Dot Day: Dewi Naura Vergustina Celebrates Dot Day in West Africa
Dewi Naura Vergustina is a teacher and sustainability education activist in Indonesia. This summer, she journeyed to Burkina Faso, West Africa with Prosper Zongo Foundation to teach the people there about the importance of hand washing to fight disease, how to properly dispose of trash, how to plant trees to support the environment, and to celebrate Dot Day with the local children! Read on for how she helped the children of Kotedougou celebrate their first Dot Day!
“A week before the event, I said to the children in Kotedougou that I will tell them about the story of Vashti. No projector, no beautiful books. I only had the simple story of Vashti that always remains in my heart, and I wanted to share with them. So, I started telling the story of Vashti (with the translator’s help).
The children listened very carefully and asked questions such as who is Vasthi, where is Vashti from, where is Vashti right now? I encouraged them to go to school, study hard and be an optimist. I also used Prosper Zongo childhood story as a beautiful example that African kids also can go study to the US, even though Prosper has the same issues that they face right now.
Next, they made a colorful hand print on the whiteboard as a symbol of their promise to go to school, study hard, and believe that there is hope for their future! Finally, I gave them parting gifts; I bought T-shirts and trousers for them.”
After spending four weeks with villagers, I found the cause why people in Burkina Faso face multiple crises. People in Burkina Faso were disconnected from the place to where they belong. Even though they realize that a farmer, their life has a strong connection with nature, but they do not understand that they need to be rooted in their place. I came to visit the Chief of the village. We discuss some issues, and he ensures that, after having clean water, kids will go to school instead of fetching water.
All that I did for the kids and people in Kotedougou is ceremonial for International Dot Day.
As Paul and Peter always say, they work to make a better world, I am in!”