Kynarou: focus on our partner NGO

Kynarou: focus on our partner NGO
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Kynarou: Focus On One Of Our Partner NGOs

KYNAROU, one of our partner NGOs, takes its name from the Tamil word “Well”. It is an association promoting access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for disadvantaged populations. We had the opportunity to talk with Sophie Lehideux, founder and director of Kynarou.

  • Can you introduce KYNAROU in a few sentences?

Kynarou is an NGO, which focuses on the accessibility to essential services (water, sanitation, waste) for disadvantaged rural populations. We have been working since 2004 in South India and since 2016 in Burkina Faso. In India, our team of 18 local employees coordinates our activities every day: at the moment, we are implementing the WATSAN project in 6 villages in the Theni district. The project targets 7500 beneficiaries and will provide them with access to enough quality drinking water and sanitation for women and children. In addition, a waste management system will be set up and we are also starting to promote and train women in family farming (vegetable gardens for 30 women per village, supplied with wastewater from their kitchens…).

 In Burkina Faso, we are currently working on 4 villages (water and sanitation). Each project includes extensive support and awareness-raising programs for the population, so that they can maintain the structures in good condition.

The challenge for Kynarou in the coming months will be to successfully achieve its change of scale by adapting the core of our projects to the local context of our new countries of intervention.

  • So, KYNAROU focuses on the implementation of projects for sustainable access to drinking water in France, India and Burkina Faso. Why did you choose this main line of action? Why in these countries?

Water is a scarce resource, which unfortunately will be lacking in many countries, with the climate change. Essential to life, it also provides access to hygiene, sanitation and healthy food. Without water, disadvantaged villages that do not have access to other infrastructure die, with children suffering from waterborne diseases and unable to attend school.

The accessibility to water also allows women to advance in other areas of their lives: economic, community, family.

We started in India because that’s where the association was born. The areas where we worked at the time were “untouchable” villages, where people do not have access to water because they are considered impure and do not have the right to clean water, because of their untouchable status.

This additional injustice was the starting point of the action. Far from wanting to interfere in the Indian culture, which we fully respect, it was just a matter of setting up small projects in villages in demand.

Gradually, once the accessibility to water was built, the women told us about their great need for sanitary facilities, to avoid aggression, nocturnal animal bites and outdoor defecation.

Today, the areas of action we are taking are circular and complementary. They allow a real improvement in the daily lives of the inhabitants.

  • What are your projects or objectives for the year 2019?

Completing our two projects in India and Burkina Faso, to be able to carry out the following projects quickly at the end of 2019, in these same territories. Finalizing our technical analysis in Madagascar to be able to start a project in 2020. Strengthening the team in France by recruiting a second employee. And celebrating the 15th anniversary of the association, we will tell you more about it very soon…

  • You are a partner of our collaborative travel platform. To finish this interview, a more personal question: if you were a country, which one would you be?

An island in the Pacific… Moorea or New Zealand…


You can also find Kynarou on their website, their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t miss the next article, written by Elizabeth Blanchet for the U2GUIDE community, about the new year. 


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