Guinea Bissau: A WellFound Year in Review

Going into our 11th year working in Guinea Bissau, we are still managing to improve year upon year. Since April 2019 we have achieved a lot, bringing truly sustainable and meaningful change to more people than ever.  

Of course, we are now focused on facing the challenges posed by the coronavirus. More of that later. But first we wanted to share some of the results since April 2019.

Our work 2019-2020

Water

In the past year, we have brought safe drinking water to over 11,209 people in Guinea Bissau. This is an outstanding achievement, especially considering the remote nature of the regions we work in. Additionally, we trained 10 young people to maintain the wells. We make sure that each village has several people with the knowledge and skills needed. Those people live in the villages, meaning that when a well needs attention there is always someone who knows how to fix it. 

Kids helping their parents fetch the daily water for their homes

Market Gardens

Since April last year, we have trained 330 women on sustainable farming methods and supported villages to set up three new market gardens. These give people access to a balanced and healthy diet, and are a source of economic, social and emotional empowerment for women. Women sell excess yields at market, meaning that for the first time in many of their lives they are making their own money.

The women’s group in Naga taking stock of the market garden produce

Equality

We held 69 workshops focusing on equality last year. As a result, over 550 women have reported and demonstrated more confidence in participating in village decision-making. That’s not all, at least 652 men have reported and showed more supportive attitudes and behaviour towards women. Women now have opportunities to take more active roles in their villages. They provide healthcare, income and vegetables and they participate in decision-making committees.

The women’s group in Tchil getting ready to start farming

Financial independence

This is a key aspect to ensure independence. We can help build financial independence in two ways. Firstly, individual incomes can be increased by providing training for people on construction and mechanics, sustainable farming and how to find local economic opportunities. Secondly, whole villages can become financially independent by establishing community-wide micro-saving schemes.

Coronavirus and our plans for the coming year

That was a brief summary of a very busy year, but now of course we all face the challenges of Coronavirus. The virus is spreading in Guinea Bissau and is largely going unchecked. Already we are coming across instances of severe hardship and food shortages across the country.  We are shifting our focus towards tackling this virus and its effect on some of the most underserved areas in Guinea Bissau whilst of course ensuring the safety of our staff and residents of the villages whom we serve.

We are focusing on building more hand washing stations, providing health and hygiene training, horticulture training and on raising awareness of coronavirus. We are working in partnership with the Guinea Bissau Government and other organisations, to increase our effectiveness. The situation is likely to develop rapidly over the coming months, so our planning must remain flexible. We will of course keep you up to date with major developments.

We are looking for donations to support those vulnerable people whom need support with water, food and information.

Until then, stay safe, stay positive and from everyone here at WellFound, thank you for your support.

If you would want to know more about our work in Guinea Bissau, please email contact@wellfound.org.uk or call 02079987376

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