A popular H.D. Stafford teacher is not giving up hope to one day bring supplies, educational tools and sports equipment to impoverished children in his home country of Guinea in Africa.
Djiba Camara, who teaches gym and French at the Langley middle school, said “he can go any time and is ready,” he just needs the money to ship the container to his home country, also known as Guinea- Conakry.
Originally, he estimated the cost of shipping to be around $5,000. In reality, it is closer to $20,000.
“I’m still looking for a container company who can help me out,” said Camara.
“The community has been wonderful and we have a classroom here full of donations and another room at the Langley Teachers’ Association office full too.”
Clothing, shoes, school supplies and sports equipment have been flowing in to fill the container but it costs money to have it shipped to one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.
“NGOs can’t work in Guinea because it is so dangerous,” he said.
Stafford principal Gary McCuaig donated 30 sewing machines. Once these arrive, a community sewing centre can be created.
The goal is also to set up a learning centre for computer technology. Camara is hoping someone in Langley will donate a used laptop and a projector. A French school is ready to teach with books and DVDs to help the students.
The students and staff at HD Stafford have raised $1,150 for Guinea. Langley FC Soccer donated uniforms and soccer equipment.
He had organized it so that he was going to be met by local police to help ensure his safety as he tries to get the supplies from the container to students who desperately need them.
He is putting himself at some risk, but it is the only way he can ensure everything gets to the schools in need.
“They have nothing,” said Camara, who returned to his home country for the first time in 30 years in 2011. He was there to see his mother. She passed away this year.
The poverty he saw there moved him to action.
Camara, who once coached the women’s Whitecaps team and is a certified FIFA coach, has soccer to thank for helping him escape poverty.
“I played professional soccer in Europe and became a Hungarian citizen,” he said.
Camara has set up a website where people can donate. Donors will receive a gift made by the people of Guinea.
Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-the-people-of-guinee-conakry-africa-to-help-themselves. Or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.