Following the tragic events that transpired in Ouagadougou on January 15, CECI and WUSC continue to stand in solidarity with the Burkinabe people. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of January’s terrible attack and we remain committed to our work in Burkina Faso.
CECI has been present in Burkina Faso since 1985 and WUSC since 2004. Together, we currently have 27 volunteers on assignment in Burkina Faso, of whom 22 are Canadian and five are Burkinabe. These volunteers are part of the Uniterra program, an international volunteer cooperation program jointly operated by CECI and WUSC in Burkina Faso and 13 other countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and CECI’s Women’s Rice Parboilers Project. Our volunteers connect, collaborate and build the capacities of our organizations' local partners, by sharing their time and expertise.
Twenty-five employees of CECI and WUSC also work in Burkina Faso, whose skills and expertise ensures that our volunteers' mandates run smoothly. We commend our experienced national team who, immediately following the recent attack, sprang into action to confirm that all our volunteers were safe and closely following our enhanced security instructions. These rigorous guidelines help ensure our volunteers are able to avoid any situation that could put them at risk. Our local staff in Burkina Faso are also spearheading our work to continue advancing international development efforts in the country.
CECI and WUSC are determined to continue operating in Burkina Faso. “If we leave one of the poorest countries in Africa, the land will be left to the extremists,” warned Carine Guidicelli, Regional Director of CECI in Africa. Burkinabe civil society organizations have also urged people to remain calm and have called for solidarity in denouncing the terrorist attacks.
Likewise, all of our volunteers have reiterated their solidarity and commitment to the Burkinabe people. Our volunteers returned to their mandates on Monday, January 18, along with the rest of the country. Fatimata Lankoande, Director of WUSC Burkina Faso and Coordinator of the Uniterra program in Burkina Faso, thanked them for their commitment and stated that, "contributing to the development of Burkina Faso is one of the surest ways to fight terrorism, by offering job opportunities to Burkinabe youth and giving them hope for the future.”
Photo: Véronique LeVasseur is a volunteer with CECI’s Women’s Rice Parboilers Project in Burkins Faso
January 17, 2016 – Journal Métro | Attentat au Burkina Faso: des Québécois sur le qui-vive
January 18, 2016 – ICI Radio Canada | Carine Guidicelli du CECI Afrique parle des consignes de sécurité dans le travail des humanitaires
January 19, 2016 – La Presse | Attentat au Burkina Faso : Des organismes avaient mis en garde leurs employés
January 19, 2016 – CBC Radio Canada | Burkina Faso: Quebec volunteer program 'intensifies' security measures
January 22, 2016 - La Presse | L'Afrique menacée