Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Didn't Know That Was Possible

It's not uncommon to see five people riding on a motorcycle or to see a guy hauling around a coffin on the back of one, so the days are rare when I'm surprised by what can be done on two wheels. Today was an exception though, when a man drove by on his moped with two full-sized refrigerators stacked on the back seat.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Camp GLOW!

For several years now, the volunteers here have held a weeklong summer camp for fifty girls in 6th and 7th grade called Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). It takes place in Porto Novo, the second-largest city in Benin, which is cool in itself, since some of the girls have never left their villages or used a flushing toilet before. They do activities on things like nutrition, AIDS prevention, the importance of school, gender issues, small businesses accounting, deforestation, and so on (the complete list is on the website below). A group of professional Beninese women come in to talk to them about how women can have careers, which isn’t a message that’s heard often in villages, since salaried women tend to live in larger cities.

The trip to Porto Novo and the camp are entirely free to the girls, which means that someone else has to foot the bill. An NGO in Benin had always funded it before, but this year it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to. Since the camp is in June we’re also unable to do any of the typical Peace Corps funding methods, since the application and approval process can take months. We’ve therefore asked another NGO that a volunteer has worked with to organize the collection of donations specifically to be used to fund Camp GLOW. Their website, along with a Paypal donation link, can be found at We need to raise around $9000 for the camp to be held this year.

All donations received by Project Bokonon in the next three weeks will go towards Camp GLOW. After that, we can't receive any more funding, so if you feel you want to give, please do so as soon as possible.