Last weekend I took the chance to head down to the local village of Maribadou during the market day (Sunday). It's a real eye opener, here in the camp we are insulated from much of the outside world and could anywhere in the world and when you are caught up with working its easy to forget where we are and what it's really like.
With the work that is going on Maribadou has seen major changes in the last few years, for one thing it's population has grown from roughly 800 people to about 8000 people in the last five years!
One thing that struck me (and not for the first time) is that despite the world of difference in location, wealth etc. how similar things are in so many ways. Day to day life goes on, whether its the group of lads hanging around outside a cafe watching the world (and the girls) go by or a mum leading a crying child by the hand. And it continually reminds me how lucky and privilaged we are.
The kids here are great. Like all kids lively and full of life. They love the cameras and seeing themselves in the photos (the joy of digital cameras). While it's tough to see the poverty (mind you not as tough as it would be to live it) it good to know that these kids are likely to have a brighter future than they would have otherwise because of the mine project. The mining company here puts huge emphasis on social and environmental issues and has a policy of employing locals wherever possible, it really has been impressive and certainly makes one sleep better about being involved in such a project. Among other things in the short time that I've been involved they have drilled new water boreholes for local villages and carried out improvement works in the local hospital among lots of other continuing work.
|More of the kids|