The Orange Foundation is convinced that digital technologies are a tremendous lever for development and make innovative new types of solidarity possible within countries. But digital technology cannot solve everything. In Africa, many people need help of a different kind to have access to basic education. That is why the Foundation continues with its commitments in the field: installing wells, schools and healthcare centres in villages, such is the principle of the Orange Villages. A village is then able to satisfy basic needs and allow children - particularly girls whose job it is to fetch water - to go to school.
The Orange Foundation is running the Villages Project in 10 countries.
The project aims to provide a school, a healthcare centre and a source of water for the poorest villages in all of the developing countries where the Orange Group is present by 2015, for the sustainable development and independence of the inhabitants.
Whereas the formula is the same, every village is different. In fact, the infrastructure adapts to each region and its specific requirements, like natural resources providing a stable economic revenue.
The forthcoming inauguration of the village of Bir Salah in Tunisia give us an opportunity to take a look at results in the villages already created before this one.
2013 a year when many villages saw the light of day.
In Madagascar, seven villages: Manakanda, Ambalavao, Mandromondromitra, Ampasimaneva, Anjanadoria, Ampahitra and Ambatomanjaka.
For example, the village of Ampahitra, in the region of Alaotra Mangoro, was renovated in partnership with the Association des Volontaires pour le Développement et la Protection de l’Environnement de Madagascar (AVDPEM); the village has a primary school with 3 classes and a more effective irrigation system with drinking water and a number of masons have received training enabling them to build latrines and wells to good construction standards.
The village of Ampahitra was inaugurated on 29 September 2013 and now its 2,588 inhabitants benefit from drinking water from the village and there are 200 children in the school.
In the region of Itasy, it is the commune of Ambatomanjaka that benefited from the Villages Project. In partnership with the association Fandrosoana, the drinking water system was repaired and 20 new fountains set up.
In Côte d’Ivoire, five villages saw the light of day in 2012: where are they now?
Every village now has access to drinking water thanks to the installation of pumps and a committee to manage them.
The healthcare centre in the village of M’Brago saw more than 1,500 patients and also had 6 births in 2012. The school also welcomed 164 new pupils.
The village of Mangbébly saw 35 births, over 500 patients visited the healthcare centre and 155 pupils joined the school.
In Nerkéné, the village school took in an additional 151 pupils and the healthcare centre welcomed more than 400 patients.
The village of M’lankouassikro took in a further 120 pupils and the village healthcare centre recorded more than 350 visits and 20 births.
The school in Ahokoi received 167 additional pupils and now needs extra classrooms. The healthcare centre treated more than 250 patients and saw 6 births.
In 2013, 18 infrastructures were under construction for a total of :
- 36 classrooms being built or renovated
- 6 canteens being built or fitted out
- 48 latrines being built
- 6 health centres
- 6 wells being dug
- 12 housing units under construction or being renovated for the medical and teaching staff
- A minimum of 35,000 beneficiaries
Six villages will be completely renovated, each with its own issues:
Kamélé, where the nearest healthcare centre is 12km away and warnings have been issued about contaminations due to water-borne diseases, widespread within the village. The works also benefit 8 other nearby villages.
The inhabitants of Gbangbo N’dakro only had access to a healthcare centre 10km from the village; the 3,500 inhabitants of the village and those of 5 other nearby villages now benefit from quality facilities.
In Wendênê, the 2,800 inhabitants no longer have to walk the 14km that separated them from the nearest healthcare centre, and the same goes for the 8 neighbouring villages.
The village of Nangakaha previously had the highest rate of home births in the health district of Korhogo. The population now no longer needs to travel the 10km that separated them from the nearest healthcare centre.
The 4,500 inhabitants of the village, as well as those of the 5 surrounding villages can ow enjoy the new facilities that have been created.
In Koro, it was difficult for the inhabitants as they had no donkeys to carry water. The nearest healthcare centre was 25km away and they also had difficulties finding emergency healthcare. The 3,000 inhabitants of the village and those of the 4 neighbouring villages now benefit from impeccable facilities.
For 2014, 15 new projects are being looked at; the emphasis will be on continued social support and access to culture, healthcare and education (particularly for women and children).
The village of Bonepoupa, in Cameroon, was inaugurated on 16 April 2014. Thanks to the participation of Plan France, 2 classrooms were renovated and 4 new classrooms created as well as new latrines, housing for the head teacher of the school, 2 wells and an extension to the healthcare centre.
The 3,000 inhabitants of the village now enjoy quality facilities.
As of June 2014, the village of Gojo Gojo, in Niger, will benefit from the help of the Orange Foundation and the organisation for sustainable development, the NGO ODDl Takriss.
In a few weeks, the 5,271 inhabitants of the village, and those of nearby villages, will be making the most of a type 1 healthcare, six new fully equipped classrooms and a mini aqueduct.
So, as of June 2014, each will have:
- a newly equipped healthcare centre run by qualified personnel
- better teaching and learning conditions
- cheap drinking water
- considerably better living conditions.
In Armenia, since March 2014, the Orange Foundation and the NGO Shen have been, running a programme to renovate the village of Hartavan. The purpose of the renovation of this village, located in the heart of Armenia, is to ensure the development of viable economic activities and improve the infrastructure for education and healthcare.
That is why a dairy cooperative is currently under construction, the irrigation systems are being repaired and the same is being done for the kindergarten and primary school. There is also a plan to develop cultural activities in the school such as a singing and dancing club. The capacity of the healthcare centre will also be expanded to accommodate and care for the inhabitants of the village and those of surrounding villages.
Through these various initiatives, the Orange Foundation reaffirms its aim of making education accessible to as many as possible, while adapting to local realities.