As gunshots ran through the camp, 25 year-old Ismael looked around for anyone he could help. Suddenly, a bullet hit a small boy and then struck Ismael. Wounded, he picked up the boy’s trembling body and then hid under a table. As he waited for the gunshots to stop, Ismael looked up at the burning health clinic - fearing the truth: there was no chance that the boy would live. As the boy’s body grew limp, Ismael prayed that the gunshots would stop.
Crises like these are the reason I’m writing today: to ask for your help to raise $30,000 for the people in Burkina Faso who don’t have food, healthcare, or safety - basic needs everyone should have access to.
This act of terrorism happened on November 22, 2021, two days before we left to Burkina Faso. Our medical clinic in the camp, opened just two years ago, was the only place 30,000 Burkinabe who were internally displaced would get access to any kind of medical help. 200 people visited the clinic daily. At the time, it was staffed by 3 nurses from Pull for Progress, one of whom was Ismael.
Burkina Faso is facing a humanitarian crisis. Since 2016, due to terrorism, political instability and corruption, 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes without anywhere else to go besides camps. When people are refugees in their own country, they are called “internally displaced persons” (IDPs). Burkina Faso has one of the highest proportions of displacement in Africa. Many of their villages have been burnt down - making it impossible for them to return to. When they fled, they left their household with empty hands since they did not have time to bring anything with them. They have no way to earn an income and they have little access to food or clean water. Threats to women and children include sexual exploitation and trafficking. An education and a job is a far-reaching dream.
This is where your support comes in.
Pull for Progress has been creating sustainable solutions to help internally displaced people escape from poverty, but right now we have a humanitarian crisis and the urgent need is to keep people alive with food, water and medical help. We have the ability and connections to get resources directly to those who need it the most – we just need your financial support. We hope to build another clinic, but right now, the situation is proving impossible since terrorists are controlling the area. Long-term solutions are the goal, but the bleeding still needs a bandaid.
One of our team members in Burkina Faso said, “When there’s so much corruption and the needs are so high, you feel like giving up. But then I think about all the people suffering - the children, and we just can’t stop.”
Our goal is to raise $30,000 by August 31st so we can send support directly to our team, all from Burkina Faso, who are on the ground in Burkina Faso. You can give towards the goal of $30,000 online at https://www.pullforprogress.org/donate/.
Together, we can help our friends in Burkina Faso, so instead of wondering who to feed that night or feeling helpless while holding their sick child - they can experience relief and start to enjoy life again - working, cooking and laughing with their friends and families.
Samy Bendjemil, MD, MPH
Moumini Niaone, MD, MPH
Rina Gandhi, Esq.
Co-founders, Pull for Progress