Benoît Akando, Honorary Consul of Benin in Belgium, anesthetist, and member of our Board of Directors, said it well during the celebration of our fortieth anniversary in the City Hall of Leuven on November 27: “the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation has already done a lot in forty years, but there is still a long way to go. And that is indeed the case. The needs are still very significant.”
The needs are still very great. We will continue to monitor the current projects and, if possible, expand them so that more people can benefit from them. And many new projects are in the pipeline.
More specifically, what are our priorities for 2023?
In the health sector, we continue to support the Saint-Martin hospital in Papané and the Saint Jean-de-Dieu hospital in Boko. For the latter hospital, we want to build a new maternity ward to remedy the overcrowding of the current maternity ward. We budgeted the construction costs at €120,000. We also continue to invest in preventing, detecting, and treating malnutrition. Severe malnutrition in children under five has dropped from 12% to 3% since the beginning of the project. Still, screening and follow-up by Eric, the Foundation’s nutritionist, and the 12 animators remain necessary. Training on healthy eating in the villages and hypertension and diabetes prevention project also remain indispensable.
In education, we continue to support schools in hygiene and healthy nutrition and take initiatives to get as many children as possible into school. Ultimately, we want to provide all the schools we work with with clean water wells and quality sanitary blocks. Today, this is the case in only one-third of the 50 schools we work with. The cost of a well with a pump is about 7500 euros. Thanks to the sanitary napkin project, we ensure that young girls can continue to go to school, even during their menstrual periods.
In agriculture and entrepreneurship, we continue to support independent farmers and small-scale vegetable gardens with the knowledge and expertise of our agronomists, and we continue to invest in community vegetable gardens equipped with, among other things, a water pump and a water tower. Thirteen gardens will have been completed by 2022. Other villages are also inquiring. In addition, we continue to support the University of Parakou in its soil research and aquaponics studies, and we are fully committed to young entrepreneurship by building an incubation center.
Our commitment is to empower the Beninese through all our projects by sharing our knowledge and expertise and providing financial leverage. We can count on grants from various Belgian governments and other foundations, but more is needed to achieve everything we want to achieve. Donations to maintain our operations are not only welcome but necessary.
Donations can be made to the account BE14 7865 8929 4683 of the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation or by using the online form. By the way, you will receive a tax certificate for contributions of 40 euros or more.