Monday, January 30, 2012

What is an AME?

What is an AME?

If you are thinking AME stands for African Methodist Episcopal, you are oh so wrong... well at least here in Burkina you are. AME, in Burkina, stands for Associations des Mères Educatrices (Mothers, and Female Educators Association).

Due to dated traditions and what not that exist here in Burkina, Women tend to be left out of important decisions when it comes to their children's schooling. With these associations, Women are now able to have more a voice when it comes to the scholastic environment.

At the primary school I am working with, the AME was non-existent. I am proud to say, that since my arrival in November of 2011, we have established an association with an executive board. We have also started doing income-generating activities. The larger idea is that we will be able to establish a center where children from the primary school can come on free days and holidays to learn trades skills. Yes, it is very important that these children receive an education, but it is also very important that they have work skills other than farm work to fall back on.

In this society, the most sought after jobs are NGO jobs and government jobs. Unfortunately, due to how the school system is organized here, few individuals actually make it into these jobs. The idea of the mothers is to equip their children with unique skills to make them stronger candidates for employment later in life. I LOVE IT!

We have started VERY small. Right no we are doing soap-making, and neem cream. There are countless problems with hygiene here, so soap is definitely something that makes money. Neem cream is also something that makes money here. Think of this as OFF, but natural. We boil down leaves from the leaves of the neem tree, and then mix it with shea oil to make a lotion of sorts. It ends up repelling mosquitoes, which in turn, helps prevent people from being bit by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Its really cool, and I promise to come back and add photos, and better explain all of this.

All in all, I am VERY proud of my AME! They are kicking ass, and making giant steps every weekend!

I promise to keep you all better updated in regards to what I am doing.

Take care, and until next time,

Ebben Wiley

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