Djiba Camara, a popular teacher at H.D. Stafford Middle School, is again trying to get a container of needed items to the country where he was born, Guinea in West Africa. It has been rocked by the Ebola outbreak and many people are very poor and desperate. He spoke to students at his school about his plans on Feb. 11.

Djiba Camara, a popular teacher at H.D. Stafford Middle School, is again trying to get a container of needed items to the country where he was born, Guinea in West Africa. It has been rocked by the Ebola outbreak and many people are very poor and desperate. He spoke to students at his school about his plans on Feb. 11.

Teacher wants to help people in Guinea with container of donated goods

In 2013, Djiba Camara sent a container back to the country where he grew up.

H.D. Stafford Middle School teacher Djiba Camara is loved by students for his joking and fun nature.

But when he spoke to them at an assembly on Wednesday, Feb. 11, the PE teacher was speaking to them about something very serious.

Camara was asking students for donations and support to help the country of his birth, Guinea, West Africa, which is in dire and desperate shape. The Ebola outbreak has hit the already badly-impoverished country hard.

“Currently, the suffering is great. Out of caution, markets, stores, schools and most public events have been closed or cancelled. People are afraid to even greet their neighbours for fear of contracting the disease. The impact has been devastating on every level of society,” said Camara.

Camara said seeing the current suffering of his people has “driven me even more to do something.”

Camara wants to ship a second container of supplies to Guinea by June. The container would arrive by August.

He hopes to get to Africa himself by the end of the year to make sure all the supplies got to the right people and to check on his family.

“They are suffering, they don’t have food and everybody is scared of each other,” Camara said, relating what he has heard from his family there.

Once a professional soccer player, and former coach of the women’s Whitecaps team, as well as a certified FIFA coach, Camara has lived a very successful life here and in Europe. But the suffering and the starvation in his home country is driving him to give back.

In 2013, Camara made his first plea to the Langley community to help donate supplies, like sporting equipment, bikes, clothing and computers to be put in a container and shipped to his home country.

The community came through, also providing cash donations. Camara was able to send and meet the shipping container in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, that summer.

But when he got there, he saw the need was much greater than what just one container could provide. He came home more motivated than ever to have more supplies shipped there.

But he was diagnosed with cancer shortly afterwards, forcing him to sideline his efforts to deal with his diagnosis. Three surgeries later, he has been given the good news from his doctors that he is now cancer-free.

“Now, I can concentrate all my efforts into helping my people,” he said.

Camara is hoping for donations of tools, construction supplies, sporting equipment, computers, gas generators and even a pickup truck.

He is also looking for financial donations to pay for the cost of shipping the container, which comes to $10,500.

Donations can be brought to Stafford and can be picked up by Camara if need be.

Administrators at Stafford and students are already supporting their teacher’s goals.

“Stafford strives to be global citizens by giving back to the community at home and abroad,” is a motto of the school.

Camara can be reached at dcamara@sd35.bc.ca or call him at 778-836-4625.

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