Chrëscht mam Sahel project in Burkino Faso

 

M. Mathieu and Mme Fisch visited the club to present Chrëscht mam Sahel (CmS), a Luxembourg ONG which has been working in Burkina Faso since the 1980s. It was here that a home was built in 1999 for unmarried mothers who are often homeless or have been thrown out by their families because they don’t want to marry.

A few have been abused or are orphans. There is theoretically space for 15 girls and their babies, but at the moment they have 18 girls and 16 babies. The home has dormitories, showers, meeting and classrooms, workrooms and an office. They are planning to build a water tower in 2009 because working a hand-pump to get water from the well can be a struggle for young, pregnant girls!

The girls get three meals a day, a secure environment and whatever medical or psychological care they need. They are taught how to take care of themselves (personal hygiene, washing clothes, healthy eating) and their babies. The babies are given necessary vaccinations and they make sure they are properly registered and have a birth certificate. In addition, the girls are given training so that they will be able to earn a living when they leave.

Classes include reading, writing and mathematics, childcare, family planning, AIDS prevention as well as cooking, making soap, sewing, knitting, weaving, gardening. Fruit and vegetables grown by the girls in the garden are cooked in the kitchen, and any surplus (as well as soap, cloth, knitted good, etc.) is sold in a little shop.

The other aim is to help the girls be accepted back into their families, so they have a more secure future. They help make contact and find the babies’ fathers and mediate with the families where necessary. So far seven girls have bone back to their families in 2008. If it is not possible for a girl to return to her family, at least the training she has received gives her a chance to have a decent life being independent, and not end up on the streets.

Despite its name, has no religious preference or policy, and have a mix of muslim and christian girls. The ONG collaborates with 15 other organisations working in the region, especially those trying to improve conditions for young girls. Some of their girls are directed to CmS by these organisations.

The home employs 12 people: teachers, occupational trainers, child minders, an administrator, maintenance/night guard, etc. It is run by Soeur Michelle who is experienced and very efficient, and is everyone’s surrogate mother.

One or two people from Luxembourg visit a couple of times per year to audit the activites and discuss plans, and there is also oversight from contacts based in Ouagadougou.

Since 2001, the home has looked after 188 girls who had 139 babies (12 sadly died) and 142 went back to their families. There are many more girls in this plight in Burkino Faso – the ones who find their way to the CmS home are the lucky few.

Who we are

Who we are

Lions Club Erasmus is the only English-speaking club belonging to the Lions Luxembourg District 113 . We are one of the few clubs that has a mixed membership, i.e. women and men. Although English is our working language, our members are of many different nationalities and backgrounds. It is this diversity and richness which makes our club special.

History of the club

The club was founded in the year 2000 by Leo de Waal, a member of Lions Club Europe, who brought together a small group of people from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and occupations. The same year, Lions Club Erasmus decided on its main project – to fundraise for children’s projects in Luxembourg a

nd abroad.

Taking advantage of the changeover to the euro, it set up its Coins for Kids campaign, where collecting tins were placed with companies and individuals to collect all the old currency coins. These were then sorted manually by the club members and exchanged for euros.

Why Lions Club Erasmus?

The following two Erasmus quotes can stand as a sort of mission statement for Lions Club Erasmus in Luxembourg.

“I am a citizen of the world, known to all and to all a stranger.”

“That you are patriotic will be praised by many and easily forgiven by everyone; but in my opinion it is wiser to treat men and things as though we held this world the common fatherland of all.”

They appeal to us:

  • to transcend borders, both physical and in the mind, in other words, to value openness, tolerance and to accept our common citizenship of the world;

  • to be responsible for others, to serve those weaker and less privileged everywhere;

  • to be mindful and protect our physical environment, since it does not belong to us individually, but to all humanity.

Interested?

If you would like to know more about becoming member, visit our page How to become a member.

More information

If you would like more information about our club and activities, please get in touch with us via our Contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

What we do

Introduction

The club’s regular meetings are held twice a month.

Fundraising

Our main fundraising activity is through the Coins for Kids compaign.

Support through actions

In addition to fundraising, the Lions Club Erasmus has frequently participated in other charity events such as a charity quiz, supporting the banque alimentaire by eating pizza or organising food collections or decorating shoeboxes to hold Christmas gifts for children in need.

… having fun

While supporting children in need in our key activity, we also like to have fun.  In the past we have organised cultural trips for members, partners and friends, including wine-tasting on the Moselle, a trip to Aachen,  a country walk and a visit to the Chambre des Députés. 

How to become a member

Helping others and meeting new people

Are you interested in helping others and meeting new people? As a Lions Club Erasmus member you will:

  • Use your talents to make an impact locally and around the world

  • Acquire new skills

  • Meet people from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds

  • Cultivate new friendships

You can volunteer your time to help those in need through fundraising and other activities.

…And have fun while you do it!

Our Lions Club activities can fit your lifestyle

Being a Lion allows you to help change lives locally and abroad.

We are, however, aware how little time most people have because of professional, personal or family commitments. You can commit as much time as you wish and as your schedule allows or as your circumstances change.

Our club lets you volunteer your help to fit your lifestyle, whether you are looking to lend a helping hand or later to pursue a leadership role.

Meetings

Our regular club meetings are twice a month, on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings.

Interested? Find out more

For more information about becoming a member, please get in touch with us by email at contact@lionscluberasmus.lu or use our contact form.