From time to time we make emergency appeals.
In 2012 we made an appeal due to there being a famine in Burkina Faso, an appeal which resulted in our being able to feed the inhabitants of many villages for months. In June 2019 it was time to make another appeal due to the problems being experienced at the hands of Jihadist terrorists operating out of Mali.
On Sunday 12th May in the town of Dablo, to the north of Burkina Faso, a group of terrorist gunmen attacked the Catholic church whilst Mass was being celebrated. Six people were killed, including the priest, Fr Siméon Yampa. This was just one of many attacks which have been carried out on the Christian communities of Burkina Faso this year; very sadly, this type of attack is on the sharp increase in Burkina Faso, particularly in the north and east of the country. Our primary colleague in Burkina Faso, Fr Lambert, lives in Kaya, a town towards the north of the country. He went to Dablo the day after the attack to help put the bodies into the coffins and to then bury them. Below is a photograph taken that day.
These naturally peaceful people are going through a terrible time and need help, the Christian community particularly. Just after the attack in Dablo, Fr Lambert mentioned to us some of the ways in which we could be of practical help right now.
There are around 5,000 refugees currently living in Kaya. These are people who have fled the extreme north of the country or Mali (where the terrorists are based). In a recent Whatsapp text from Fr Lambert, he laments that there are associations which try to help but because they want to be recognised there is always great ceremony, at the end of which there are just “crumbs” left for the actual refugees. We think we can do better than this, particularly as we are committed to ensuring that 100% of donations end up with those in need.
Fr Lambert has set out the ways in which we can help the refugees in his town of Kaya:
· the provision of food
· providing survival kits (includes mats, clothing and cooking facilities)
· cash for basic needs
· ensuring the education of the children
One small but important thing we can (and will!) do is to pay for the education of this girl, (below), whose father was killed during the attack in Dablo
Below are very interesting charts showing the number of armed terrorist incidents over Mali and Burkina Faso since 2014. A really excellent source of information about the situation in West Africa is Al Jazeera (click here).