Hope and Shelter, Amidst the War in Burkina Faso – Global Issues

The recent unrest in the capital Ouagadougou surrounding a military coup, is just the latest example of unrest in Burkina Faso, where residents have faced turmoil for more than a decade . As of the end of 2021, there were more than 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the West African country detained on land, with the North-Central and Sahel regions of the country being the worst place Best.

Since November 2019, 85-year-old Lambda (not her real name), has welcomed more than 100 of her compatriots into her compound in Tougouri village after they left home, providing them with shelter and food. and even money to buy. munition.

“I have been a chef for 45 years in Tougouri Prefecture. With the savings I accumulated, I was able to buy some land. After that, I built a few houses with the intention of renting out for retirement income.

I started helping displaced people as soon as they started arriving in Tougouri, in the Central North area, in November 2019. I heard about armed men attacking and killing people in villages. different, but I don’t know who they are. What I do know, is that many people have come here due to these attacks.

‘Poor situation’

When they arrived, they had a pitiful situation that caused me grief, and I provided them with free accommodation in my home, before humanitarian workers built additional shelters on my property. surname.

More than 100 people now live here: sometimes, the men go to work in a mining site before returning. The fact that these people have been with us for over two years without major incident or stress, is a source of comfort and reassurance to me that I have made the right choice to welcome them into my home. My motto is people come before anything else in life!

A retired civil servant Lambda and his two nieces at a water pump in Tougouri commune, northern Burkina Faso.

© UNHCR / Barry YN Maxime

A retired civil servant Lambda and his two nieces at a water pump in Tougouri commune, northern Burkina Faso.

Happy to help

I am happy to help them and feel useful in helping others.

However, sometimes what breaks my heart the most is seeing IDP kids without food that can’t be helped. I usually help them with food or money, but I have to admit it is very little.

I urge humanitarian organizations to increase food support for displaced people and build more shelters. I don’t intend to take my home back anytime soon, but there is a saying that “even if I don’t cry, I still need my mother”. This says that I am under pressure because I have no income from houses.

Can not give up

What is certain is that I cannot give up anymore, I will continue to support those in need because that is what gives meaning to my life. The reason why I help them is that displaced people are people just like me, and what they’re going through right now can happen to me too. I couldn’t bear to see them sleeping outside in the cold and dust.

I have learned that you can earn people’s recognition and respect when you help them. I am grateful to those who currently live with us who have shown their gratitude and appreciation. This gives me feelings and emotions that money can’t have.”

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