Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Kids at the river ... in Africa
These are among the fortunate in Africa these days. They live near water and there's plenty of rain.
I'm in the country briefly for work and stop by to visit the family.
More than 50% of the population lives below the poverty level. That's the UN poverty level of about $1.25 per day. (The US 'poverty level' is high enough to be considered wealthy here.)
The economy suffers from a number of problems, one of which is the lack of skilled labor. Keeping kids in school is a high priority for external assistance efforts, ours included.
Domestic food-crop production is inadequate to meet local consumption, so the country imports some of its food. Efforts have been made by the government in recent years to expand food production, and several projects have been undertaken, largely financed by foreign donors. Taiwan is significant among the sponsors. Impressive folks.
Here (left), big sister gets a surprise push that lands her in the water too.
Note the shoreline rock; this looks to have been a volcanic outflow in ages past. The soil is rich and productive pretty much across the island although difficult for hand-managed crops; there's little level ground available.
The water isn't particularly clean, of course. It comes down the mountainside, runoff from jungle and livestock areas, used for laundry and bathing. Boys (right) join in the fun and clown a bit for the camera.
And! They've built a new middle-school! It'll help with the crowding problem. All the elementary schools do double schedule because they've got more kids than seats and teachers for them. Building infrastructure like school buildings is slow, and getting and keeping qualified teachers is an even larger task.