ReCouVrer - Together for a better future

Light for the World is proud to share our disability inclusion expertise as part of this initiative, alongside Caritas and other partners.
“I’m afraid my family will starve,” Jean-Baptiste, a weaver from South-eastern Burkina Faso, told us. He and his wife are blind and lost their income during the crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the world at large and even more so on fragile communities. In response, a new partnership has been forged among seven Austrian development organisations and their local partners in Burkina Faso and Senegal. The “ReCouVrer” programme, initiated and funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation, puts disadvantaged groups at centre-stage and supports their economic empowerment and resilience during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Children and adults with disabilities, women and displaced people are being hit hard by the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. In countries like Burkina Faso, the pandemic comes on top of existing challenges such as droughts and insecurity caused by terrorist attacks.

Building on experience

The ReCouVrer consortium partners are building on their collectively vast experience from the early response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on those activities which have been most impactful to date in the two West-African countries and other partner countries.

 : Food distribution in Mozambique. A Mozambican woman carries a heavy sack of rice on her head. In the background stacks of food are distributed by Light for the World staff.
In 2020 Light for the World distributed food to vulnerable communities affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We are applying our experiences in inclusive emergency to the new partnership too.

Together, they will ensure that measures to prevent and contain COVID infections reach the most disadvantaged community members, including internally displaced people in Burkina Faso and Senegal. Disinfectants and face masks will be distributed through health centres, food will also be given to the poorest households as an emergency measure.

At the same time, the programme will support longer-term economic empowerment and recovery in the communities, including through sustainable and diversified agriculture. Vocational training and support for income generating activities will be offered to people – especially women – whose income ceased during the crisis. 

 A woman on a bicycle which is loaded with big bags of food. In the background other internally displaced people move around the distribution site.
People who were internally displaced within Burkina Faso get food support.

Learning together, learning from each other

ReCouVrer is designed as a collaboration between different organisations. Three of the partners shared their view on the partnership. 

"I am looking forward to this collaboration with the experts at Light for the World on disability inclusion. Through this project we are not only improving the situation of people with disabilities in Burkina Faso and Senegal, but we are also pooling the experiences of the partner organisations to better serve our target groups," says Caritas programme coordinator Silvia-Maria Wieser. 

Reinhard Heiserer, the CEO of the organisation ‘Jugend Eine Welt’ adds: “Our vision is a life in dignity for all. We are convinced that exchange and collaboration between all stakeholders working for a concrete issue is the best way to reach that goal. Only by working together can we strengthen awareness for the ONE world, can we build bridges and create more just structures with the aim to overcome poverty through inclusive education.” 

Rupert Roniger, CEO of Light for the World: “We are grateful to the Austrian Development Cooperation for kick-starting this partnership for the benefit of disadvantaged communities. Learning and exchange are central components of the initiative. At Light for the World we are committed to not only share our practical knowledge about inclusive programmes, but also to learn from and with our fellow programme partners at Caritas, HOPE’87, Horizont3000, ICEP, Jugend Eine Welt and the Austrian Red Cross.” 

“One thing we’ve learned already,” he says, “Together, we are stronger!”