Browsing Tag

Ivory Coast

U.S. Fulbright

Ça Va Aller !/It Will Be O.k.!

November 27, 2013
Becky Bartlein

Becky Bartlein, 2012-2013, Fulbright-Clinton Fellow to the Ivory Coast (left), with Ministry colleagues at the U.S. Embassy library in Abidjan

Since I arrived in Abidjan, Ivory Coast last September, I have been reminded over and over again how many aspects of Ivoirian life and work have been affected by the post-electoral crisis of 2011. Ivoirians, no matter what their political affiliation, are very ready for stability and peace in their country. Many of my conversations with colleagues and friends have revealed their personal experiences with violence, but mostly focus on weddings, births, and other life events. With the U.S. Presidential elections in 2012, we discussed how peaceful transfers of power are important in creating lasting development and stability. Walking around the National Public Health Institute (INSP) where I work, the destruction from the crisis is visible and permeates every aspect of the functioning of the institute: many researchers are camped out around the conference table, as their offices have yet to be refurbished; the laboratories are a mess of shattered glass and dusty, broken furniture; and the library is full of dusty, ripped and mildewed books, as the windows were smashed, thus leaving it open to the elements. Compared with the conditions and resources that I had while doing my public health training, I am even more amazed by the dedication and high quality of work done here at the institute.

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