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Report to CA FIMEM visit Benin January 14


 Distance Cotonou-Lokossa 120 km ( about 2:30 ). Route, on certain sections,  we proceed very slowly to avoid holes, but they ensure that next year it will work, and part is unpaved, traffic conditions in Cotonou: very slow, many stops, waiting a lot of time in the morning, at noon and in the evening with thousands of motorbike
(Cotonou = 'lagoon of deads, memory of slavery).
Other roads in the country are in better condition.
For personal transportation in the cities: motorcycle taxi (Zejams). No public transport. The greater cities of the North, Niger and Burkina Faso are connected by international coaches. And taxis connect the various cities at very low prix.
Power outages often at night, even for hours, sometimes also for  water and telecommunications.
The internet works very badly also with a key in cyber cafes. For mobile, it is better to buy a SIM card. In cities it works a little better. It is good to know before there can be difficulties at this level and you can stay for days without communication with other countries and   families. We were assured that they will try to resolve the problems.
Arrival night: Hotel Atlas (Cotonou).
Housing delegation Lokossa in a building just finished and belonging to Edward Dohou’s brother , that will became a hotel / reception house with the support of a French NGO. We, each one, had a room equipped with private bathrooms, a shared kitchen and a large reception room, all in perfect working condition as  it was all new.
Sylviane with Edward insisted that we had to stay the three together in the same house, not in two different houses, in two different places and away from one another.
And it was very convenient to get home people with whom we were working.
Introduction of the President of ABEM John Daye, he formally communicates the agenda.
The Delegation of FIMEM begins indicating its role as observers of the situation of organization: logistics, financial and institutional relationships that ABEM has maintained until today.
It will be the CA FIMEM, in its meeting in Gothenburg in April 2014 to give a final judgment if the conditions permit the organization of a Ridef
Giancarlo says that when the CA FIMEM will receive and the estimated budget and gives its approval, the Benin request must be voted during the AG FIMEM Reggio Emilia.
The President introduces the participants and the tasks of each one.
Zero Commission consists of:
Dohou Edouard (ABEM Vice President, Chairman of the Committee)
Ehoui Toussaint (Treasurer RIDEF 2016)
Amossou Christophe (Secretary RIDEF)
The three people , with the grant FIMEM would  participate in the RIDEF Reggio Emilia working alongside the MCE group organizer to follow the organizational aspects and the necessary operations concerning a the RIDEF.
Edouard Dohou explains how the sub-committees established and to work (see point 6).
The delegation begins by clarifying the doubts of the Europeans and the danger that they think only few participants will come. There are fears that originate from the experience of 2006 (RIDEF in Senegal).
The Members of ABEM ensure that the situation will be different.
They expect, about, a minimum of 200 / 300 participants.
The Delegation stressed the importance of a strong feminine presence and the need for a right research, on the side of the ABEM, of contacts and participation of countries in Anglophone Africa if possible (South Africa, Tanzania, ...).
In this regard the answers are vague.
FIMEM must try to arise the level of solidarity
It is ensured by the ENI (the institute that will be the place for the RIDEF) that in the second half of July   the school will be totally available. We discuss the number of days (8 to 10, it will depend on the availability and economic costs: anyway we consider one week for working e nearly ten days, including transfers Cotonou-Dogbo and arriving and departing.

The ABEM is recognized by the Ministry of Education as an educational association for teacher training. RIDEF was presented during a meeting with the National Council of Education. Currently there is a verbal authorization of the Minister, which will add a written authorization or by the Minister or the Council to use the structures of the ENI. They say they have no concern in this regard but they hang on the request.
Due to a strike by civil servants during the scheduled meetings with ministers and national authorization the possibility of exchanging information are still uncertain.


People who asked to participate, further than the three members of the commission zero (payed by FIMEM with a small amount of personal inscription of 40 €)
- John Daye (President ABEM)
- Tchegnon Deyi
- Lokossou Agbadia Angèle (CA member ABEM) paied by Sylviane Amiet
- Odile Maximilienne Rita (President Freinet Group Porto Novo), the Swiss School of Modern Group (STAG) promises to pay half of the trip engaging the ABEM to be responsible for the other half of the fee and expenses travel.

A phone call to Edward communicated that the Board of Education will support the participation of two of its members considering it a mission.
A young professor and director of Dogbo expressed the intention to participate at the meeting of Reggio at their expense. The President and the Board of ABEM declares their contrariety because these teachers do not belong to the Association and may affect the image of the ABEM and Benin in Europe. A lively discussion takes time.
The ABEM asks   to meet these teachers during the visit in Dogbo. The Delegation declared that this position is unacceptable in a democratic and open organization as the FIMEM is.


About the ABEM budget, they requested to have a copy of the accounts of Leon and the estimated budget of Reggio Emilia to get an idea of the different chapters of the inputs and expenses.
The Delegation recalled that the FIMEM lends to each organizing RIDEF group   € 10,000 and if the budget is positive, 60% goes to the FIMEM and 40% in the group organizer.  The same
percentage if the budget is in the red. FIMEM may be responsible for providing grants for solidarity, but the organizing group must try to find other incomes (eg producing bookmark, organizing lotteries, offering 'solidarity action' to buy volunteers who work in the country, ...). and asking subventions to the institutions and foundations.

We explore the possibility of using after RIDEF Reggio, the Italian site, already installed (if the FIMEM accepts.
There is a proposal of the Togolese movement for a post-RIDEF Togo. WE stresses the need to think carefully, because the going from one country to another would imply three visas (arrival, go back to Benin) or a return flight from Togo, so additional costs.
Sylviane thinks Europeans would be interested in a trip to the North in the National Park.

In the case of Senegal, the colony was an economic disaster; it has created a financial abyss. We must think about, before deciding.... and ask the Senegalese accounts before starting this organization. Who  would takeover the management of the Colony?


Distance Lokossa-Dogbo 20 km (half an hour). The road condition is good.
We travel with three members of the zero commission.
We visited in the morning the Ecole Normale for teachers (ENI), a biennial school  for students with a high school diploma.
We were received by the Director (supporting the members of the ABEM) and his staff, the headmasters and other members of the staff

We saw a set ofnew buildings, beautifully crafted,  (you will seephotosduring the  CA meeting).
The exterior is not completed and some areas are not finished yet (they are exposed to the sun), but the headmaster assures us that they will solve the problem by building roads and bridges for the passages between buildings.
The interiors are very well equipped. The entire setting seems attractively and hygienically correct.
We   visited  the library, there are six computers and a video projector. This room will be available to the organizing secretariat RIDEF and the CA, and next we can store work materials.
The building is ventilated.
We go to a large multipurpose room, alsoventilatedwithvideo projectorand that may contain180 people.
 Classrooms building aretwo symmetricalbuildingsof three classroomseach witha capacity of50 people perroom:  sixrooms(whichcould be dividedwith panelsorscreensforthesplit). The classrooms arefurnished withtablesand chairsin solid wood.
We are assured that there are plans to build the other classes (six), without which we could implement all workshops.  It could be difficult e to work outside during the day because of the hot sun .... and the trees are too young for shelter.
Thebig restaurantis ventilated,contains300 people andcan also be usedfor the plenaryroom.
In addition, there are cold rooms and freezers, fridges, store room and a plunge.
As everywhere in Africa, because of the heat, they cook outdoors. The kitchen is located in a large round concrete structure with roof (hut) with ovens and large pots inside and maintained from the outside ground fire. Women are preparing fish and vegetables in large aluminum pans.
In the courtyard, a building contains mills for rice and corn and grain mill.
Thesite is equipped witha generatorthat makesindependentin case ofpower failure (very common in Benin).
Mains water is properly treated and poses no health risk. Sylviane drank it for two months during his previous stay without problem. There is a loto f water  in spite of staying in subtropics.
We goto the dormitories. The rooms are locatedin twotwin buildingsofthree floorseach.On each floor, you enter througha smallcentral hall(meeting point) that can be used as ameeting hallandshortworkshops.These roomsare empty,without furniture.
We visited building for women.
In each wing there are 17-18 double bedrooms (beds two floors) very little furniture (a small table or chair), without wardrobe. The rooms are small but broken. The steward told us that we can add a mattress on the floor if there is a child.
Each wing has a laundry room, but no space for drying clothes
Ineach wing,there are threehealth unitseach comprising2 toilets, 2showers, washbasins,bidetsnexttwosinks(forfeet).
The other building has the same structure. In total we have 150 rooms for 300 beds
An infirmarywillfunctionthroughout the game.
The climate during summer  is a little cooler than the current one: in January was from 24 to 31 degrees and in July 23/28.
Outside there is a long meeting place. But there is no shadow.

Then we visited a large computer lab with 20 computers. It could be used during the RIDEF. We are assured about  the internet connection, but we verified the entire time the difficulty if not impossibility to connect through the internet

However, thesite is equipped withits own antenna: it will be probable an advantage.
The ABEM assure a catering service for meals and service. We have checked at the wedding of   Eduard’s brother, Emile, the effectiveness of such a service.
It remains open the problem of beds  linen (including linen change at half of the meeting, cushions, towels. They think to buy sheets.
We ask to try to find   solutions for hygiene, ordering.
It is also asked to entrust in the participants good will
WE  visited   theprincipal's office. Very kind people.
Having obtained an assurance that the school will be at our disposal, the spaces that we have seen will be completely for us, we request the opportunity to have a printer and a copier.
The manager said he would try, otherwise it will rent. Sylviane doubt the value of rental equipment
We also asked a space for the cafeteria and breaks.
Concerning the exhibitions, we think that  are good the small rooms in the buildings and in the library.
The overall impression is positive, although there are  still some problems due to the size of the rooms, heat and lack of shade, and the difficulty of international communications.
Anyway, the impression is quite different in comparison with the University of St. Louis.
After the visit,one of theteachers of Dogbowho wants to cometoReggiobypaying thecostsAmouzounviAssouDonatien, a young teacher, comes to meetus at'The Paillots Restaurants wheretheABEMgroup invitedus to eat.He was giventhe address of thewebsite and the informationfor the invitationand visa.

We  visit hotels that could accommodate , at different levels,  those who do not want to sleep at school.

Near Dogbo Azouvé

• Hotel Arnogos (15 km. ENI)
Making available up to 17 air conditioned double rooms 28,000 francs = 50 €
Breakfast € 1,500 Pool, very luxurious atmosphere

• Immaculate Hotel (18 km. Dogbo)
Very modest.
2 double bedrooms air-conditioned 15,000 francs = 25 €
12 double rooms ventilated 10,000 francs = 16 €
In addition there is a small supermarket. Breakfast at the restaurant in the courtyard by paying it separately.
We are assured that there will be shuttle buses on hand to take the participants to the place of the Ridef

At  Lokossa, about20 km

• Motel Socem
12 double rooms with fan and mosquito nets. No breakfast. Very modest.

• Hotel La Madeleine

Rooms with double or triple 25,000 francs (€ 40)
Luxurious air-conditioned double 36000 f (55 €)
15000 ventilated double f (25 €)
Breakfast Write for € 4

HotelresidenceManel(chain link)

Double air-conditioned VIP 31500 francs (48 €)
Double ventilated VIP 25500 francs (€ 40)
Normal air-conditioned double 18500 francs (€ 30)
Normal double rooms 15500 francs (€ 27)

Large terraces on the upper floors to relax in the evening.

Other smaller ('Le Cocotiers', ...) and more luxurious hotels, and another Link Hotel, but more expensive and in our opinion more distant from the city center, in the unlit streets. Pool, suites, ambiance 'Arabian Nights')
Return to Dogbo shuttle (rented by organizers).


IN Dogbo

•Town Hall : we had set an appointment with the mayor, but he is traveling. We are received by the municipal secretary who apologizes saying it is the fault of the secretary of the mayor who didn’t  contact us for the absence.
 He was told that this is an educational meeting and it is expected the arrival of hundreds of teachers  from all over the world. Information will be given  to the mayor.   Dogbo is twinned with Roselare (Belgium) and Klave (Germany).

At  Lokossa

• Meeting at the prefecture with Mr. Kohove Corentin, the Prefect.
It has already helped ABEM for documents that have allowed us to have visas. The Prefect is very nice, it provides for the organization of the RIDEF protection (monitoring) for participants. It will also invite attendees to an evening at Lokossa.
WE invited to the plenary and cooperative supper. It has rooms that could be made available in Dogbo at of 'The Paillots' restaurant. His mother was born in Dogbo and this motivates us to help us.

• The Prefect led us in the ceremonial hall of the prefecture, in which are gathered the twenty mayors District of Mono-Couffo.
We introduce them to the RIDEF meeting and the importance it could  have for the Beninese school as a presentation  of children's rights and education for responsible citizenship towards a better future for everyone. It was noted that this is a good opportunity for their schools.
When we leave, two journalists ask an interview on Sylviane FIMEM and RIDEF (but the article does not appear, because he would have to pay like anything in Benin!).
Town hall ofLokossa: meeting with DakpéSossoutheMayor. It does not seemtoointerested, buthe says hehasa hotelLokossa(where hehosted for freeGaspardandRuthduring their visithere). Lokossais twinned withVillaSido(Stintino Sardinia-Italy) (?)
We asked him to pay the participation of teachers / trainers of Benin ( to Reggio RIDEF to promote the transfer of learning  to be done later to  organize training meetings. He told us: 'If you invite me, I’ll come.
Lokossa participates in the International Association of Educational Cities (IAEC), which includes 500 town halls and a congress held in Brazil in 2016.
The Mayor invited us to his home the next evening for a drink (but the appointment will be cancelled.)
• Meeting with the Departmental Director of Teaching Nursery and Primary Mono-Couffo and his team of 'Heads of' (fifteen).
We present FIMEM, the Delegation RIDEF, and it was announced that the National Council of Education in Reggio send two persons to a mission. We invite the Director to Reggio and expects his aid. We explain that RIDEF will involve researchers that  practices Freinet Pedagogy and analyze  and reflect  together.
Sylviane said she visited different places in the country,  schools of excellence and the need to help other schools  reach a similar level.
The Director wishes us good luck and hopes our  RIDEF  in Benin will be a success.
•In Cotonou

• University of Abomey . The Rector is traveling, we must return in the afternoon by calling several times. Finally, the Vice- Rector, prof. Maxime Da Cruz, very busy throughout the day, receive at 17 h . The Rector has delegated him.
Initially, the Rector had proposed the RIDEF can be done there at the university (UAC) , but ABEM declined because the staff is mainly placed   in Lokossa and around.
The Vice -Chancellor said that all requests must be made in a written form. It invites the ABEM to propose a convention with the University , ( it would facilitate procedures and aids, e.g a bus for an excursion, perhaps missions teachers to participate to the RIDEF Reggio ) He was invited to Reggio , their participation with that of the Rector could get support for RIDEF in  Benin.
He advises the ABEM  to write immediately to the Rector and this is what we strongly recommend to Dohou when we go out.
 We feel that sometimes they underestimate these formal aspects.

MinistryofRelations with Institutions. Here too, thefirst time,they didn’t receive us. The Council of Ministers didn’t meet us forstrike problems of civil servantsand the Ministeris very busythroughout the day. All ministershad to change theirprograms because ofthe strike.
 He received us in the evening at 19:30 pm.
We asked the Minister Bio Toro Orou Guiwa to support and facilitate the organization of RIDEF, particularly to support our request to be received by the Minister of Education.
It also highlights the difficulties to connect here in Benin with Europe and malfunctioning telecommunications.
Meeting at theNationalCouncil ofEducation(CNE)with PresidentHoutondtj  Paulinand CNE technicians. Two of themcould be sent toReggiomission: NappornClarisse(BA in Psychology) andAmagbegnonAugustin(Bachelor of ScienceofEducation, Deputy Secretary General of thePresident).
The President is very tired by the meetings these days, but very attentive. He wants to know if RIDEF is a seminar or convention. We explained that is a Congress, specifying the particular characteristics of our meetings. He was handed the pedagogical document RIDEF Reggio and some bookmarks.
He agreed to support the participation of two employees in Reggio. But when we told him we estimated the total cost for one person € in 1500, he has a moment of perplexity. He asks what can FIMEM can really offer.
He asked whether the organization can support RIDEF stay in Reggio (registration, accommodation, meals, ..) while the CNE would handle the trip. It was explained that we are a federation that is built entirely on volunteer participants and criteria of solidarity, so for us it is impossible. Our main concern is to support the presence of teachers / trainers who can act as ' multipliers ' formative opportunities.
  President assures us that he will submit to the attention of the Cabinet that the  proposal  that  these two people   would be paid by the national budget. The Council will assess the  ability to send only two or one people. But he says he wants to be convinced by the benefits that we can spring from our educational project. He asked Ms. Napporn to question us.
 She says to be aware of our pedagogy , not only  Freinet   Montessori , Decroly ... but she asked what was spread by the Freinet Movement in Benin.  Sylviane explains the dynamics of the expansion of ABEM , starting and working in Lokossa and Dogbo , and now  spread in different  parts of the country .
 Organizing a RIDEF undoubtedly will facilitate a greater diffusion. Already   new groups are settling (in Sanxenxo, in Cotonou, ...)
 The President also asked to understand what our pedagogy is, how    it differs from other approaches :
 'Suppose you have to explain to ignorant people and try to make you   understand ... What do you say? '   He wants to be convinced.  Member ABEM make interventions on the technical what's new, free text,   class council, work, ...) also speaks of cooperation, and it was stressed by Marta ,   in our classes we especially consider children at the center of the Process of learning,  She speaks about the respect of the development of their  identity,  culture and items of expression. The child in our classes is the protagonist of the educational process.  In the end, the President said that currently 'teaching religion at Benin is  EPA (competency-based approach).
 They believe that the meeting will be a positive one and we had  a good impression of the President .

• Meeting with the Ministry of Primary and Infant school, Minister Eric K.     N'Da and his secretary . The appointment early in the morning, it was the subject of several calls the day before, the Minister said he was very busy and offering to meet its   Secretary. It was only when we said that we had a personal invitation   to give him that he agreed to receive us in a very modest building compared with other departments !
We explains our goals and especially the number of participants  to Reggio Emilia. We gave him the letter of invitation to Reggio signed by the President of  the  FIMEM and the RIDEF documentation. .
 The meeting continues on the same pattern of previous day : how many are you, is  your association  present only at primary school, what do you think to do for a  wider dissemination ? We give similar explanations to those of the previous days. Sometimes the Minister yawns, sometimes it seems to be asleep. He asked if , coming to Reggio , we will bear the costs of its participation . HE was told about all the lack of resources, financial difficulties and other.  To help teachers to participate in Reggio, he needs to have an authorization from the Government, it is necessary that the ABEM makes the requests .  Before leaving , the Minister said that the school is unique in Benin but with   different implications . There are public, private , religious, Koranic   but all must return to the national education system. There are experiments also positive with private school , why stop at the public school? In  Benin, according to him, the problem is that there is an excess of democracy, ie an      excess of freedom which can result in anarchy.  We would like to talk with him about the bad situation of the school we could see, but
 we preferred to avoid controversy.

• It was planned a meeting with the Representation of Unesco in Benin, but no one has contacted them before we arrived and we give up .

(It should be the solicitor to contact the institutions to remind appointments. They have not used the formalism of the state. Especially Edouard is very tired . )

       (LOKOSSA School POLICE directed by John Daye and Simon Bessan)

The ABEM CA and fifteen members of committees participated to the meeting. Several members were not there because right now there were many school inspections.
It will be noted during the meeting that it would be better to make their meetings on Saturdays when schools are closed and they would need   2 hours meeting in a morning and more. But they say that Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for religious ceremonies and family, so no one would come to the meeting
Really the inspector that visited the school asked to participate in the meeting after teachers, parents and others..
The President began by calling each commissions and controlled participants, and we were asked to speak. We congratulate them for all the work already done and express our appreciation for the building of the ENI . But anyway we remind them that a RIDEF   is a complex organization with many different phases and activities which are correlated one with each other. It must be clear that all those working in the organization ought to have the perception of it as a whole. It is positive that they gave tasks to the various committees, but each working group must be familiar with all . The constant reminder as  the task of zero commission is the connection with is the educational theme of the meeting that gives the unit ( not yet a chosen theme ) .
Workshops should relate coherently to the theme.
About the choice of the theme, we suggest it is must not be too generic. It must be a subject on which we can really work and think for a RIDEF, so not only a title, participants must have the feeling of a significant content for them and for education. It also has to be a theme that motivates them to come, IT HAS TO BE problematic, and would raise questions, curiosities, which leads to think 'I cannot miss this appointment!. This is to overcome resistance and to convince to come beyond the difficulties that anyway the Western participants have to face (the three of us have had some health problems).

Commission by commission, we analyzed tasks and difficulties .


 Their work :
- Contacts with government
- Preparing agreements for residential work and cooperative relations (we do not yet know if there will be costs and / or will be supported by the school administration )
- Relations with FIMEM
- Relations with local authorities
- Communications and Publications
- Organization of the day forum (theme of the roundtable and expert contact)
- Renting of transport (buses , taxis, shuttles)
- Opening and managing bank account RIDEF
- budget
- Coordination of financial activities of the other committees
- Choice of theme with the ABEM group
- Subdivision of delegates in the bases groups with the individualization of coordinators for information and requests of participants
- Assignment of jobs (ABEM group, CA office FIMEM , workshops, bases groups, short workshops, plenary and AG ..


Tchegnon Deyi arrived later.

- Registration forms in English, French, Spanish
- Recording of payments and housing
- Making badges (pass)
- Management of arrivals and departures
- Daily schedule
- Holding keys: opening and closing facilities (workshops, exhibitions, offices, ...)


 Agbadia Angela.

- Meal tickets
- Contracts with an outside catering service and  with service and cleanliness-storage (three meals per day)
- Cooperative organization supper
- Picnic lunch on the day of excursions
The food should not be monotonous and repetitive. Individuals must be able to appreciate, even if precautions with the authentic cuisine of the country.

 People charged are not present.


- With zero commission they would hire means of transport.
-   the management of bus  to and from the airport
-  the management of minibus shuttle for domestic travel during the day (shopping,
    pharmacy, hotels ...)
- Reception and support for participants. They will collaborate with commission 10

Everyone arrives at Cotonou. Buses will carry people to Lokossa. Departures to Paris are always in the evening, they fly at night.


People charged are not present
Recommended tasks:

- Goods housekeeping
-  bed  linen ( linen changed after 5 days)
- Towels : will they be in the rooms or they will be taken by the participants?
- Toilet paper . Rubbish
- The cleaning and cleanliness should not be done by the Beninese teachers participating in the meeting , but entrusted to a company or we will organize among participants as to Nantes,  there is a discussion on this point
- Nursing school opened with an available staff
- Mineral water bottles assured for buying


Agossou Joseph

- Organization of long and short workshops
(Planning, preparation and assignment of places and provision of equipment)
- Organization of the workshop for children
- Organization of sketches , theatrical performances, in relation to the theme
- Exhibition spaces

We reiterates the need for workshops introducing the theme of the Ridef in different ways .
The animators should write the details that will appear on the site. The commission will analyze the records proposing any changes they think will be necessary.
There i , currently, no theme and we noted a difficulty in finding it.

It was noted that the Education Committee should also be responsible for drafting a document that explains the basic theme that will be spread among the FIMEM movements so that participants are aware of the research that will be at the basis of the RIDEF .

Is a commission of two components is sufficient for this work? Is it not a job that should be the managed by all the ABEM ?


People charged are not present.


- Review of applications forms through the sheets workshops
- Purchase and storage of equipment, through daily an effective service of delivery and recovery management ( as in Leon )
- It’s necessary to inform the animators that they will try to bring with them as much as possible of the materials they will need )
- Hire of equipment and instruments (if necessary)
In the country it’s not possible to find some material. They  need to know before.
The main problem is the photocopier for the newspaper.

We hope that they will receive material through from the ARCADE association in Nantes. But the list of applications is not yet established.
We will have the printer FIMEM , but we need at least another one.

Commission 7 : SAFETY

People charged are not present.

Prefecture supports security and surveillance, so the commission will contact those who will do service in and around the structure.
Insurance is recommended for participants but also for the organization that must be able to protect themselves.


One member is present and asked what should be one by ABEM for solidarity ..
We explained that there are different actions:
- Evaluate with the FIMEM who support and seek movements from A to contribute
- Try to facilitate the presence of teachers / trainers Benin (s) but also other African countries through contacts with other movements and their Ministries of Foreign Affairs
- To support letters of invitation for visas (earlier they are obtained , are cheaper travel)
- Looking for sponsors for aid to  C countries


-   arrivals management , hospitality, housing people arriving one day before ( family accommodation in hotel, AT ENI ? ?)
- the same for departures
- Post- RIDEF organization in Togo has already expressed perplexity and they had not had contacts with the Togolese Movement
- See Panel 3


- Preparation of sketches with children on the theme of RIDEF
- Relationship with parents
- Who animate ? who will  invite children ? Where? who will pay?

We underline again the necessity to think carefully about the feasibility of this activity during the RIDEF is emphasized.

They seem to leave the idea.

Tatiana Sakponou is in charge of the commission.


- Organization of cultural events ( discovery of the culture of the country ) and intercultural ones
- Making contact with outside groups (music, theater, folk dances)
- Management of the cafeteria ( there must be natural coffee – beer, ice cold and carbonated water )
It was noted that they will support themselves managing the bar, if the school agrees , they would have an economic advantage.

The interest for the knowledge of the cultures of countries will be a major expectations of European participants.


- Accommodation management and systematization of rooms
- Purchase linens (towels ?)
- Systematization in hotels for those who wish
- Cleanliness of the rooms , bedrooms and bathrooms

It is said that many westerners decide to go to sleep at the hotels, so it will provide differentiated contributions (country A -B- C; ENI / hotels , with or without breakfast , children not FIMEM participants) and shuttles
Hotels the most ' expensive ' we have seen are very good class, very comfortable.



- Website ( we hypothesized the use of Italian already  active without closing after Reggio Emilia)
- Journal before and during the RIDEF
- Daily newspaper to distribute during the Ridef
- Informational materials to advertize the meeting
- question to the Ministry to send the communication to schools
- Preparation of posters

The difficulty of the internet communication is stressed in the country and we asked if they feel equipped to teach the use of technology . Sylviane last year donated 10 laptops to ABEM . (one per cell and commission ) . Why they are not all used ? Embarrassed silence .

It takes a specific time to be published in the website registration forms . We ask they should be ready end of December 2014. Must send early letters of invitation .
It was noted that if the communication is not timely and efficient there will be no RIDEF in Benin.
We gave given to Toussaint Ehoui the timing planning arranged for Reggio, the planning, the registration form, long and shorts workshops form.
We finished the meeting, that was the first collective joint commissions one, it was really necessary for understanding what a RIDEF is.


Presents: J. Daye (who is also secretary of the CAMEM ), S. Bessan , T. Ouhoui , A. Agbadia , C. amoussou

Our concerns are repeated about the instability and the difficulties of connection and communication .
We repeat our request that there be a pedagogical theme 'strong' which can be attractive.
The ABEM proposes to meet and to collect proposals from its members and finally to choose, also putting together different suggestions (not voting , how they offered at a first time , but making the effort to amalgamate the arguments by joining and giving them a unit ) .

Sylviane said he should know that Europeans have difficulty to understand customs and social and economic structure of the country ( no European shops or malls, no bus stop, buses do not arrive at the specified time, we  have no set stops , the public transport in cities, ... ) .


Abeautiful Sundayspentvisiting beautiful sites withEdward,tirelessdriver, andChristophe, places that offeropportunitiesfor outingsduring theRIDEF:
- Ahome  with a beautiful Chalet restaurant on the lake BOPA. Maybe someone will be happy to spend a few days after RIDEF Chez Theo. With a canoe you can make tours on the lake.
- Possotomé center of the source of water and important thermal source (potential sponsors RIDEF)
- Ouidah, ' the city of the diaspora', it’s one of the  historic site of the tragedy of slavery which celebrates the memory of the last journey for the slaves, (the darkroom, the tree of forgetfulness, the door of no return)
- Grand Popo spa center .... very simple ...

There are still plenty of other attractions at  the east and north of the country.

5 . PORTONOVO Meeting with Abem group

We visited the Dowa school and the ABEM group. The manager, Odile Rita
Maximilian , president of the group, will come to Reggio .
This is a newly formed group with teachers and institueurs , a very friendly group.
Road were in good condition but mainly out of Cotonou and in the last part of the journey we had to wait for a long time to the edge of the lagoon for police checking.


 We asked the conditions and the  age of buses parked outside , one very old  inside ( there are five outside) .
The owner confirms that there will be efficient and air-conditioned buses within two years , a good half of the buses has been renewed.
There will be for the Ridef :
- Airport buses Cotonou- Dogbo (arrivals in the evening around 20 pm . )
- Coach Dogbo - Cotonou Airport (departures at night around midnight )
- 5 day coach outings
- Minibus shuttle several times during the day Lokossa -ENI Dogbo ; roundtrip hotels outside Dogbo to ENI .
They have a minibus with 15 seats , but they can let some from  other partners .
In Lokossa no transportation company , so everyone  must go Cotonou .
We asked  for a provisional a budget .

We recommended: :
- to Collect all the files in a documentation folder
- to free from a hierarchical way of behaving in the association for  a better engagement and accountability of everyone, the committee members must be able to act independently , not waiting for directives, in a spirit of cooperation and sharing of work. The excessive respect for authority, they expressed , is one of the problems of the society of Benin .
- To avoid misunderstandings, we explains the active and operative methodology at the base of development of workshops during a Ridef . During our MCE meetings , and also in the Ridefs , participants are invited to work in first person and to produce in a cooperative way. It is this way of working on our emotions (which are inseparable from knowledge) , on our knowledge , on our mental representations  is the challenging of our pedagogy . Each knowledge built directly by the subject translates into a personal transformation, and the personal change and evolution  is the goal of our education.
- WE underline to try to prevent that Africans teachers will arrive in Reggio with some expectations about the workshops in RIDEF that could be not satisfied. We do not work in a transmissive way and only verbally  but we try to involve teachers in the whole process of education  . This choice created a problem among participants in Leon.
- Our recommendations were to reach Reggio with a video presentation or PP in three languages ​​and well prepared.
- we also proposed to prepare a short workshop on socio- cultural and educational reality of Benin, with the help of Beninese participants at the RIDEF .

                                                               Giancarlo Cavinato
                                                               Marta Fontana
                                                               Sylviane Amiet