From the 6th till the19th of February 2021, we made a short but intensive working visit to Benin. It was a warm reunion – literally and figuratively – with our Beninese collaborators. We worked with them on a busy programme. Ongoing projects were followed up, new projects were started, interesting new contacts were made, existing contacts were strengthened, agreements were made or renewed and many ideas were collected. A lot of material and work until the next working visit in November.
Visit to the Nonvignon Centre in Grand Popo, a pleasant coastal town: at the Nonvignon centre, young people receive a one-year vocational training course to prepare them for a job in the restaurant industry. Students wearing chef’s hats proudly pose after a week of “baking”. A wonderful local initiative that offers young people a better chance of employment in a region with touristic potential. To be continued.
The Training Centre, Ferme de Sokounon, has been a partner of the Foundation for many years. Farmers and agronomy students can follow training courses at the centre. Our Foundation has recently invested in decent accommodation with sanitary facilities for the trainees – with thanks to the province of Vlaams Brabant.
Good contacts with local authorities are very important for the success of our projects. The delegation therefore visited Inoussa Zime Chabi, the mayor of Parakou (pictured here), next to representatives of the education department, and the chief of staff of the ministry of health and the director of the university hospital in Parakou.
The approach, testing and research on the technical and commercial feasibility of the Aquaponics project were discussed with Professor Ibrahim Toko, Christian Guibidi, President of the Benin Fish Farmers and Claude Borna, CEO of SeméCity, the Cotonou Development and Innovation Centre.
With the management of the hospitals in Boko and Papané, we discussed the status of ongoing projects and the priorities for the coming year. The man on the photo is Emile Kouthon, director of the Saint-Martin hospital in Papané.
En ook de scholen werden bezocht. De leerlingen toonden ons enthousiast de werking van de waterpomp, de aangelegde schooltuinen met bananenplanten en de tippy taps.
AMCES, the association of private hospitals in Benin, is also an important partner of our Foundation. In the photo, Brother Florent Priuli, president of AMCES for many years, signing the renewal of the cooperation agreement between the Foundation and AMCES. The Italian surgeon Brother Florent, an Italian surgeon and a good friend of the Foundation, is also medical director of St Jean de Dieu hospital in Tanguiéta.
From the15th till the 18th of February, our local employees were immersed in the secrets of social marketing. Jan Flamend, CEO of ValueSelling, taught them how to use sales techniques to optimally market a humanitarian organisation and its projects.