The Toronto Star – March 3, 2012
The 79 families who make up the Canadian Sufi Cultural Centre in Toronto are raising money to feed a village in Burkina Faso. As famine sweeps the semi-arid countries of West Africa — on the heels of last year’s devastating famine in Somalia — the Toronto Sufi families have paired with Irim, a village of 2,000 in Burkina Faso, a tiny, landlocked country of 17 million sandwiched between Ghana and Mali. They’ve vowed to feed them through the next six months.
Mark Schemeit is among those who are helping Yacouba Sawadogo and his extended family. The Canadian and the African met as teens through Canada World Youth — a federal international exchange — in 1995. Sawadogo came to Canada while Schemeit went to Burkina Faso and, later, occasionally sent money, though as a student he didn’t have a lot to give.