Friends of Guirgho (Aired February 8 and 9, 2020)

Victor Guirma and Pascal Guirma along with Bob Rich visited RadioRotary from their
home Rotary Club, New Paltz. All three are part of Friends of Guirgho, a 501(c)3
nonprofit that is trying to improve the school and other facilities in the village of Guirgho,
Burkina Faso, the ancestral home of the Guirma brothers. Burkino Faso (formerly
known as Upper Volta) is a landlocked nation in West Africa whose people are mostly
Mossi. Roughly 100 years ago when France controlled this part of West Africa, French
Jesuits wanted to start a boarding school, but few natives would attend. Finally the
Mossi emperor had his second son, known as Bila Victor, hogtied and carried off to the
school, which signaled the other Mossi that it was safe to attend. Bila Victor became
educated and his children did also, one of whom became the first ambassador from
Upper Volta to the United States and later the ambassador to the United Nations, which
is how his sons Victor and Pascal came to attend school at SUNY New Paltz and later
settle in the town. They always had remained connected to the ancestral village of
Guirgho, a rural settlement about 60 km from the capital of Burkina Faso. Visiting the
village of they saw the need for a better school and for other modern improvements.
One of their most complicated projects was bringing computers to the school, since
there was no infrastructure. Listen to the program, which tells much of the story.

Learn more
Friends of Guirgho: https://www.friendsofguirgho.org/
New Paltz Rotary Club: https://www.newpaltzrotary.org/
Burkina Faso: https://www.britannica.com/place/Burkina-Faso
Ambassador Frédéric Guirma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Guirma

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February 20, 2020 · Posted in International Programs, Rotary Club Projects