Planting for Fun and Service

Three weeks ago a group of Ouagadougou-doers made a community service trip to a city about 3 hours or almost 200km northwest of Ouaga called Ouahigouya. Internationalesawyer is a part of a group that is also known as Burkinabe-alumni-association. This group is in association with the United States Department of State and is an International Exchange Alumni Program in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Internationalesawyer is able to participate in this group. Peace Corps and Fulbright and many exchange programs qualify to participate. Internationalesawyer, a member since 2011 finds the Burkinabe- alumni- association is an excellent opportunity to continue to serve in various communities in Burkina Faso. The passion of service continues with this group. On August 9, 2014 we had an outing to do a tree planting and campaign awareness in Ouahigouya, where there are very few trees.

We left early on a Saturday morning with some members of the US Embassy of Burkina Faso to plant almost 200 trees. There is an enormous lack of trees in this city due to the climate, which is unfavorable to producing trees. This city has a history of drought and locust; moreover, some inhabitants still practice cutting trees for firewood and charcoal. We decided to pick two areas to plant trees of different varieties. This included mango and baobab trees. We received permission from the local mayor’s office and they helped in the effort by providing some materials for digging and extra womanpower for the planting. In all we had roughly 75 people, however once we entered into the city streets to plant along the medium, several children joined the effort. Abdoulye the leader of the group used this as an excellent opportunity to give impromptu campaign awareness. The children answered questions about the environment and the value of trees for our lives. This was a perfect entry, as we walked to the mayor’s office to continue the program with the group of women who helped plant trees. The members from the US Embassy and the President of the Burkinabe association alumni group held an informal discussion with the audience on women’s rights.

Additionally, communications officer of the Burkinabe association alumni group gave an animated speech in one of the local languages, Mooré. The speech used audience participation and was greatly appreciated by the women who only speak Mooré and not French. The speaker discussed marital rights, child protection, and women’s rights in Burkina Faso and how they relate to women living in rural areas such as in Ouahigouya.

The program was successful and we all left satisfied especially since the mayor’s office will take the responsibility to maintain the trees. We are still hungry to help other communities that are looking for support in these types of events.



























Invite to Influence

I am excited to have been invited to be an influencer on LinkedIn. My first post is featured and can be accessed at


Impromptu Capacity Building

Impromptu life

Some middle school to high school girls ran into me while in village and asked if I could help them understand their menstrual cycles and how to track it.

Community is needed

Hello Community, LIFE

WANPOT has created a crowds funding for our project to make a big impact at the community and national level.  We have pooled our resources and still have some ways to go.  LIFE is an educational program that will inform girls and teachers in various life skill matters such as gender violence, and sexual reproduction health.  However we have a peace building curriculum and after school activities that include clubs and the arts.  All activities are for social and cultural building.  The link for further information is:

Volunteering for the 21st Century

Volunteering for the 21st Century.

Volunteering for the 21st Century

Cuso International

Sometimes I want to provide my skills to those who need them and gain skills in the process. However, with busy schedules it is not always possible to physically be present to do so.  In our digital age and with my exposure to new media, I was increasingly looking for online opportunities.  One day while on a LinkedIn search I came across a discussion on international development.  Since this is an area of interest of mine, I clicked the site and that led me to Cuso International. They are a Canadian NGO that offers different positions ranging from E-volunteer to Diaspora agent.  I searched their site for information such as their mission, and what I saw was aligned with my goals and mission in life.  Next up was to find what positions I qualified for and to apply.  After a few more days of research I came across a position for an online Grant Writer and Researcher/ Mentor for a local NGO in Jamaica.  I have experience as a grant writer but not so much as a researcher in a formal setting.  Therefore, it was the researcher piece that really drew me in.  I wanted to see if my researcher abilities in my personal affairs would translate smoothly in the business world.  I eventually applied and went through the hiring process and today I am an E-Volunteer with Cuso International for 3 months.  I think this is so fitting that my motto is think global live global for this position because I was interested in learning and working in another part of the world which I have never visited.  With the help of the internet and its vastness, I am now able to communicate, build relationships, and network with people in Jamaica, Canada, and the United States, and the United Kingdom.  There is only one word I can think of to describe all this…AWESOME!!!

Raising the Vital Voices

Launching a new project for the summer months. The theme is Youth Advocacy and Child Rights.

This is radio campaign in order to promote the rights of the children. This program consists of creating stories in order to promote children’s rights, training radio hosts, and finally how to speak about child rights and abuses of those rights in the presence of children in a sensitive manner. The stories will be broadcasting through different radio stations. Topics will include school attendance (especially for girls), right to freedom of expression, against female genital mutilation. I hope to achieve awareness to the greater population of the plight of children to exercise their rights.