Wauters April 2009

Name: Catherine Wauters
Post: Dogbo
Pickup Location: Cotonou
Brief Project Description: I would like to create a monthly newsletter, “Bisou, Bisou,” to hand out for free at the CEGs and orphanage in Dogbo. Articles will focus on advice for physically and emotionally healthy relationships for young couples, sexual health information, HIV/AIDS/STI awareness and info, etc.

I plan to install a small locked box with a slit on top in my ONG (located on the main road in Dogbo between the 2 CEGs) so that students can pass by and drop in any questions that they might want answered anonymously. I will respond to their questions in subsequent issues in a regular column. This will also help survey Dogbo’s youth so that I have an idea of what to address in future projects/formations, etc.

I will use ‘Google Language Tools’ to aid with writing in French and review the newsletter each month with a older student and woman at the Mayor’s office to ensure that the French is correct (and the content not culturally offensive) before photocopying it in quantity.

I propose this project as a 2 month trial run with one issue that is two pages long per month. If the response for the project is enthusiastic, I plan on pursuing a PCPP to sustain the project for the following school year, giving me more freedom in number of copies I can make as well as the length of each edition.

Dates of Project: May to June 2009
Number of People Involved: Approximately 1,000 students will be the recipients of information regarding their sexual health and healthy relationships. There are 2 women who will benefit from one on one discussions of content every month with me. Additionally, about 7 members of my ONG will benefit from reviewing the publication each month.

Item Number Cost
Credit at cyber in Dogbo for translating and resource location 10 hours 3,000 CFA
Wooden lock box (lock included) for student questions 1 2,500 CFA
Copies of newsletter 500 copies of each newsletter (2 months, 2 pages long each) at 15CFA per page copy cost 30,000 CFA
Total Cost 35,500 CFA

Amount Requested: 35,500 CFA

Closing Report

Brief Project Description:

I received 35.500CFA in funding from GSP to create a newsletter that covers sexual health and healthy relationship information (Bisou Bisou). I originally intended to use the funding to put out 2 issues (one for May and one for June) that would be 2 pages long each and Dogbo-specific. Due to time constraints by the time I received the funding and the decision to shorten the school year, I instead made one “May/June” issue that was 6 pages long. In this first trial issue I included articles on “healthy relationships” and birth control (including what is available in Dogbo and for how much), a true or false condom quiz with explained answers, and a word search with related riddle.

Though the length was longer than I anticipated, I found someone to make copies for 10CFA and was able to make 500 complete copies. I went to the 2 CEGs in Dogbo and went from class to class (6ieme through 4ieme) giving out 10-20 copies per class depending on what the censor suggested (they were then asked to share or make photocopies themselves). I talked to the students about the project, who I was as well as how to find me, and what the newsletter was for.

I ordered a cashier type box with a slit on the top and lock that only have a key for, and had it installed at my ONG which is halfway between the 2 CEGs. Students were informed that they can bring their questions anonymously and drop them in the box, and that I will respond to certain questions in following issues and use others for article ideas. If students want to talk to me individually about certain issues or questions, they were informed that they can come to my ONG and set up an appointment to talk to me.

After distributing 500 copies, I estimate that at least over 1,000 people read the first edition of Bisou Bisou. The response in the community was positive, with people stopping on the street to ask me questions. There have also been questions left in the Bisou Bisou Box at my ONG. In the process of putting out the issue, I was able to discuss article content with a woman at the Mayor’s Office and a terminal student who also helped me with editing as well. Marthe aided me with editing and members of my ONG reviewed the issue as well. I plan to pursue a SPA grant to continue this endeavor for the following school year.

Attached please find the receipts for this project.

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