ATD Fourth World in Burkina Faso Wins 2016 “pingre kuni” Award For Peace

ATD Fourth World was one of 15 recipients recognized at the “Pingre Kuni” ceremony in November, 2016. The awards event, whose name means “giving congratulations”, recognizes people and organizations that have contributed to promoting peace in Burkina Faso.

“These awards are a way to encourage those who struggle to promote peace to continue changing the world through their admirable work”, explained Théodore Bamogo, the artist who initiated this event. Award recipients are recognized for making significant achievements that promote both peace and a unified community.

Pacéré Titinga, a member of the International Committee for October 17 (World Day for Overcoming Poverty) and coordinator of the ceremony, emphasized in his address “to love one’s self is to love one’s neighbour. And loving one’s neighbour means refusing to accept that anyone is excluded. It means that your actions affirm the brotherhood of all people and embody a spirit of sharing.

Prior to the ceremony, ATD Fourth World members met to discuss their reactions to receiving the award. They described how they see ATD contributing to peace:

“I’ve been a part of ATD for 30 years because I have seen that we are a kind of melting pot for peace which brings together people from all backgrounds and ethnicities… because that is how we can rebuild the world. In ATD, we work slowly but steadily towards peace. Sometimes we don’t see results right away, but over time we can see what we have achieved. We have to remember this and keep reaching out to other people who do not take part in our activities.”

“Peace is in us – the poorest people – who struggle every day so that peace can exist throughout our country. Often people treat me badly and I feel humiliated, but I avoid conflict. Some people are just not interested in peace. It’s up to us to act in a peaceful way so that other people can feel peace though us.”

“Congratulations to all of us for behaving in a way that people recognize as promoting a culture of peace. I hope that one day ATD will receive the Nobel Peace Prize”.

“It’s great that we have received this award, but we have to keep helping one another so we can always be proud of what we do.”

“When Father Joseph Wresinski started ATD, he showed us that one way to make peace is to bring together people regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or skin colour. For example, when you go to the ATD Fourth World International Centre, you see that Father Joseph, who was Catholic, had set up a prayer mat for Muslims. Father Joseph accepted you just as you were, without discrimination. That’s how you can create peace, by accepting people just as they are. As members of ATD, we have to set an example so people see that Father Joseph was trying to show the world how to create peace.”

This peace award encourages members of ATD everywhere to keep on working together to eradicate extreme poverty, discrimination, and exclusion; and to thus be creators of peace.