Remembering Bilel Diffalah
1976 – 2017
Bilel Diffalah’s life was abruptly taken from him during an attack in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Bilel was an international volunteer with WUSC and CECI at the time of his passing. His passing is a deep loss that has been felt throughout the WUSC and CECI communities.
Since November 2016, Bilel had been volunteering with Uniterra (a joint program of WUSC and CECI) as a Hygiene and Biosecurity Advisor with the Interprofessional Poultry Organization (IPVL). He was a very sociable 41-year-old man who was known for his friendly and cheerful disposition. He loved life, people, and spending time with friends.
Bilel grew up in Algeria where he worked as a veterinarian after obtaining his degree from the University of Blida. He moved to Canada in 2011 where he obtained certificates in Food System Studies and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) from the University of Guelph. He later moved to Montréal, Québec following his graduation.
Bilel brought nearly ten years of experience in veterinary science and quality control in the private and public sectors to his volunteer assignment in Burkina Faso. These qualifications are in high-demand by companies working in the food sector. However, Bilel wanted to make a difference, and that’s what inspired him to go to Burkina Faso as part of the Uniterra volunteer cooperation program.
Upon arrival in Burkina Faso, it didn’t take long for Bilel to make friends. His colleagues remember him for his exceptionally friendly and welcoming attitude toward everyone. A dedicated volunteer, Bilel was known for his professionalism and commitment to his work.
The IPVL, with whom Bilel volunteered, seeks to build the capacity of poultry farmers to better identify their needs, clarify their goals, take action, and, ultimately, effectively manage the production, processing, and marketing of poultry. Bilel contributed significantly to strengthening the skills and knowledge of IPVL’s members. He also supported the development of new and efficient procedures for protecting poultry from disease, which have since been implemented with success.
The Coordinator of the Programme d’appui aux filières sylvo-agropastorales au Burkina Faso (PAFASP) and the Director General of Animal Production at the Ministry of Animal and Fish Resources (MRAH), with whom Bilel also collaborated, remember him as a skilled and accomplished professional whom they had greatly appreciated working with.
Bilel actively participated in all Uniterra volunteer activities in Burkina Faso. A seasoned professional, Bilel was greatly appreciated by all his colleagues, who pay tribute to his humanity, openness, and deep sense of commitment.
Bilel is remembered by his family and by his many friends in Canada, Algeria, and Burkina Faso. On behalf of everyone at WUSC and CECI, we wish to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Bilel.