Thursday, November 25, 2010

Abekro--Koffi Mathieu, 2010

Broguhe--Ble Ibo Appolinaire, 2010

Ble Ibo Appolinaire has a different look than the chief, who is quite the politician. From Ble, you get the feeling of exhaustion--how hard the country life really is. Lack of capital, lack of transportation, lack of electricity; all these weigh heavily on the cocoa farmer.

Broguhe--Chief Léon, 2010

Broguhe is located 30 km outside of Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire, on the road to Man. The village itself is reached after 6 km on a laterite road. The chief's name is Meguhe Sery Léon, and I have known him since 2005. Project Hope and Fairness has since then brought boots, machetes, sharpeners, a scale, plastic bags, a moisture meter, and last year we dug a well.

In this interview, Chief Léon shows that he has used all the tools in ways that have benefited his village. For example, the moisture meter allows farmers in his village to store the cocoa and sell it at a higher price, determined from listening to the radio.

This interview shows that the "Santa Claus critics", those who critique charity, are not always right. Gifts can do good; it is the nature of the gift that determines its efficacity. If you just plunk stuff in the village and drive off, yes, you are behaving like Santa Claus. If, however, you spend time discussing the use of the new tools and asking about what works best, then you are not behaving like Santa Claus.

One last observation. Chief Leon is a real politician: always upbeat. Contrast this interview with that of Ble Ibo Appolinaire, who expresses quite eloquently I think his exhaustion and his frustration.

Broguhe--Hortense Gogua, 2010

Hortense is Chief Léon's fourth wife. She has established a small sewing room, where she teaches young women how to make clothes for themselves and for sale at the market. However, because there is no light (and yet there is an electric pole nearby), Hortense can only teach during the day. Also, she has only a single, treadle-powered machine, and young and older women are forced to travel to Daloa, which is 30 Km away because it is always in use.

Listen to Hortense explain her situation in her own words....

Broguhe--the New Well, 2009

We dug this well, our first one, in 2009. In general, villages have either wells or boreholes. A well is hand-dug, and a borehole is drilled. The well costs about $2500 from start to finish. The borehole costs about $18,000.

Broguhe--the Old Well, 2009

In 2009, Project Hope and Fairness dug its first well in the village of Broguhe. It should be emphasized that there is a difference between a well and a borehole. A well costs about $2500 to dig and to line but a borehole usually costs around $18,000. The advantage of a well is it's low-tech. People have been digging straight down for thousands of years. Boreholes require machinery costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In this video, one of the chief's four wives is showing how to get water and how to carry it back to the village. This is done by women every morning and every evening. Children help by getting the water, but usually the women have to carry it.

Depa--Maturin, 2009

Maturin speaks very eloquently about how the scale and the dryness meter, both donated to Depa in 2006 and 2007, respectively, have changed his life.