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Helping A Preschool in Bukina Faso by Geraldine Auel

June 17, 2014
Pre-school - Burkina Faso where Gerry Auel works as a Peace Corps volunteer

Pre-school – Burkina Faso where Gerry Auel works as a Peace Corps volunteer

(Note: Gerry Auel and I worked together in the Peace Corps in Tunis 1966-1968. We have remained friends ever since for half a century now. Gerry went on to become the International Student Adviser at Oklahoma State University. She married and has four grown children. A year ago, Gerry Auel re-upped for another Peace Corps experience, this time in Burkina Faso – formally referred to as Upper Volta. She is there now; if you want to contribute to the pre-school where she works – and I hope you might consider it – here is a link below. )

Do you want to help our pre-school in Burkina Faso?

The Peace Corps adventure continues!  The 125 or so children in the community preschool where I teach 5 days a week show up every morning on foot, with or without shoes.  They greet me with “Bon jour, Yaba” (Hello, Grandmother) and make a little bob with their arms crossed across their chest.

The preschool is set right in the middle of the village crossroads.  With motorcycles zooming across the school grounds, animals wandering through, and our playground equipment at the mercy of after-school adolescents, we are determined to build a protective fence to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for our children.  Parents began to contribute their share of the project cost even before the project was approved by Peace Corps.  They are eager.

The cost of the project is going to be beyond the ability of the parents alone to pay, around four million Central African Francs or CFA.  To give you an idea of family resources in this rural community — the preschool charges 2,000 CFA per year, the equivalent of roughly $5.00 US dollars.  We often have to wait a month or so for payment, until the harvest is finished and money is available.  We are seeking funds from far and near – from the mayor’s office in Rouko, to representatives of the Rouko Sister City in Normandy, France, and to YOU!

Gerry is in Rouko; I don't see it on this map, but she told me it was in the north of the country, not far with Burkina Faso's border with Mali

Gerry is in Rouko; I don’t see it on this map, but she told me it was in the north of the country, not far with Burkina Faso’s border with Mali

Would you like to be part of this initiative?  It’s a great opportunity to be directly connected to a project you are supporting….and there is no added administrative overhead.  I’ll be administering the funds and I can’t receive a salary.  Furthermore, I am committed to transparency and updates!

Because of my Peace Corps volunteer status, I submitted a grant application through the Peace Corps Partnership Program.  This means the Peace Corps has approved the project and has posted it on the Peace Corps grant website to invite general contributions.

You’ll have to log in to the Peace Corps website: and look for the project number 14-686-017.  It will be exciting to work along with you to give our children in Rouko a good start to a better education and a more hopeful future.

Gerry – Peace Corps – Burkina Faso

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrew Mello permalink
    January 8, 2015 4:52 pm

    Hello Geraldine, my name is Andrew Mello.
    I have been accepted into the Peace Corps as a preschool teacher in Burkina Faso, and I am scheduled to leave in June. I am curious about your experience. I also have many questions that pertain to my own impending experience. Many language questions, and many pedagogical/practical questions. If you see this post an would like to get in touch with me, you can send an e-mail to I would greatly appreciate your perspective and guidance.

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