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Burkina Faso- Update on Richard

So much has changed since we introduced you to Richard Dayamba (seen above in red) back in 2018. He was helping unload bikes we had donated to Lumière des Enfants, also known as ALE. It was our second container we had shipped to this project in Burkina Faso. Richard was one of the first volunteers to help work on the new bike project. 

Then, Richard was a student who lived with his mom and sister. He worked part time with ALE to help with family expenses. After he helped unload that second container from Bikes for World ALE donated the Specialized bike (above) to him.

Then we moved through 2019, ALE focused on their mission helping women and children in and around Koudougou. Richard continued working at ALE, managing all aspects of the bike project. Bikes for the World would send three containers of bikes in 2019 alone. ALE was using the profits from bike sales to invest in the recently built health facility.

In 2020 coronavirus took over daily life and everything came to an abrupt halt. The closures and curfews enforced during the pandemic greatly affected Richard's mom's business as a seamstress. Unemployment and inflation forced customers to forego clothing repairs in order to put food on the table for their families. Richard's mom in turn could no longer afford his schooling or internship fees. ALE stepped up to help with a sponsorship so Richard could continue his studies.

Then in 2021 the political situation in Burkina Faso and the entire Sahel region worsened. Residents of neighboring countries crossed the border looking for refuge. City centers, like Koudougou began setting up refugee camps to help with the humanitarian crisis. By 2022 Burkina Faso experience a coup that overthrew the government. As his country continues to fight against terrorism, Richard has joined the fight. He is now a police officer in Burkina Faso. There is limited contact with him for security reasons, but he and his family are okay.

Featured Volunteer: Patrick Short
Q & A with Team BfW