“I am fortunate to be involved in international development in Africa and this year, specifically in Ouagadougou and Zabré in Burkina Faso,” says Alain Fournier, who also serves as a municipal councillor in Saint-Anicet. He is scheduled to depart on January 13, and over the next few months the councillor will shuttle between this French speaking West African nation and Saint-Anicet. Fournier is however quick to reassure his fellow citizens as well as the other members of the municipal council that he will remain available to them via the internet.
This is not the first mandate for the humanitarian worker on African soil. Since 2009, he has served as a management consultant in Togo, Mali and Cameroon. He has also worked as an expert advisor in entrepreneurship and micro credit in Haiti in 2012.
This time, he will be working with Carrefour International as a voluntary advisor in organizational reform with the Pag-La-Yiri Association. The association’s mission is to contribute to the development and empowerment of rural women by responding to their needs and concerns. One of its primary goals is the eradication of violence against women and girls, with a focus on poverty reduction and economic development in local communities.
“It is inspiring to see people using new knowledge while adapting it to their own needs,” confides the lawyer by profession. Fournier added that it was one of his childhood dreams to volunteer overseas, as he believes international cooperation allows us to better understand one another and represents a rewarding experience for all.
Alain Fournier has built an impressive career as a professional. A notary from 1979 to 1992, he has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1993 and continues to practice as a lawyer. In this capacity, he held the position of Director of Wealth Management and Business Development with the Desjardins Group, primarily in the Quebec City and Sainte-Hyacinthe regions from 1994-2006.
In 2013, he was elected to sit as a municipal councillor in Saint-Anicet. Since then, he has contributed in a professional, honest and open way in serving his fellow citizens. The chances are good, therefore, that his work in the “land of honest men” – Burkina Faso means land of honest men in Mossi, the language spoken by the Mossi ethnic majority – will produce concrete effects for this magnificent country in the Sahel.
Denise Saint-Germain, volunteer correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent
Translation: Sarah Rennie, volunteer correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent