Working with the National Gendarmerie, BARKA also distributed 500 masks to prisoners in Fada N’Gourma and provided locally-produced soap for 5000 villagers and IDPs

Burkina Faso- July 31, 2020

For Immediate Release:

The BARKA Foundation, a UN-affiliated NGO based in the United States and Burkina Faso, collaborated with Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Education to distribute face masks to 2000 students as they begin their final exams on Monday August 3rd. This is part of BARKA’s continuing action to fight against the spread of COVID-19 within Burkina. In April and May, BARKA distributed locally produced soap and delivered sensitization about the importance of handwashing with soap to 5000 rural villagers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the commune of Fada. In addition, BARKA is supporting the Gendarmerie Nationale through the distribution of 500 face masks that will go toward prisoners who are at increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. All masks were made locally by La Belle Epine, a professional training school for tailors which recently established a regional network of tailors to produce masks for the government and NGOs such as BARKA Foundation. The masks are made from traditional cloth, known locally as “Faso Dan Fani” with cotton grown in Burkina Faso.

“All of BARKA’s COVID-19 prevention initiatives were made possible through online grassroots fundraising. We are extraordinarily grateful to and humbled by the many individual donors in the US who generously contributed to this campaign,” said Esu Anahata, BARKA co-Founder and Executive Director. “We wish to thank our local partners in Burkina Faso: the Regional Direction of Education, the Gendarmerie Nationale, Belle Epine, and local women’s associations which produced soap for IDPs and BARKA’s partner villages. Their collaborative efforts have made these actions possible”, said Ina Anahata, BARKA co-Founder and Chief Gratitude Officer.

“The President of Burkina Faso called for solidarity to fight COVID-19 and this is exemplified by BARKA’s action to distribute face masks for students and prisoners who were among the most vulnerable and in need of such protection right now”, stated Koadima Boukari, founder of La Belle Epine.

“This year, the end-of-year exams are taking place in a particular context marked by COVID-19. To support the Regional Direction of Education in the East (DPEPS/Est) in the adoption of barrier measures by all those involved in the baccalaureate exam, the NGO BARKA Foundation provides invaluable support with masks made from traditional cloth produced here in the Eastern region with locally grown cotton. We send, on behalf of our hierarchy, to BARKA and to all its partners our most distinguished thanks. We wish them every success in their commitment to a more resilient education system”, added François Xavier OUEDRAOGO, DPEPS/Gourmand.

Click here to see coverage of this initiative in LeFaso.net within Burkina Faso.