World Awareness Day

by Joni Cheung

Actors from Burkina Faso and Mali perform a scene from the play Et Si Je Les Tuais Tous Madame

Actors from Burkina Faso and Mali perform a scene from the play Et Si Je Les Tuais Tous Madame

Did you know that Burkina Faso is a country in Africa that is well-known for their love for films and crafts? Many countries in the world don’t receive the recognition they deserve when it comes to their contributions to the artistic world. That’s why Churchill Secondary is introducing World Awareness Day (WAD)! It is an event held to spread awareness about countries in distress and to educate the Vancouver community of these countries’ historical, cultural and artistic backgrounds. WAD will be held on Friday November 29th, 2013 from 3:30 pm- 7:00pm at Churchill Secondary.  Many students will be making traditional food, so you will be able to taste the native flavours of many countries. The event is free, so bring friends and family, try exotic foods and learn about new countries and their cultural histories.

Mossi mask, wan liuli, Ouagadougou style, photo 1976 by Christopher D. Roy

Mossi mask, wan liuli, Ouagadougou style, photo 1976 by Christopher D. Roy

Today’s World Awareness Pick: Burkina Faco—A Foreign Country Filled with Art

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country surrounded by Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo in Africa. Their capital city is Ouagadougou. Written as “Wogodogo” in the  Mòoré dialect, one of the three main languages spoken in Burkina Faso, the word literally means “You are welcome here at home with us”.

Burkina Faso is a leader in African arts and culture and hosts the largest crafts market in Africa. Ouagadougou is thought to be the African capital of cinema, reflected in the Burkinabes love for films. Open air cinemas are very popular and the city’s passion for films can be seen through Burkina Faso’s film-making industry that was established during the 1960’s.

Music is also a large part of Burkina Faso’s identity. Many Burkinabes learn to play instruments, which include variations of instruments that we know as guitars (kora), drums (djembe), horns (baorgo), and xylophones (balafon). Many of these instruments are made locally using native trees and plants.

In some areas of the country, the horse riders of Burkina Faso are called the “cowboys of West Africa”. The Fulani, one of the many ethnic groups who live in Burkina Faso, are particularly proud of their horses, saying: “a horse is your wife, your car, your colleague, [and] your best friend”.

This public library is situated on a campus of public school buildings in Gando, a village in the west African country of Burkina Faso

This public library is situated on a campus of public school buildings in Gando, a village in the west African country of Burkina Faso

Unfortunately, Burkina Faso is a developing country facing many issues which have a huge impact on the population.Poverty prevents many children in Burkina Faso from receiving the educational opportunities they deserve. Almost half of the population is at the national poverty line compared to the world average at 20.6%. Because of this situation, Burkina Faso has the lowest literacy rate in the world: only 20% of the population above the age of 15 are literate.

Learn more about Burkina Faso and other countries and what you can do at World Awareness Day on Friday, November 29! (No fundraising just raising awareness!)

Churchill Secondary

7055 Heather St.
Vancouver, BC, V6P 3P7
Phone: (604) 713-8189
Fax:
(604) 713-8188

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