The American Association for the Development of Bangou (AADB) has been working on a few projects, some which are now finished, some which will happen later this year, and one big one, which we still need your help with.

You already know about the Christmas charity (cadeaux for kids) which went very well, we plan on doing that again this year. It provides food, school supplies and a toy for each child, but most of all hope.

A public toilet has been built in the Carrefour where all the taxis park to take people all over the west. There was no toilet before so everyone, including women and children would go in an alley which was continuously dirty. This same alley is a major route between Bangou and Batchingou and market mommies who sell local peanuts, bananas and whatever else is in season. Now this area will remain clean and people can do their business in private. During a need analysis for the community, public toilets were listed as one of the top five needs for the community.

The Antonio Rodriguez scholarship will take place the next school year. AADB will pay the school fees for five preschool students and thirteen high school students, including the top 2 students for each grade (grade 6-12).

A multimedia center will be built near the Bangou-ville high school. Part of the building has already been assigned for its use and 10 (old) computers have been donated by a Bangou (Hyppolite) who lives in France. However much work to renovate the building still remains such as cabling networking equipment and other miscellaneous work. Also, while in the US I will see if we can get a good computer donated to manage the other computers. AADB will help finish the project so that it will be ready early 2009. This project will bring internet and computer training to Bangou for the first time.

There are also a number of small projects which AADB helps with in the village which have not been reported but have made a large impact in one person or a few people’s lives. In every community, there are local crazy people that scavenge garbage for food sleep where they fall. AADB has often fed them and given them some change to buy cigarettes*. There have been some funerals for some less fortunate families which AADB has been able to which contribute. There is no need to mention how important it is for families to bury their loved ones in a worthy manner, but it is even more important in their village tradition. Lastly, when certain people from the village have been hospitalized, AADB has been able to help pay part of their hospital costs.

These projects, or acts of goodwill, are not things that I can write on my quarterly report because they fall outside of my Peace Corps goals, but it is these small acts of generosity and compassion that will make a lasting impact on the people who AADB has helped. To help, I will soon be setting up a web site, and there will be a fundraiser in TX in May.

*I’m not a smoker nor do I advocate it, but, as my favorite crazy guy put it, sometimes a papa just needs his pipe.