Hi, I’m Vincent. I made this video in Burkina Faso. It’s in French, but you can read the English translation below.
I’ve been at IKEA Saint-Priest near Lyon for five years now. I work in the logistical supplies office. I’m an IKEA Foundation global citizen. I got the chance to visit Burkina Faso with UNICEF to see the schools over there.
We were met on arrival by UNICEF, who accompanied us during the week. The first thing that surprised us was that we started with the formal visits, whereas we thought we would visit the schools straight away. We met the representatives of the Ministry for Education. We then had an audience with the people involved in education at provincial level as well as the High Commissioner of each province. After that we went to see the mayor of each village, which we had to do because the mayor is the one who ‘hands over the keys’ and he usually knows everything that goes on in his village. We were then allowed to participate in the visits under the aegis of Burkino Faso’s school inspectorate.
We realised after the formal meetings that our visit had not one but three goals. Why three? Well, because we travelled with those people straight to the schools each time. The fact that there were foreigners on their territory, people who had come from a long way away to see what was happening in their schools, meant that they went with us. It was a chance for them to see what was being done there, as most of them had never been before. And that was good because their visit meant the local authorities and even the national authorities, by which I mean the Ministry for Education, could respond faster and in a more robust way, and as a result action could be taken faster and at a very high level. That’s very pleasing to know.
The second goal, the first goal for us, was to see what UNICEF had done with the help of the IKEA Foundation and IKEA donations in particular. We also hope to return with pictures and testimonies, to inspire you to get even more involved and give even more help to UNICEF.
The third goal for the delegation, which was the nicest for us ambassadors and closest to our hearts, was that we spent our first day accepting thanks. From the representatives of the Ministry, the local and provincial authorities, the parents, the school children, the teachers, everyone, including UNICEF of course. Everyone gave us warm thanks for our involvement, which enables children who live far way to get an education. So here we are, we are just passing them on to you. We got a lot of thanks and we are happy to pass them on to you. You who work every day to make sure everything goes well and we are able to donate to UNICEF. Thank you and please carry on as you are to help the children.