On Sunday February 14, 2015, a team of six Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts facilitated a training of 56 people in Moussodougou in the domain of food security. The primary goal of the training was to educate over 50 women in the areas of nutrition and small business development. After the theoretical sessions in the classroom, facilitators and participants worked on practical transformation activities, income generating activities and management skills. The women needed these technical skills to start their own income generating activities (IGAs). Classes were paired so that each included a classroom and activity component with the following topics: Tofu and cost-benefit analysis, peanut butter and marketing, enriched porridge and nutrition, Moringa powder and oral rehydration salts. The training had strong community and Volunteer support which helped a lot. The attendees actively participated throughout the training, and the activities that were demonstrated received a very positive response. Many people were surprised by how good the tofu tasted, how peanut butter can be used in various recipes and how easy all of these items can be made. This is important as taste will be a large factor in the implementation of these activities at home. Other participants expressed surprise at how much potential profit they could receive from starting each of the learned activities, and this is another strong motivating factor for implementation.
The Peace Corps Volunteer leading the project will be visiting each of the groups that sent participants to this training for the next couple of months to see if they have started any income generating activity and to respond to any further questions or concerns about starting any of these projects. She hopes to see tofu being sold at Mousodougou market any day now! The chief of Moussodougou came to the opening ceremony to thank the participants for coming to the training. He also thanked the counterparts and Volunteers for preparing and conducting the training. We have had the great opportunity to receive the visit of Keith Hackett and Dick Day, respectively Country Director of Peace Corps Burkina Faso and Peace Corps Africa Region Director. They participated in the Peace Corps goal two games, sharing experience of American culture and activities we had organized for the children participants. As this training was held on Valentine’s Day, this was a good opportunity to discuss the American take on this holiday with the children present. We had craft stations set up where children could draw pictures, make beaded bracelets, and learn about various aspects of the holiday in America.