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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Brick by brick.

Brick by brick.
The just ended Bozoum Fair represents a very important moment of development.
The NGOs and the UN Agencies who would have looked after the Agriculture and its development are practically absent. Despite that, the Fair is in constant growth. The sale results are more than doubled compared to the last 2 years. But what it's really important for the cooperatives and the farmers is that the Fair has become a fixed meeting. It's also an advantage the fact of its independence from NGO and UN, it means more freedom and projects closer to the needs and abilities of the people.
Last week I witnessed the realization of another dream. In January 2017 I went to South Africa to see and buy machineries to make bricks. The machines arrived and in January the production started. About 20 young men are learning to make bricks and to lay them. The production is about 3000 a day, the bricks are solid (very strong) and can be joined by locking, without cement. So, we started the construction of an Agricultural School in Bangui: this will allow the many young people to receive a basic formation for a valid job.
This week in Bozoum we finally started a radio station. Thanks to NGO Internews, we have started the process to create a Community Radio. There is much expectation and the radio could help a lot, both information and formation. On Wednesday morning we had a very important meeting with the many Bozoum city Groups, in order to elect a Comity, who will prepare the opening of the Radio Station. The Comity now has been formed. The name of the station has been chosen: Radio KOYALE (the name of the small river crossing the city).
This week will end up with the trip to Bouar for the consecration of the new Bishop, l'Abbe' Mirek, on Sunday Feb. 11th. We will go with a group of 100 people from Bozoum. For this occasion we started a diocese blog:
Brick by brick ...a large House is growing!

Fine della Fiera
fin de la Foire

Bangui: Visita della Presidente del Bambin Gesù di Roma, Mariella Enoc


Friday, February 2, 2018

Agricultural Fair 2018. 2

gli orti di Bozoum
les jardins potagers de Bozoum

Agricultural Fair 2018.  2
This year since the beginning of the Bozoum Fair, 14 years ago, for the first time the Bozoum Agricultural Fair did last three days instead of the usual two.
The opening day it was Friday January 25th while Saturday 26th was dedicated to special visits. While the fair was going on normally, with the exhibition, sales and trade, the three Ministers of the Government and other guests went to visit the rice fields and vegetable gardens.
Saturday morning I guided everyone to the Center Rizicole Bohoro: a center created in the ‘70s by the Chinese, which is kind of model for the rice fields. The rice, unlike other products, has a fairly high price (around 60 euro cents a kilo). Moreover, thanks to the fact that some Organizations buy the rice in large quantities, the farmers decided for a larger production. Compared to 2016, from the 12 hectares of early stage of cultivation we reached now 32 cultivated hectares. As well for the yield: from the past 35 tons to today 192 tons, with the result of an improvement from 2.91 tons per hectare to the actual 6 tons.
Saturday afternoon is the time of the visit to the vegetable gardens of Bozoum: a dozen families and small cooperatives grow salad, tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, potatoes and much more for consumption and sale. Visiting these gardens is always exciting: it is a joy for the eyes, and for the heart!
On Sunday, after the celebration of the Masses, we go back to the Fair: sales are proceeding well, and the students of our “St Augustin” High School are busy to help exhibitors getting ready with the cards showing the achievement of their sales. In the meantime everything is ready for the award ceremony, which starts at 11am. It is a long awaited moment: the best vegetable gardens and the best exhibitors of the fair are rewarded. There is a lot of suspense, and it is nice to see that among the winners there are many who came from far away and a good number of women. A small but well deserved recognition of the fatigue and sweat of so many people. In the evening the closing of the Fair, though the sales go on until Monday. And the result of all this great effort is very encouraging: the cooperatives have achieved an income of over 60,000,000 CFA francs (over 91,500 Euros; 114,000 USD). And already on Monday evening, thanks to the exceptional work of Maurizio Dischino and Francesco, the Bozoum Fair was broadcast in Italy on TV2000. Here is the TV Report:

Visita alle risaie
Visite au Centre Rizicole

Foto con il Ministro dell'Agricoltura e il Ministro dell'Allevamento
La photo avec les Ministres de l'Agriculture et de l'Elevage

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Agricultural Fair 2018. 1

Agricultural Fair 2018.  1
Finally here we are again with the great Bozoum Agricultural Fair. Are at present 14 years we have been promoting this initiative. It’s the only one of its kind in the whole Country: dozens of small cooperatives on an area of 220 km, bring the agricultural products here, taking care of their display and trading them. It's a three-day festival, of exchanges, of trade. It is the peasant pride party. A dozen or so trucks were loaded with corn, millet, beans, peanuts, sesame, cassava, rice and what was produced by families and small cooperatives. The trucks arrive from Ngaundaye, Ndim, Bocaranga, Taley and other areas, within 220 km.
This year we have about 180 cooperatives. For the occasion our Caritas (with the support, this year of the Friends for the Central African Association) organizes the transportation of the merchandise, the organizing of the stands, the reception of the visitors and everything a similar event requires.
Over the years, the Fair has grown, becoming an important event for the all region and for the Country. It is the only Agricultural Fair. For the occasion, the President of the Central African Republic wanted to come and see for himself. At the last moment other important commitments didn’t allow him to come, but he still wanted to send three Ministers (Agriculture, Breeding and Youth).
This year, given the increasing volume of exhibited products and trading, the Fair lasts 3 days. This morning, Friday, there was the inauguration. Tomorrow we will continue until Saturday closing with the awarding of prizes to the best exhibiting cooperatives.
We go on with our peasant pride!

Le varie tappe del riso
les différentes ètapes du riz

Friday, January 19, 2018

Just married

Just married
Saturday, January 13th we joyfully celebrated the wedding of a nice couple: Sylvester and Valentine. He is the Dean of the state High School, and she is a teacher. Beautiful celebration and beautiful party, which is prolonged, after Mass, with food, drinks, dancing and music.
On Tuesday I go to Bouar, for some meetings, back home in the evening, together with Paolo Silvestro. His wife Chiara and the other two newly arrived volunteers, all of them are a bit sick, for this reason they are forced to stay home.
The preparation of the Fair is more intense day by day. The Fair will take place on January 26th -28th, so very few days left and still a lot to do. During the week we go around visiting the fields which appear already like beautiful gardens.
Last Sunday, in Bangui, the brick machine trainer (Hydraform) arrived and there is a good group of people wanting to learn. We also sent two masons, because in the future we could start building schools and chapels with this material. The work is proceeding well: on Wednesday alone they produced 2,250 bricks. It's very good news.
With this good news something not so good. The car accident which happened last week regarding the Caritas car it was a lot scaring. I received some pictures: the engine went off, the brakes did not work and the car started to back away until it fell from a bridge into the river below. We just have to thank that no one, I stress no one, got hurt!



Sr Annita, Ada, Anna, Sr Lydie, Gauthier, Chiara, sr Anne Marie, Jacques e Ada

i mattoni Hydraform