Area involved: Burkina Faso
“The collaboration project with the Burkinabe firefighters has been an incomparably rewarding experience, and I am extremely proud to have participated in it.
I can definitely say that I not only gained professionally from the trip, but it was particularly rewarding on a personal level.
Living among Burkinabe and sharing special moments with them every day was a real privilege for which I am very grateful and I will not forget any time soon.”
Laurent Sandreschi, firefighter, 2013 group
In November 2011, Colonel Silas Keita, commander of the National Fire Brigade in Burkina Faso, enlisted SEMAFO Foundation’s help in obtaining technical equipment and receiving specialized training for his team. With time, a partnership project was born, and eight months later, three professors from the department of fire safety from Collège Montmorency in Quebec left on a two-week trip to Burkina Faso.
It was the first time that North Americans had worked with the brigade. This took place under a framework of decentralized cooperation, formed from a spontaneous local initiative. Firefighters in Burkina Faso have traditionally received support from France under the framework of centralized cooperation between two individual states.
Students (15) and teachers in fire safety techniques (3) from Laval’s Collège Montmorency offered specialized training over 3- 6-hour training periods to Burkinabe officers from different emergency centers in Burkina Faso who will pass their newly acquired skills onto their teams. Training topics were chosen based on their specific needs established through year-long communication. Students also took emergency calls with Burkinabe firefighters.
In addition, students and teachers took the opportunity to help humanitarian causes through the Foundation projects. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, they helped the Rama Foundation, which supports women living with obstetric fistula, by carrying out physical ground work.
- May 2016-2017 – 9 students and 1 teacher and 2 companions shared their knowledge with Burkina Faso’s firefighters
- May 2016-2017 – 9 students, 2 teachers and 1 guide shared their knowledge with the firefighters of Benin
- June 2015-2016 – 6 students and 2 teachers shared their knowledge with the firefighters of Togo
- June 2016 – 3 missions took place in Benin, Madagascar and Togo
- Over 200 firefighters from Burkina Faso learned new methods and honed their skills in order to better respond to emergencies as of June 30, 2015
- June 2013, 2014 and 2015 – 15 students and 3 teachers stayed in Burkina Faso for 2 weeks to share their knowledge with firefighters Burkina Faso.
- Cotton producers and fuel dealers in the villages learned how to prevent and respond to fires in 2014 and 2015 in Bana and in Kona.
- June 2014 – Meeting with officials from Togo to plan training for 2015.
- June 2013, 2014 and 2015 – the distribution of donations helped the Rama Foundation’s Bike Project
- June 2012 – Meeting with officials from Burkina Faso and 3 teachers from Collège Montmorency
This post is also available in: French