Dr Antony Kingsley visited Guinea Bissau from April 14th to 29th. The purpose was to evaluate the work conducted over the past 24 months, seek feedback from the communities and staff, identify new partners, and establish new ways of achieving our goals in a cost-effective way.
He saw great progress and heard very appreciative feedback from the villages where we have worked.
In the village of Ntint he saw a large expansion of the scale of the market gardens to accommodate more people. The community has taken the importance of good nutrition very seriously. There was great management of the work and the community want to expand even further to start several small businesses. This village is a great example of how integrating nutritional education into our water and sanitation programme improves the mindset and health of people in remote places.
Normally people leave in the early morning or late evening to fetch water to avoid the midday heat and they must walk a long way. Therefore, it was so good to see people in the village of Nhamate fetching water from their local well in the middle of the day. Having a source of water in their vicinity has improved community dynamics dramatically.
Increased empowerment of women was another great success witnessed during the trip. In Safar, the community appointed a woman, who was trained by WellFound on natural medicine and First Aid, to take wider steps to improve the village. Now the community have a greater vision of how they want to save money to drill another well and extend pipes to adjacent wells.
Community ownership was also evident among villages where WellFound has worked in the past. In Qumbe and Bissum Naga, among other developments in schools, houses, sanitation and market gardens, the community also upgraded their wells to solar power using their own savings. This means they do not have to manually pump their water. It is fantastic to see such initiative, planning and development.
Bionfoie is a new village where work was just getting underway during Dr Kingsley’s visit. WellFound now has our own drilling team in Guinea-Bissau – local people trained by WellFound and provided with equipment. Dr Kingsley saw the drilling team start work. It was fantastic to see young people so enthusiastic to drill their own well. The village is large with a potential extension of water to surrounding villages. Speaking to a few women in the village, they are looking forward to the well and clean water and were very thankful for our support. They have named two recent babies Joao and Hertumisa (two of our local staff) to show their gratitude.
WellFound has ambitious goals of helping more villages in Guinea Bissau. We have identified five potential new villages for work this year. In one potential village the people were particularly strong in expressing their willingness to participate fully. They have seen work in other nearby villages and dream of WellFound helping them.
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