Despite the fact that the rains have not yet arrived to Pakour in full force queuing me to put trees into the ground, I have been working on a number of side projects and secondary work to keep myself busy. The local high school (CEM) in Pakour has been a frequent place of work for me lately. As a decent-sized town, there are 630 students in need of a proper middle school at which to study. Unfortunately, the CEM has been without proper bathroom facilities for all of its approximately 7 years. The students actually coordinated a strike earlier this year in protest of their lack of facilities. With a substrate of nearly bedrock on the school grounds, the digging alone would be an especially expensive undertaking - much too expensive for the small amount of funding the community school runs on.
The newly-appointed school director wants so badly to improve the conditions and practices at the school, but minimal revenues and no response from the government has kept these conditions the norm. After discussing the issue with Mr. Sabaly I have submitted an application to Appropriate Projects to help fund an 8-stall latrine on the school grounds. As I mentioned earlier, fund-raising is not the job of Peace Corps, and I must not get in the habit of these kinds of projects, but when money is the only obstacle that is why these organizations exist.
The strike was finally ended with word of progress, but Appropriate Projects has yet to approve the proposal. I will keep you updated.