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Monthly diary

Informative talks in Ouagadougou

Our awareness team was on the road again last month. The women who come to P.P. Filles regularly had a great deal to discuss with our colleagues once more. The team also visited the outskirts of Ouagadougou to talk to the women there. One topic in particular gave rise to a lively discussion – marital problems. Emotions ran high and the women were able to exchange views, which was very positive for all concerned. Of course our colleagues work together with the women to try to find solutions to deal with these problems.

Especially those women in the suburbs normally live in quite small houses and so the talks usually take place in the open air, under a tree, or maybe in the yard outside the family home of the group leader.

As we’ve said before – we always find a solution for everything at AMPO!

Final exams for AMPO boys

Final exams take place every year in June and July in schools in Burkina Faso. This year however preparations did not go according to plan. The Government announced an education reform whereby the organisation of A-level exams comes under the remit of the Ministry of Education. Reports about dispensing with resits and introducing additional exams for university entrance were met with indignation among students in Burkina Faso. This led to mounting protests and damage to school buildings, including break-ins in teachers‘ offices.

In spite of this, the final exams for boys were able to be held on time. We are very proud that 8 out of 12 boys passed their exams. Those who sadly didn’t make it should really try again next year with the full support of AMPO and all their teachers.

This is the story of Fatimata

Fatimata was full of hope when she and Ibrahim got to know each other one day. At the age of 23 she was rejected by her family and had been living on her own since then. This is not unusual among many women in Burkina Faso, and they all have one thing in common – they are HIV-positive. Despite her fears that Ibrahim would also reject her because of her condition, she decided to tell him. He was HIV-negative, she HIV-positive. Nevertheless they still wanted to have a family. Soon the couple were expecting their first child, but Fatimata as before was very afraid. Neither she nor Ibrahim had any earnings. How were  they to afford food, clothing and a roof over their heads?

After the birth Fatimata was kept under observation in hospital. The hospital staff realised immediately that Fatimata and her newborn baby needed help and the referred her to AMPO. The AMPO Clinic staff took over straight away and provided her with milk, medicine and food. However Fatimata was still faced with the daily struggle of supporting her family.

Despite the difficult situation the family was doing well – until Fatimata became pregnant again. All the efforts in terms of birth control were in vain, much to Ibrahim’s frustration. On top of that was the HIV-status which marginalised the family. Ibrahim beat Fatimata, insulted her and subjected her to psychological violence. For her it was constant torture.

During these harsh times she displayed enormous strength and nine months later she gave birth to her second child. A few days after the birth Fatimata died.

Ibrahim, now a widower with two small children, came to AMPO asking for help. Our motto is “Managré nooma – the good is never lost“ and so we did everything we could for Ibrahim and his children. He was deeply moved and thanked AMPO and its donors for their tremendous help, in spite of the terrible things he had done.

Childcare at MIA/ALMA

There are about fifty young women and girls living at the MIA/ALMA refuge, some with infants and newborn babies. During their stay they participate in training projects, learning for example to become a seamstress, hairdresser, gardener or cook. This means that when they leave the women’s shelter they are able to find work to earn money and start to become independent. It is scarcely possible to concentrate and focus on training if you are looking after infants and for that reason we have our own kindergarden. The young mothers take it in turn to look after the children along with an experienced carer. This ensures that the children are never short of love and attention and the young women and girls can devote themselves entirely to their training.

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