Donation activity to refugees in the Southern Central region of Burkina Faso, Manga

The batch of food

On Friday January 31, 2020, an important donation activity for displaced people took place in the Manga province, the Southern Central Region of Burkina Faso. A great number of the YALI Mandela Fellows 2019 and one representative of the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso (coordinator of the YALI program) were present. It follows on from an online fundraising activity that I initiated in December 2019 which raised $ 3,050. As a reminder, I had explained in a previous article last month that for administrative reasons, the donation activity was pending until a hierarchical authorization was given to us. It finally happened last week.

Few Mandela Fellows and the US Embassy representative (2nd from right to left) who participated in the activity

Indeed, it was 11:00 am on Friday January 31, 2020 in the blazing sun when a pickup truck and a SUV parked in front of a wholesaler store in the Gounghin district, Ouagadougou, in order to load some food for Displaced persons (DPI). Prices and quantities had already been agreed days before in order to save time.

The batch of food was comprised of ten bags of rice of 50Kg, 8 cans of 5L of oil each, 6 boxes of pasta including 24 packages each, a dozen broth packages including 24 cubes each, 2 boxes of brown sugar of 25 packs each, 1 box of 24 boxes of tomato paste and finally cookies for children.

In addition to these, we previously shopped and loaded various items the day before, including fifteen mats, ten buckets, fifty cups, sixty plates and a barrel with a capacity of 100L for the storage of drinking water.

There were also 3 packs of clothing for children of 55kg in total and a pack of shoes of 15kg.

At 11:30 am, cars were loaded, and the team comprised of ten people in total, was gradually leaving Ouagadougou, heading for Manga city, located a hundred kilometres south of the capital. After having a technical stopover, the convoy of 4 vehicles finally left Ouagadougou at around 2:00 p.m. After about an hour drive, we arrived at the Regional Directorate for Women, National Solidarity, Family and Humanitarian Affairs in Manga. One of the fellows who is serving in that region in the field of social affairs facilitated our introduction.

When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by the authorities, Ms. Regional Director and the Provincial Director of social affairs. A delegation of displaced people who were invited to the activity arrived hours before in the morning awaiting us. They were patiently seated under the shade of the trees with their faces dried up by the dust of the harmattan, still with the smile on their lips.

The team discussing with authorities (right to left: Regional Director, Provincial Director)

After introducing each member of the team and the purpose of our visit, we carefully listened to the Provincial Director who made a clear presentation about the reality of humanitarian stakes prevailing within the Region. There were a lot of questions about the security, refugee’s journey and urgent needs, the state of donations from the government and other actors, etc. Overall, it appeared that there still is a crying need for more support to refugees despite what has been already done.

After these exchanges, authorities greatly appreciated our engagement, then they received the donations and presented them directly to the displaced people who were present.

Achille conducting interviews with Refugees

To close the day, we conducted few interviews with some of displaced people, we took some photos before returning to Ouagadougou. It was around 5:00 p.m. when the convoy left Manga, heading back for Ouagadougou.

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Mandela Washington Fellow, for Young African Leaders — Civic engagement — Development Cooperation, Economist, Project Management skills, Free learner

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Achille Sawadogo

Achille Sawadogo

Mandela Washington Fellow, for Young African Leaders — Civic engagement — Development Cooperation, Economist, Project Management skills, Free learner

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