Within the family formed by all the children in the AMPO orphanages, the younger children are supported by the older ones. Each hut elects a leader to liaise with the educators if there are any problems or complaints, which makes living together that bit easier. Then all of the children elect a committee with a mandate of one year. This process usually takes place after the new intake of children. Every child is entitled to vote and any child may be elected.
It goes without saying that the election process is conducted without external influence! Everything is organised from beginning to end by the children themselves. The election is free and democratic. This is a way for them to learn to take on responsibility and chose those leaders who can meet their expectations.
In October we continued with the meetings with the girls’ families to discuss their care. It is important for the staff at the Centre to know about the girls‘ behaviour when they are staying with their families. AMPO has agreed on coordinated activities for care improvement at MIA/ALMA.
Every month P.P.FILLES offers help to women living under difficult circumstances. 140 women were given financial support in October. Most recipients had to cover several kilometers on foot to receive this form of aid. Many of them are widows. There are also many displaced persons forced to flee their villages to escape terrorist attacks.
The TONDTENGA ecological agricultural farm has been working hard to expand its sources of income and one way to do this was to introduce a system for the ecological production of lemon grass, moringa and baobab powder. The addition of a 4kVA electric grinder will enable us to mill moringa and baobab leaves under hygienic conditions. The processed powder will then be sold in bio-degradable packaging. This provides TONDTENGA with another source of income and a way of exploiting new skills.
TONDTENGA currently accommodates around 60 young women and men who are training to work in agriculture and animal farming. Their curriculum also includes environmental topics and vegetable farming. The main objective is to offer these young people a solid training to enable them to become independent in agriculture and animal farming. The current intake consists of displaced persons who have fled their villages because of terrorist attacks. This training scheme offers stability to those young people whose studies were interrupted and who then found themselves unemployed living in refugee camps. Once they are in employment there is less risk of them joining a terrorist group.
Training Balkisaa Bande
My name is Balkisaa Bande and I was chosen by the Vétérinaires sans frontières Belgique NGO to be trained at TONDTENGA in the processing of milk and related products. In spite of the security situation in the Bouroum region, VSF spared no effort to visit the region and select me. My training went well and I was able to acquire various skills necessary for the job. I now have the technical and operative skills to process yoghurt, gapal, dèguè and cheese.
Although I am pleased to have learned a trade, I am still sad because I can no longer return to the village I left two months ago. During my stay at TONDTENGA my village was attacked by terrorists and my family was forced to abandon their farm because it was located close to the Bouroum gold mine. During the attack my father’s brother was killed. He worked as a superviser at the mine. Our family had to leave Bouroum and flee to Dori. I now have to follow my family into an unknown future.
In spite of it all I would like to thank the VSF NGO and AMPO TONDTENGA for the benefit of my training.
Fanta is a 20-year-old student. She has lost both parents and she came to the Clinic for treatment at the beginning of October. She had received a cost estimate of 300,000 CFA (€458) for an osteosynthesis set for the lower extremity of the right knee. She had suffered a fracture as a result of a traffic accident in January 2022. She had mobility problems making it difficult for her to go to school.
She was referred to AMPO to apply for financial assistance to enable her to undergo the operation, since she herself did not have the means.
The surgical intervention was successfully performed at the SANGOULE LAMIZANA military medical centre. The AMPO Clinic bore the costs for the examination, operation and her stay in hospital.
Fanta is very grateful to AMPO for this unexpected assistance which has resored the use of her foot and makes it possible for her to go back to school. But AMPO alone cannot claim the credit. It is only thanks to our partners that we are able to help in such situations.