For the AMPO CINÉMOBILE Team the end of the project year 2021/2022 coincides with the children’s school holidays in Burkina Faso. Since September 2021 the team has been travelling regularly around villages, showing films on sensitive issues such as sexuality, breast cancer or equal opportunities and talking to those responsible in local administration. Among their discussion partners were the High Commissioner of the Passoré Province, the Prefect of Arbollé and the Secretary General of the Arbollé City Hall. At the same time our colleagues were mindful of the administrative structures in the villages which are based on customary rights, such as the members of the local development councils. In June, at the end of the project year we discussed the outcome of our activities with the relevant people and took stock. Acceptance of the awareness campaigns carried out by our colleagues is very important for the success of CINÉMOBILE. Before the summer break AMPO expressed gratitude once more to all those involved.
We’re crossing our fingers that we will be able to continue in September in spite of the difficult situation on the ground.
At the beginning of June the team from the AMPO Clinic visited MIA/ALMA. Each facility is visited regularly with a view to preventing certain diseases by vaccination or medication, including malaria. Malaria is still a major problem facing the population in Burkina Faso, since there is a huge risk all year round, even in the cities. Estimates indicate that nearly 4 % of reported deaths in Burkina Faso are due to malaria. As a preventive measure the women at MIA/ALMA were given a first dose of Combimal, a vaccine against the plasmodium falciparum pathogen. Two thirds of infections with this pathogen lead to severe malaria tropica, which has a mortality rate of 20% if left untreated.
All of the women and children were given the vaccine and we hope the next season will be malaria-free.
AMPO Orphanage for boys
Many of the children at AMPO still have family members who are unable to provide for the children for lack of financial means. At AMPO the children have the opportunity to complete their school education, to start an apprenticeship, to try out new kinds of sport or simply to lead a life based on daily routine. When they reach the age of maturity the children leave AMPO and return to their families. Saying goodbye is always very hard because those boys have already spent several years at AMPO.
This year ten of the boys will leave the orphanage. One of them is a high school graduate, four will go on to apprenticeships in various workshops, and one will take his secondary education exam in electrical engineering next year. The other four young men will complete their final years at school next year. With the training promotion programme AMPO together with their training sponsors will finance their studies or vocational training. It goes without saying that the AMPO family will always be there for those young people to help whenever we can.
Safiatou was a young woman when she came to AMPO. She told our colleagues she was HIV-positive and she needed help. Sadly, people who are HIV-positive are still excluded from society in Burkina Faso. The subject is taboo and many of those affected are ashamed of their illness, including Safiatou. That is why we started the VIIMDE project. The team from VIIMDE helps those women to deal with their HIV illness responsibly and offers them every support. The women come regularly to AMPO and receive information on everything to do with the disease, taking medication, reducing the risk of infection, psychological counselling, etc. They also have space to meet and exchange information. Safiatou accepted this offer and came to AMPO on a regular basis.
Two months ago AMPO received the sad news that Safiatou had died. From their conversations and meetings with her, our colleagues new that she had a young daughter, Farida, who was also receiving antiretroviral treatment against her HIV infection. The three-year-old child was entrusted to the sister-in-law which meant that she now had to deal with the treatment of the little girl.
A few days ago the father turned up at the AMPO Clinic with little Farida. He had visited her some weeks ago and saw that Farida was severely ill. The sister-in-law had not been administering the antiretroviral treatment properly which had serious consequences for the child. The little girl was in a very weak condition and was quickly referred to the Charles De Gaulle children’s hospital. Little Farida’s state of health rapidly improved so that AMPO was able to admit her to our own rehab centre. Great care is taken to ensure that she is receiving the right diet and her medication is being administered properly so that Farida will soon be able to play with the other children. Her father comes to visit her regularly, but no decision has been taken yet as to where she will go after her recovery.
All names have been changed.