On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the Provincial Delegation in Burkina Faso had the pleasure of donating bicycles as gifts to one hundred displaced young people and children. The donation was organized as part of a project responding to the terrorism that has been raging in the northeastern region of this African country.
The project, entitled: “Even If I Am Displaced, I Will Go to School,” was conceived and carried out by Friar Giacomo DI CIANO, a missionary from the Province of Abruzzo, together with the Delegation, with funding provided by the Franciscan Missionary Center of the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP).
The Project purchased one hundred bicycles to lessen the hardships faced by many displaced young people. In recent years, Burkina Faso has suffered several terrorist attacks and the incursion of rebel groups.
This situation has caused the migration of thousands of displaced people who, unable to live and work in their own villages, have moved to the interior of the country, particularly to the outskirts of the capital, Ouagadougou. Many children and young people among the migrants are no longer able to attend school. Some of the displaced have settled in Kamboinsin, a district north of the capital, not far from our postulancy house. There is a private secondary school in the area, which offers free courses to the displaced young people. However, the school lies 5 km (3 miles) away from the site that hosts the young people. Therefore, it was necessary to equip them with bicycles so they could get to the school on time and not miss any lessons.
The Missionary Center in Rome responded immediately to the proposal from the friars of the mission in Africa and quickly sent the sum to purchase the one hundred bicycles.
This was a historic event for the mission. The gift brought great joy and emotion to the faces of the one hundred young people who each received a bicycle. The bicycles will make it easier for them to attend school and thus ensure them a good education and a dignified future. In addition, it will keep them off the path towards terrorism.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, Director of the Franciscan Missionary Center