These past few weeks have been weeks of finishing up projects! A lot of our time here has been spent working on and revising the women’s/girls’ health curriculum from Senegal, adding to it and adapting it to fit our cultural and religious context. We spent hours pouring over this curriculum, one 5-hour meeting at a time, and have just finished putting all the lessons together into one big, 250-page manual for our program’s trainers (and this is just an addition to the many lessons we already have!) We both really enjoyed this work, and learned a lot about West African culture along the way, but it is nice to see a finished product! World Renew will be printing and distributing the manual to our trainers in early September. These lessons, including topics such as HIV/AIDS, stigmatisation and discrimination, money and marriage, and nutrition will be a great addition to the many important topics we already address in our training events.
World Renew has also partnered with the Ministry of Primary Education to conduct a survey about girls’ education here in our city. There are a lot of factors that often inhibit girls from going to school, from traditional values (girls must stay at home and take care of the household) to poverty. I (Bethany) have been working on data entry, report writing, and translating for this survey, and the final version has just been completed. It was wonderful to see a final product, and it looks like this survey will be helpful in identifying areas for future work.
David, working with one of our supervisors, has also just finished creating a project plan to help local farmers improve the value chains of their products, including the best crops for the region, their cultivation and harvest techniques, the processing of the product (into soap, butter, etc.), as well as packaging, transportation and sale of the final product. David particularly enjoyed this project, as it included some business skills he learned in past university courses, and is currently finishing up its translation from English into French.
The last big project that has just been completed is the program evaluation for the training program we have been working closely with. We started working on this a while ago in creating an evaluation survey with 2 of our supervisors, and just last week I and one of these supervisors finished up this project – some of the data went into the year-end report for the program!
We can hardly believe that we are almost in our last month of living here in West Africa. The time since January has flown by! It has been a wonderful experience thus far, and we trust that our last few weeks will be no different.