profile and photos by Judy Gray
Hortense has worked as a field worker for APDC for the past year and a half. She recently completed the two year Government Health Care program at the local college and could work as a Health Care worker in one of the regional Centres de Santé but has chosen instead to work for APDC, providing in-service sessions to villagers on the topics of family planning, pre-natal and post-natal care for women, women’s rights as well as assisting with the food preparation demonstrations.
Hortense is 37 years old; is married and has four children ( one boy and three girls ) who range in age from 6 years to 16 years. All of her children attend school, which is a challenge as the cost of schooling is a deterrent for many. During the years 2000 – 2002, Hortense lived in Ouagadougou and worked in a Mission with a group of Catholic Sisters. There she learned about gardening, and cooking as well as learning how to sew. She now spends much of her time looking after her family, but also likes to read during any leisure time she may have.
During our visits to the project villages, we had a number of opportunities to watch Hortense interact with village men and women and it was clear that she has established a strong bond with the villagers and is well-respected by them. Hortense loves her job and enjoys working with the villagers. Her smile is warm, sincere and endearing! I feel that APDC is lucky to have Hortense as part of its team. It is thanks, in part, to World Neighbours Canada’s current Maternal Infant Child Health grant from the Canadian government, that APDC was able to hire an additional field worker, Hortense, to assist with implementing the programs.