Message from the President
Maam souri yaa noog wusego! That Moore expression of immense contentment is how I feel as I begin my term as President of the Friends of Burkina Faso. This contentment reflects the privilege and honor of leading FBF's great tradition of service and friendship with the people of Burkina Faso and the excitement of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Peace Corps.
Let me introduce the other members of our new leadership team: Vice President Lyndsey Wilson-Williams, Treasurer Suzanne Plopper, Secretary Helen Shore, Technology Chair Guy Fipps, Community Relations Chair Kristie McComb and Projects Chair Tom Vollrath. The passion, talent and experience of this team is impressive and will bring great things to our organization.
To our retiring President, Kristie McComb, let me express our gratitude for her many years of service including the three years she served as President. Her tireless strength has led us through one sensational project after another. Our gratitude to her, however, continues as she has agreed to become the Community Relations Chair. Personally, thank you Kristie for being a great role model for me.
To the Board Members and FBF Members, I thank you for this special opportunity. I pledge to strengthen our organization and further enhance the friendship that exists between us and the people of Burkina Faso.
To current Peace Corps volunteers, PC Burkina staff, and their County Director, Shannon Meehan, I pledge our commitment and cooperation to propel the work of the Peace Corps and its Three Goals in Burkina Faso and the United States.
To the people of Burkina Faso with whom we share this extraordinary friendship, I pledge to continue to build that friendship through projects and through increased communications and opportunities to work together.
To those who may not know me, I was a PCV well-digger in the Village of Namtenga, south of Tougouri, from 1975-1977. That Namtenga friendship has remained vibrant ever since, including countless partnership projects, return visits in 2000 and 2007 and hosting two members of my Namtenga host family here in Michigan in 2005. If interested, you may read more about that in a Burkina Connection article from 2007.
The 50th Anniversary presents us with a spectacular opportunity to celebrate our friendship with the people of Burkina Faso. I will be traveling to Burkina in February to celebrate the 50th Anniversary on March 1, 2011, and to also celebrate FBF projects and various other partnership projects in Burkina. Please keep a watch out for more news about these events in the near future.
Let me conclude simply with the inspirational words of President John F. Kennedy, "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." That is the fundamental business that we are all about and to which we enthusiastically apply ourselves.
President, Friends of Burkina Faso
RPCV Burkina Faso '75-'77