Friends of Burkina Faso
Friends of Burkina Faso was conceived in September of 1986 when the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers held a conference on the Mall in Washington, DC to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps. A small group of former volunteers and the 25 staff met and began talking about how they could remain connected to Upper Volta/ Burkina Faso and each other. The strong interest in this was reinforced by the pending exit of Peace Corps at the request of the government of Burkina Faso, and a desire to not lose contact with this small corner of the world. Relying on the contacts of founding members the group began contacting RPCVs, former PC staff, diplomats, and aid workers who had lived in Burkina and found widespread interest among them, and decided to create a formal organization to pursue these goals.
Friends of Burkina Faso was incorporated in the District of Columbia in April 1987 with the purpose of “fostering friendship between the people of the United States and the people of Burkina Faso”. The first Burkina Connection quarterly newsletter was published in Spring of 1987, and the first Friends of Burkina Faso conference was organized around a reunion of Upper Volta 1 in June of that year. The conference featured speakers from the Embassy of Burkina Faso, the World Bank, Africare and USAID, and films by Taale Laafi Rosellini. In 1988 Friends of Burkina Faso officially affiliated with the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (now NPCA) and began dues sharing. By 1989 FBF had identified almost 75% of the 800 volunteers who had served in Upper Volta/Burkina Faso, and 42% of them were actively participating in FBF.See more