Solidarity: a very active Plédranaise association in Benin

Magali Hervé is not so proud with the python around her neck, it's a tradition there at the temple of pythons who are revered
Magali Hervé, the president of Plédran solidarity association, is not so proud with a python around her neck! ©DR

It’s about a human adventure first of all. Two couples, Monique and Gérard Lalucque, Jeanine and Jean Le Borgne, set up a partnership 20 years ago with the National Council of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in Benign to help build schools in the outskirts of the capital, Porto Novo, in Vakon, Kouvé and Zoundji.

The exchanges have continued since. The current president, Magali Hervé, and three other members went to Benin in December 2021 for ten days, in particular to meet their godchildren there.

99 packages had been sent by sea freight in October, they arrived in Cotonou and were picked up by Saint Vincent de Paul. We wanted to distribute the school material in the different schools as well as the material for the Dannou health center.

Magali Hervé, President of PAS

“An extraordinary welcome”

A particularly warm welcome was reserved for them by the members of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul who did not hesitate to devote themselves to the well-being of their guests.

They had scheduled time for us to accompany us on a daily basis and had adapted for the visits. True relationships of friendship and trust have been established. We have been supporting the three schools since 2003. The children welcomed us with music and dance to thank us, so happy with the school material offered.

Hervé Gerber, member of the association

On site, the association drew up an assessment of the needs for the Health center. As for Dannou, they noted the lack of toilets, water, medical equipment for first aid, adapted electric wheelchairs, building materials… “That makes us feel better about helping them. »

A jovial meeting with the godchildren

The four visitors met Beninese schoolchildren. A day was organized by Saint-Vincent-de-Paul to the 25 godchildren and their families.

All the children were happy, especially when the gifts were shared. With intense emotion during the delivery of electric wheelchairs. We will not forget the tears of joy of Andréa, 3 years old, with a disability and the radiant smile of Claudia, 19 years old, quadriplegic.

The group also returned with “magical images in their heads and anecdotes such as the visit to Bouney, the former capital by car: when the alternator belt broke, the driver stopped in a boui-boui for the exchange. In 5 minutes it was done for the modest sum of 700 CFA (or 1.07 €). Mechanics are magicians, they do everything with nothing! A visit to a temple dedicated to pythons will remain just as unforgettable.

Hervé Gerber and his wife Martine met their godchildren, they received beautiful Beninese outfits
Hervé Gerber and his wife Martine met their godchildren. ©DR

Increase actions

Strong links already exist between the Saint-Maurice and Coteaux schools in Plédran, as well as the Little Prince school in Ploeuc-L’Hermitage, which correspond with Beninese schoolchildren.

The association intends to continue to develop the sponsorship network to support children in their schooling and seeks funds to support specific actions, such as the construction of dry toilets or the sending of health equipment. A room to store the equipment would also be welcome.

Several events are taking place: takeaway meal on February 26 (tickets on sale at Plédran merchants and from members), a kig Ha Fartz organized by the scouts on March 6, a galettes evening at the Salle des Coteaux on April 1.

Contacts: Magali Hervé on 06 50 66 90 34 or Hervé Gerber on 06 95 54 05 40.

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