Trailblazing on the Central Plateau

Doris Emilia’s House in Thomonde

Our work as PSF interns allows us to with families in the program and visit new communities in the Central Plateau. As Chris put it, we are doing a little trailblazing as Sewanee students. This summer, we are venturing to six communities—five of which Sewanee teams have never visited, and we are very excited to be forming new relationships in this beautiful country.


Girl drinking from the water system in Thomonde.

In the early stages of our work here, we have visited 15 families in each of the six locations at their homes and farms. When we arrive at each house, we have a brief conversation explaining to the head of household why we are visiting them and asking them if we can take photographs of their home, garden, any animals given to them by PSF, and making a portrait of them and/or their family. These photographs will later help us, Gillaine, and the Kellogg Foundation to understand the standard of living in each area, including income, education, and access to living essentials such as drinking water. Once we have visited all families in the program (on this week’s agenda), we will return to one or two families in each location to conduct in-depth interviews about their lives, their farms, and their relationship with PSF.

Jean Junette’s House in Thomonde

So far it has been interesting to arrive at a point where we understand the general income of certain areas in comparison to others. Our goal is to provide accurate information given by the families in our interviews and detailed observations about communities, and provide PSF with ways to improve the program to better help the families’ lives. In making these house visits and returning to conduct interviews, I hope that we are forming relationships between these communities and Sewanee students that will continue to be sustained through future work with PSF.

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