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Oct 14, 2012

Cluck,cluck...


And here I am holding a chicken. This chicken is called Adewa - don't worry, she's alive [UPDATE: I ate her!] . Chickens like to be held awkwardly upside down by their feet. She is named after l'Association du Development de Wamba et Conservation des Bonobos. Tokuyama and I went to one of their meetings, and they welcomed us by giving us a chicken. It's a neat organization - maybe I've already told you about them, and I'm repeating myself. They are grassroots, and sprung up as a joke against all of these promises from the government to bring prosperity to the area. They figured they could do it better themselves. All members pay a small fee that goes into the association's bank account. The money in this account can only be accessed with the signature of two council members, and only for projects that have been approved by democratic vote. There are currently agriculture projects and solar panel projects to provide citizens with rechargeable batteries. In the agricultural projects, everyone who participates gets a share in the crop, or if the crop is sold, they get an equal share of the profit. Members are also allowed to take out a micro-loan of up to $5 from the association, and must pay it back before they can receive their shares in other projects. Anyone can propose a project, and the rest of the association will debate it and come up with a feasibility plan. One future project that Gilbert has been telling me about is a locally run pharmacy. There are some medications that the health centre cannot provide, so the idea is to open a pharmacy and sell the medication as cheaply as possible - only making enough to keep the supply stocked, and employ a worker. Gilbert told be that they had experience with aid workers gifting medications or gifting food, and that it's doesn't last. "Sans volonte, quand l'aide internationale arrete on n'a rien. Mais, si on a le volonte, si le communaute veut travailler, on peut continuer pour toujours." (Translation: Without will/willpower, when international aid ceases we have nothing. But if we have the will/willpower, if the community wants to work, we can continue for ever)

For more information: Read the Newspaper Article HERE

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