Interview with Lucette from the St. Augustine orphanage in Benin

Interview with Lucette from the St. Augustine orphanage in Benin


Welcome to St. Augustine orphange Good afternoon Madam
Good afternoon Please introduce yourself I’m Lucette Saya Cekidaya, I’m the sponsor of this center I’m Ulrich Houngbedji, member of Volodalen Benin. The reason we are here is to ask you what you are doing here, in your center, about your activities Ok, you are now visiting the center residence Augustine, it is a place which accommodates vulnerable children especially girls. Here we have a capacity of 25 girls and we accommodate 25 girls. They are all going to school. How are you providing them education and well-being? Oui… We receive donations, essentially first from ??? After that, if people want to come and help… And all children receive an education? Yes, they are all going to school. But some of them have difficulties. They are already 16 years old and it’s not working so well. If our center could provide professional education, the benefit would be better for them But currently, we don’t have the capacity to do that. We are currently trying to start this project. Which ages have children whom you accommodate? Pre-teenagers from 8 to 12, little kids from 3 to 8. The oldest is 15 and the youngest is 5 years old. Ok. Do you have special difficulties in term of education, accommodation, financial difficulties? Well, we are not missing difficulties Currently we are renting this place. It would be better to have a place that belongs to us. But we have to live with that. Currently we have 22 beds, but not all of them have a mattress. So today, 2 kids are sleeping in the same bed and some others are sleeping on the floor. So we have an accommodation problem We have to pay the rent every month, sometimes not easy. Another problem is the education. We don’t know yet with the new government how the public school will evolve. For us the quality of the education is very important to help the kids to live by themselves. First, we register them in a private school. But the total registration cost was 855’000 (1300 Euros) francs. For all kids, about 1 million, just for the registration. We must add the uniform, school material,… this is a lot. Until December kids didn’t have their uniforms. We still have not paid the full registration cost. We also need someone here to help them after school for homework. I can’t do everything when I come here… Here we must fully care of the kids. Most of time, we don’t have any news of the families. They are fully orphans. The country is poor, uncles, aunts have their own problems, they can’t help. So we have to care about everything: health, food, all their needs. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes…not For example today, they didn’t have lunch. Just a small “pulp” (manioc flour with water) at 7:00am, before school. I’m Christian, I’m not lying to try to get money. At noon, we had nothing to cook. It happens sometimes I wish to have help to create an activity to make our center more autonomous, they we don’t have to wait for external money. This is what I want to say. Ok, I can’t promise anything from Volodalen. But our goal would be to create a kind of partnership with you in the matter of education, culture, social, tourism, what kind of activity we can initiate for the benefit of your center. Certainly in the next days, we should do something concretely. We expect. Now do you have a special message ? To Volodalen? Maybe some others… It would be great to those kids who are the future of our country. This is good to care about them, about the quality of the education. They will not forget their childhood story. This is very positive to help them. Thank you for this little interview. And thanks to Bruce Thank you

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