23 NOVEMBER 2023: AGRO-PASTORAL PROJECT IN THE ANTI-LEPROSY CENTER OF OUIDAH

Following an important donation made by a person who wishes to remain anonymous, we thought of a structural project to maintain and possibly implement all the activities of the Ouidah leper colony, with particular attention to increasing the quality of life of the resident lepers. Since June, when we learned of this benefactor's intentions, we have worked to plan a series of activities to take advantage of the great resources available to the nuns. We have identified several activities that can be implemented in a relatively short time. €8600 has been allocated for the project. So we have already started in September with:

 

- sheep, pig and broiler breeding

 

- The exploitation of three hectares of land, taking advantage of the short rainy season, to grow corn and peanuts

 

- The production of palm oil from the numerous palm trees present on the property's land

 

- The cultivation of cassava on approximately two hectares and its transformation into flour (gari) and tapioca obtained from its starch.

 

- In the installation phase we have a vegetable garden that will host various types of vegetables and legumes on an area of one hectare with drip irrigation to guarantee constant production all year round, even during the dry season.

 

Inside the property there are many mango, lemon, papaya and coconut palm trees. Until now, apart from coconut palms, only a small part of the fruits were consumed in the nuns' house and among the sick, another part was stolen by the inhabitants of the neighboring villages, but the majority rotted on the trees; now we will organize collections and direct sales at the Kpassè market.

 

Some equipment already present was broken and therefore unused due to lack of resources. With the available budget we carried out their repairs, in particular an oil press to produce palm oil, the mill to grind grains and prepare feed, and a three-wheeled three-wheeler for various transports functional to the activities. Furthermore, we have purchased the machine for grinding cassava, which allows us to transform the product into other value-added products and in these days we will purchase an incubator to increase the production of chicks. The program is managed for the first year by the NGO SOPADA, in my person, but I can count on the active collaboration of Ibrahim, responsible for raising mutton and chickens for meat, Ines, his wife, who takes care of the piggery with great dedication, Ernest, an expert farmer who takes care of the crops in the fields, Isaak, who assists him but who specializes in the vegetable garden. Ernest's wife is then available to cover Ines' day off and for other small jobs that arise from time to time in the company. Our hope is that the various activities, precisely because they are very diversified, can produce a certain income also for the years to come when SOPADA will no longer have the management, maintaining and hopefully also increasing the number of employees and with them the profits so that they can help to improve the health services of the dispensary, the structures that house the sick and consequently their quality of life. (Google translate)

23 SEPTEMBER 2023: FREE ANTENATAL CONSULTATIONS

With a view to helping pregnant women, but also those who are not, in the correct management of maternity, SOPADA, thanks to Paola, has organized this monthly meeting in the premises of the Parish of the Basilica of Ouidah. It is completely free and will certainly help in the responsible management of maternity, especially in those pockets of material poverty from which many families in BENIN still suffer. (Google translate)

SEPTEMBER 16, 2023 - DELIVERY OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO 39 ORPHAN STUDENTS AT PENESSOLOU SCHOOLS

Last Saturday, September 16, one of our representatives from the NGO SOPADA, FOUSSENI Djaffarou, went to Penessolou, in the north of the country, to hand over school supplies to 39 children and young orphans. This year we have 5 more who are already in college. We have been supporting all the others in their academic journey since 2018. Until now, they have met our expectations, following their respective courses in a coherent, serious and serene manner. We were unable to be present because we were in turn preparing the kits for the 127 other orphan students from Ouidah in the south of the country. Several authorities were present: the chief and delegate of the village of Penessoulou Alidou Djibril, representative of the mayor, prevented by other commitments, the president of the Association for the Development of Penessoulou, Sanda Aliou, two municipal councilors of the capital commune from Bassila, Alassane. Abasse and Gouda Moussa, the President of the Association of Artisans and representative of parents, Tchiffi Zouliath. The ceremony took place at the Youth Center in the district of Penessoulou in a joyful atmosphere. A warm thank you to all the Italian donors who helped us with their donations. (Google translate)

18 SEPTEMBER 2023 - DELIVERY OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR 127 ORPHAN STUDENTS OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF FONSRAMÉ AND AGBANU

In a festive and somewhat "messy" atmosphere, this morning we heroically managed to deliver the backpacks with complete school supplies to 127 orphaned children from the neighborhoods of Fonsramey and Agbani (Ouidah) distributed in the two respective school buildings. We invited several local authorities, including the mayor of Ouidah who, after making us wait an hour beyond the scheduled time, sent his deputy to be present in his place. Let's be clear: in BENIN, as in all of Africa, the presence of the authorities during these events seems to be very important, as they enjoy their moment of glory by using them as a catwalk. The delay of the mayor, who then had himself replaced, annoyed us greatly, because our respect goes, before the politicians, to the least, who are the recipients of our efforts. Having said that, after the ritual speeches of the authorities, we moved on to the delivery of the backpacks which contained numerous notebooks, numerous ballpoint pens, colored crayons, compass with protractor, ruler, pencil and eraser square, slate and textbooks for the various classes and the school uniform. In all cases they were orphaned children of primary school age, unable to attend due to lack of resources. They are the future of the country, we must offer them "nourishment for the mind", even before that for the stomach which, thank God, is not lacking in this area of Africa. They will be the ones who will have to manage the global challenges of tomorrow, with their resources, their cultural background and their passion. They will have to regain possession of their lands that were over-exploited over the centuries by "others" who came with arrogance from far away. It is from this perspective that we try to help the young generations to become aware of their potential and put it at the service of everyone. Because there is an inalienable right: that of being born, living and prospering in one's own country. The SOPADA NGO thanks all the Italian donors, from all over Italy, but also the numerous friends from Cadelbosco, Reggio Emilia and the surrounding areas, without whom we would not have been able to satisfy such a large number of needy orphans. A proper thank you then goes to Ibrahim Abou, an active member of Sopada and the Zongo neighborhood leader who organized the event. And thanks also to Ramos Vodounon and Koudoda Elisée Barboza, faithful collaborators, who helped us deliver the backpacks.

 

We cannot forget the other 39 pupils and students of Penessoulou, from primary, secondary and high schools who we will talk about in a separate post, but who are part of the same project financed by SOPADA through the friends listed below:

 

- Montecchio healthcare facilities

 

-Annamaria Benassi

 

-Luca Bigliardi

 

-Corrado Askerz

 

- Rossi Rossella

 

-Rita Rita Benatti

 

-Arianna Zanetti

 

- Simonetta Bertozzi

 

-Marzia Conti

 

- Patrizia Benassi

 

-Pedroni Maria

 

-Paolo Cagossi Palli Paolo

 

-Annamaria LaMeri Catellani

 

-Giuliano Bondavalli & Valeria Bondavalli

 

- Jonathan Ivan Cosentini

 

-Anna Adriano

 

-Carlo Prandi

 

-Giuseppina Salvati

 

-Gianni Fontanesi

 

-Franco Bonilauri

 

- Amelia Borghi

 

-Nesti Simona

 

- Laura Spaggiari

 

-Annalisa Benelli

 

-Alessia Orlandini

 

-Bigi Rossana

 

-Garatti Ezio

 

-Antonio Chinnici

 

- Lorenzo Pinetti

 

-Luigi Dalla Porta

 

-Gianni Marconi

 

-Lara Munari

 

-Guidetti Andrea

 

- Maurizio Rainieri and Piccinini Francesca

20 AUGUST 2023 - DJEGBADJI LEAGUE SPONSORED BY SOPADA

Beautiful final of the Djegbadji League with the winning team Degue. The organization of this tournament among all the villages on the Ouidah coast was also possible thanks to SOPADA who, with the help of Jonathan Ivan Cosentini, sponsored the event. (Google translator)

18 AUGUST 2023 - FREE DENTAL TREATMENT COURSE FOR THE POOR PEOPLE OF OUIDAH

The cycle of dental treatments organized by SOPADA for the benefit of the weakest and most deprived groups in the Ouidah area ended this morning, with this additional half day that we were forced to add due to the unexpected, enormous turnout of people. Already in the early morning we could count about twenty people waiting, which gradually increased. Dr. Corradi has no memory of other missions in Africa with such a high number of complicated cases that forced all of us to work daily cycles of up to 11 consecutive hours. He carried out actual surgical operations to remove teeth and roots that were now "ossified" within the dental socket. It must be said that the dentition of African breeds is very strong and robust. The roots are always longer than those of European man. Therefore it is quite difficult to find teeth that move, except in the case of periodontitis, caused by the presence of tartar at the base of the teeth. Thanks to the help of a portable dental unit it was possible to operate with the instruments we are used to in modern European dental practices, obviously with some limitations. Thus the services seem to have fully satisfied the patients who thanked them with concrete gestures, small gifts and even a kiss from a child who had two decayed canines saved, now as good as new. No aesthetic interventions were envisaged, but the aim was to reconstruct the incisor of a child who had broken following a fall and was positioned towards the outside. This was due to bullying by his classmates. Guido wanted to give him a dignified appearance and a smile that he previously refused to show. What to say? A lot of effort, complicated and tiring moments, but also the satisfaction of having been able to provide relief to patients who, due to too much poverty, could not have imagined setting foot in a dental office. On behalf of SOPADA, a big thank you must be given to Dr. Guido Corradi, to Michelle, who, together with Paola and me, improvised as a dental assistant. The services, of any nature, were offered at the symbolic price of 1000 Fcfa (approximately €1.50) also including antibiotics and painkillers.

Always tired but happy! Go on like this! (Google translator)