AMPO Directors visit Berlin
Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougo arrive in Berlin
It was our great pleasure to meet the Director General of AMPO in Ouagadougou, Dénis Yameogo, and the Director of the Clinic, Léontine Samandoulougou, from the train at Berlin Central Station on the 8th of June. Two days previously they had flown to Germany from Burkina Faso and spent time in Herne with Dr. Ute Leifert who has been supporting AMPO for many years, especially with medical supplies.
It was very moving to meet Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougou again in person after such a long time. They arrived tired, but happy. We took them to their hotel and shortly afterwards we enjoyed our first dinner together with Ute Krüger (General Manager of AMPO International e.V.) and Dirk Rüter (Board Member of AMPO International e.V.)
Meeting with Berolina and AHK/ visit to the Friedrichstadt-Palast
On Thursday Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougou attended several meetings. First they came to the new AMPO International office in Berlin-Kreuzberg bringing gifts from Ouagadougou. We received hand-made soap, delicious mangos and peanuts – a real treat! The first meeting was with the management team of AHK, Andreas Kröger and Christina Kunert. AHK has been funding the AMPO projects for many years. There were reports on the current situation in Burkina Faso and the effect of the increasingly dangerous environment on everyday life. Later there was a meeting with Erna Heinze (Member of Volkssolidarität Landesverband Berlin e.V.) and Yvonne Aeppler (Staff member for social affairs at the Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft „Berolina“ eG Housing Association). These two organisations support AMPO in many different ways. Erna Heinze took the opportunity of meeting Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougou in person to hand over a donation collected by selling cakes.
In the evening we had planned something very special for our guests. We went to the Friedrichstadt-Palast to see the spectacular theatre production “ARISE”. They loved the music and the dance, summed up by Dénis Yameogo’s reaction to the show – “formidable!”.
Get-together in our Berlin office
The evening before our main event we opened our office in Berlin to many members and supporters of AMPO, just to get together for drinks and a buffet. Among the guests were Katrin Rohde, the AMPO Founder, the German Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Dr. Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke and his wife Marina Pfaffernoschke, the Honorary Consul of Burkina Faso in Berlin, Helga Exner, and Iris Koch and Stefan Marx from Action Medeor. It was a lovely summer evening for our guests to mingle and chat. Some of us even took to the dance floor.
Meeting at the Design Offices in Berlin
After a great deal of preparation the great day finally arrived and we met at the Design Offices in Berlin. Ute Krüger (General Manager of AMPO International) and Andrew Sharp (Chairman of the Board of AMPO International) welcomed the guests and Katrin Rohde spoke about the current situation in Burkina Faso, reporting on some of the recent success stories of the organisation in Ouagadougou. Katrin talked for example about the Zéro Sachets au Burkina Faso initiative. More than 150 staff members, children and young people from the AMPO projects collected waste from the streets of Ouagadougou. The main objective was to clear the streets of sachets French for plastic bags which are often used but rarely disposed of properly. Katrin also talked about some of the former children from the AMPO orphanages who had successfully completed their studies or their training in the past few months.
After a short break for coffee and cakes we continued with a presentation from Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougou. The two directors also addressed the current problems and challenges facing this country in Africa, in particular the ever increasing terrorist activities of the jihadists in the north who have already taken control of large areas. They also spoke about the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and how this is affecting the price of food. Dénis Yameogo reported that a normal weekly shop for a family has now more than doubled in cost compared to before the war. Léontine Samandoulougou talked about the work in the Clinic in Ouagadougou and the large number of patients they treat there every day. Sadly she also told that the work in the Clinic is now more at risk because of terrorist activities. Dénis Yameogo went on to speak about other AMPO projects and the positive effect they are having on the lives of people in Burkina Faso. We then had some questions from the floor which he was able to answer in depth. All in all it was a very successful event which gave a very good insight into the work being done at AMPO.
Meeting with Marilène Oberlin from the Dr. Elvire Engel Foundation
Today the two AMPO directors had a working meeting with Marilène Oberlin (Project Manager of the Dr. Elvire Engel Foundation - FDEE). Marilène Oberlin came specially from Luxemburg to meet them in person. The FDEE is an AMPO partner organisation providing financial support to the Tondtenga project, an organic agricultural college and to the Viimde, project offering medical assistance to HIV-positive mothers and their children.
At the end of the successful meeting with Marilène Oberlin there was still enough time to shop for a few things to take home to the family.
Time to say goodbye
We all had a wonderful, exciting time with Dénis Yameogo and Léontine Samandoulougou. It was hard to say goodbye. Léontine Samandoulougou flew back to Ouagadougou to return to work as quickly as possible at the Clinic. Dénis Yameogo took the train to Hamburg to meet some Members of the Board of AMPO International and Katrin Rohde to discuss the future of the AMPO projects, before continuing his journey.