Photos and Stories

  Success Stories of our Learners

Bringing Potable Water to a Village in Burkina Faso

Edith Nebie is a Literacy of Northern New York language student working with our agency to improve both her spoken and written English skills. Her tutor is Carla Haas, a retired school social worker for Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. Edith and her husband Babou reside in Watertown with their three daughters: Grace, age 12; Clavery, age 9; and Mathel, age 4. Grace and Clavery attend local schools in the Immaculate Heart system. Edith and her daughters visit Edith’s family home, the African country of Burkina Faso, and Grace’s and Clavery’s birth place, during summer school vacations.

However, this Christmas there was a change in routine. Edith Nebie and her three daughters made a December 2018 trip to Burkina Faso.

The Nebie sisters, having been to Burkina Faso and listening to their
parents, family and African friends talk, became aware that fresh drinking water was extremely limited in the small rural village of Sekeni, Burkina Faso. Mrs. Nebie’s aunt and her grandmother, as well other members of Mrs. Nebie’s extended family, are Sekeni villagers.
Grace Nebie, with the help of younger sister Clavery, worked to obtain sufficient money not only to have water located by a local water finder (a dowser) with his divining rod, but to have drilling equipment brought to the site to drill the well. The project was recorded by a documentary film maker; and Grace was interviewed by a reporter for the national Burkina Faso television network. As a local village elder noted, “There is no life without water”. The joy the villagers displayed when they had fresh water to use and no longer had to make a perilous climb down a steep embankment to fetch and carry less than pristine water was truly heartwarming.

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  • Mireille improved her English speaking skills and had six job offers. She is currently working part-time.
  • Annet helped Deborah staff several booths at events LNNY attended. She also volunteers at several organizations, including Hospice.
  • Cynthia went up three grade levels in reading, learned how to focus more when taking a test and learned test-taking skills. Her goal is to get her high school equivalency diploma.
  • Edith obtained a learner’s permit and has improved her English language skills. She obtained her driver’s license in Feb. 2016. She also designs and sews her own clothing line.
  • Maricella is involved in her son’s pre-kindergarten program and takes pride in reading and understanding letters and notes from his teacher.
  • Mariely went to her daughter’s parent-teacher conference and the teacher commented that she is speaking and understanding English better.
  • Randy passed a math class at J.C.C., which he had failed previously.
  • Nicole is studying for her driver’s permit, and has received help reading recipes and understanding notes from her children’s school.
  • Eager to obtain a job, Jacinta, a native of Nigeria, began attending ESL classes at Literacy of Northern New York several times a week last spring. She takes pride in setting up our audiovisual equipment for our ESL class and also helps the teacher pack up after class. After several months and over 125 hours of instruction, Jacinta went up an NRS level. Her ESL teacher helped her fill out online and paper job applications and after a few months of searching, Jacinta obtained a part-time job at Ponderosa. She recently moved out of her son’s home and obtained her own apartment. Jacinta enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering at the Urban Mission, which operates a thrift store for low-income families.