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.

Depa--Sylvain Gbogbo, 2009

Depa is close to Zereguhe, on the road from Issia to Gagnoa. Project Hope and Fairness has been visiting Depa since 2004.

Djahakro--Colette, 2009

Cocoa farming is usually but not always the purview of men. Colette farms other products. Nevertheless, the scale donated by Project Hope and Fairness in 2009 is a great help.

Djahakro--Francois, 2009

This interview was conducted in 2009 in the village of Djahakro.

Djahakro--Rosalie, 2010

Rosalie is the President of the Women in the village of Djahakro. We just built a well there. When you dig a well, you have to send the diggers back periodically to dig farther down as the water retreats during the dry season. The civil unrest has suspended any work on the well, because the well diggers are Dioula (from the North) and therefore cannot travel safely because of the hatred between Bété and Baoulé (Christian) against the Dioula (Muslim).

Djahakro--Unknown Farmer, 2009

Although he didn't speak his name audibly, this cocoa farmer speaks eloquently about the power of the scale--how he feels a lot more confident about his transactions because he knows in advance how much product he is selling.

Pezoan--Didier, 2009

Didier explains how both the plastic bags and the dryness meter have helped improve relations between the farmers and the buyers.

Pezoan--Hugo, 2009

Hugo tells us that the scale and dryness meter have been a great help.

Pezoan--Young Cocoa Farmer, 2009

Pezoan is just up the road from Depa and Zereguhe. We have built a bathroom, donated a scale, a dryness meter, storage bags, boots and machetes to Pezoan. In this interview, the cocoa farmer discusses how the storage bags have been helpful to him.

Zereguhe--Chief Logbo, 2010

Zereguhe is about half a kilometer off the road between Issia and Gagnoa. Project Hope and Fairness has been visiting the village since 2004 and has brought it a scale, dryness meter, plastic storage bags, machetes, boots, sharpeners, a toilet, and solar lights. In this interview, Chief Logbo discusses how some of these tools have helped bring additional money to the village.

Zereguhe--Gabriel, 2009

Zereguhe--Cocoa Farmer 1, 2009

This interview describes the utility of the dryness meter. PH&F has donated dryness meters to 6 villages in Côte d'Ivoire.

Zereguhe--Cocoa Farmer 2, 2009

This interview describes the utility of the dryness meter. PH&F has donated dryness meters to 6 villages in Côte d'Ivoire.

Zereguhe--Marcel, President of the Youth, 2010

Marcel is President of the youth. In this interview, he speaks eloquently of the youth as the future of the country, of a need for a village project, and of the importance of bicycles.

Zereguhe--Nadje Kene Elizabeth, 2010

In this interview, Elisabeth emphasizes the importance of a rice huller. Children now spend time in town and because their friends do not work, they do not want to participate in helping around the house. This puts more responsibility on the mother, who has to carry the rice into town to have it processed.

Zereguhe--Old Scale, Bike Transport, 2009

This video shows an old scale, useful to give ideas about approximate weight, but not useful for commerce. Also, note how important the bicycle is in getting product to market.