Ahmed Kere and Martin Nansia of Burkina Faso, Africa, recently visited the United States for the first time with a little help from their friends at The Sonder Project, a global non-profit organization based in Santa Rosa Beach.
The two men met The Sonder Project team last February in Burkina Faso, Africa, during the organization’s first school-building trek in their country. Ahmed works full time for “buildOn” which supports efforts to build schools in their country. Martin is a student at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and works with buildOn as a translator. He also serves as The Sonder Project’s “boots on the ground” for new water well projects in the country.
Both men are Burkina Faso natives who had never traveled outside of their country prior to this trip, resulting in many “firsts” throughout their journey.
For example, they stepped on the beach for the very first time. They went bowling, deep sea fishing and took a tour of the South Walton Fire Department. They visited Destin Elementary, enjoyed a guided tour of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and even learned to swim in the Gulf.
They also visited Florida State University in Tallahassee where Martin hopes to continue his studies. They attended an FSU football game and enjoyed quality time with The Sonder Project team.
The Sonder Project team plans to see their friends again soon, even though they had to delay their second trek to Burkina Faso due to a recent coup and political uprising. When they get the go-ahead to return, they will go to build another school, this time in a village where they recently drilled a water well and installed a pump with Martin’s help.