What is the story behind the Ditumba Foundation?
The creation of this family foundation goes back to our family’s experience in Africa. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to move to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for professional reasons. I was working for a major industrial group in the energy sector, which is why we have a particular interest in the electricity sector. That’s when we got the idea to start a family foundation.
Ditumba means “talking drum”, which is an African instrument used to convey good news from one tribe to another. Our foundation’s name is therefore a nod to our African past. The creation of our foundation stemmed from our desire to help and support solidarity projects in Africa. It is something our entire family believes in.
Pourquoi avoir choisi Acting for Life pour soutenir des projets en Afrique ?
The Caritas France Foundation introduced us to Acting for Life, as we wanted to support training for technical trades in the energy sector. The READY project in Burkina Faso, which aims to improve the quality of professional training for young people in the photovoltaic-electricity sector, is perfectly in line with our objectives.
We had the opportunity to observe the projects on the ground with Acting for Life, and meet the partners from Burkina Faso. As a foundation, we always want to ensure the quality of the different partners involved in a global project. And we were totally reassured!
We also believe it is important for local partners to be involved, as they have the best understanding of local needs. The Ditumba Foundation and Acting for Life are there to assist them in financial, administrative and technical matters, but the goal is to help the local partners become more and more autonomous!
Have you supported other solidarity projects?
Before creating the Ditumba Foundation, we had already supported two projects in Africa. The first consisted in renovating a health centre in Burkina Faso—we are always involved in Burkina Faso because our resources as a small foundation do not allow us to expand, and we have a certain attachment to this country, which we know so well. During that project, we worked alongside the Caritas France Foundation. The project was a success, and afterwards we wanted to continue our work by setting up a sheltered foundation.
We were then able to support a second project to create a school in Ouagadougou offering training in food services and hospitality, in partnership with OCADES, a local Catholic organisation promoting development and solidarity that is a member of the Caritas network and a partner of Acting for Life. The school is now up and running, and two classes of students have already graduated. We are continuing to monitor and assist the project, and we award scholarships each year to poor students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend the school.