured to have on our Board, and others whom we miss dearly.
by Russell Work and Dale Dodge, posted by Judy Gray
It was a Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas for all concerned. The Oliver Rotary Club was pleased to be able to make a second donation to World Neighbours Canada in the amount of $4000 for their projects in Nepal. President Jennifer Roussel and International Director, Russell Work were on hand to present the cheque to Director, Dale Dodge.
As Dale Dodge, director with WNC stated: “The money is very welcome and will be put towards the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) Maternal-Child Health project presently under way in Nepal. WNC and their partner Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti (TSS) are working with villagers in Nepal to install 21 gravity fed water systems and 4200 sealed, hygienic toilets in the next 4 years. The project is now into its second year and, despite a huge earthquake in Nepal two years ago, things are moving along well.”
posted by Judy Gray, with quotes from our partners – Vecinos Honduras and APDC
Our partner organizations, Vecinos Honduras and APDC from Burkina Faso have recently sent well-wishes for a prosperous new year and expressed thanks for the support they have received from World Neighbours Canada and Global Affairs Canada. The directors of World Neighbours Canada pass on those wishes and gratitude to all our supporters. We are hoping for peaceful conditions throughout the coming year in all the areas where we are working with people to alleviate poverty. Here are the messages from our partners.
¡Que las fiestas de navidad sean propicias para fortalecer nuestro compromiso por un mundo mejor e iniciar el 2017 con renovadas energías y esperanzas!
~ miembros directivos, personal técnico y administrativo de Vecinos Honduras
“Nous adressons des voeux de santé, de progrès, de paix et de succès à WNCanada et au Gouvernement Canadien à travers votre Institution. Toute notre vive gratitude à l’égard de vos multiples efforts pour nous soutenir, s’exprime également à travers ces voeux.”
~ Charles Tankoano et toute l’équipe de APDC, ainsi que les communautés de Fada
posted by Judy Gray, with information from Libby Denbigh
My name is Libby, short for Elizabeth, but nobody calls me that except the bank. My late husband, David Denbigh, was a member of the board of World Neighbours for several years. He passed away suddenly last December and I am honoured to be asked to take his place on the board. I don’t expect to be able to fill his shoes, (they were size eleven, after all) but I will do what I can to help this really important organization. I have seen first hand what money from WNC has accomplished in Nepal as I have been there twice. Our initial interest was spurred by our younger daughter’s death in 2006. Her last wish was that we should find an NGO that worked with the villagers of Nepal. We chose World Neighbours because all of the board are unpaid volunteers. All the money donated goes to fund new water systems in the rural area of Ramechhap in Nepal, or to projects in Honduras and Burkina Faso. We have been supporters ever since. I am a retired primary teacher. I have three children and four grandchildren and I enjoy camping with them in the summer and skiing in the winter. Originally a farm girl from Manitoba, I have lived and worked in Kamloops since 1970. I look forward to serving on the board of WNC for as long as I can be of assistance.