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Poverty Alleviation Projects

2006 Projects

September 11, 2006

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your September 2006 report for The $10 Club.

Napone is a rural village of about 5,000 people located approximately 120km from Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. The village lacks clean water access and villagers have to drink water from untreated rivers. Poverty is extreme in Napone; agriculture is practiced solely to meet subsistence needs, and villagers have little food and medical security.

Illiteracy in the village is very high (over 95%). This is due to the fact that the community’s only educational facility is a three classroom elementary facility. Years of heavy rains have taken a toll on the school building, which is primarily constructed of mud. The school lacks a clinic and has no first aid kits.

In the village, common health problems include cuts and wounds often resulting from children walking without shoes (parents can't afford them). School is missed frequently because ill children can't afford treatments against malaria, head and stomach aches, coughs, etc. Recovery time without medicine is quite long, and this contributes to many missed days from school.

Luc Zio runs OuagaNet Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Florida, which supports basic health care needs and education in rural areas of Burkina Faso. One of OuagaNet’s goals is “To sustain life and prevent illness by working to obtain donations of medical supplies, first aid equipment and vitamins for deprived public clinics and to support community health volunteers in rural areas with donations of medicine.”

This month, 328 of us joined together to donate $3,280 to OuagaNet to provide medicines and first aid kits to the community of Napone in Burkina Faso. The medicine will be made available to the poor villagers and students of Napone free of charge by OuagaNet’s healthcare community volunteers. Our grant will fund the acquisition of the medical supplies, their delivery to the village, expenses of a nurse to oversee the administering of the medicines, and community volunteers’ involvement in the distribution process. According to Luc, “The first aid kits and medicines should impact about 3,000 of the villagers.” Thank you.

With our grant, Luc will be purchasing first aid kits that contain indispensable tools for treating cuts and wounds: antibacterial bandages, sterile gauze pads, wound closure strips, antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic ointment packets, burn cream ointments, alcohol prep pads, and a first aid instruction guide. There will also be some ibuprofen, antacid, and non-aspirin tablets. The kits are crucial for treating the wounds and cuts that are common problems with villagers involved with farming activities and the students in the elementary school. Further, we will help provide essential mefloquine and primaquine to treat malaria. For some people, these medicines will be offered as a preventative; for others they will be made available to treat acute malaria cases.

When I confirmed our grant to Luc I received the following reply: “Thank you very much. We are all very excited with the opportunity that the donation will do for us in terms of helping the village. This is really a blessing for us and for the many villagers who will be benefiting from the donation.”

Luc shared with me the story of a 60 year old man living in the village whose legs are covered with wounds that, due to the lack of proper care, have been bothering him for a long time. Due to extreme poverty, he can't afford to buy the bandages and the antibiotic ointments that are needed to treat his wounds. He is currently using a regular piece of cloth to bandage his wounds to keep the flies away without applying any antibiotic ointment. The end result is that the wound is not healing properly and he is thus at greater risk of infection and potential debilitation. He will now be one of the thousands of beneficiaries of your generosity this month.

Burkina Faso is ranked 175th out of 177 nations on the UN Human Development Index. For the West African nation’s 14 million inhabitants, life expectancy at birth is 47, average earnings run about $3 per day, half of the population lacks access to an improved water source or sanitation, and one-third of children under five are underweight for their age.

Each month we try to help the neediest people in the world in a direct and tangible way. Few countries have a poorer populace than Burkina Faso, and I’m extremely pleased that we were finally able to identify a project in this country so desperately in need. Thank you again for your support.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

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