A celebration of life held Saturday in Coquitlam honoured a Langley teacher who had a giving spirit.
When profiled by the Times in October 2016, H.D. Stafford Middle School teacher Djiba Camara said he wasn’t about to let his battle with cancer stop him from helping people in his native country of Guinea, West Africa.
“God willing, I would like to go there and bring them much-needed supplies. The people of Guinea need hope, they need help. I want to help,” told the Times.
Camara had been off work since last year battling liver cancer. He said he misses his students every day.
He passed away July 14, seven days after his 58th birthday.
Even as he battled cancer, Camara remained committed to helping the people of Guinea.
So much so, that he recently sold his townhouse to help fund a container to ship all the supplies.
In 2013, Camara initiated and completed a “Drop Off For Africa” project — collecting donated supplies, shipping them to his home country, and overseeing their distribution.
More than five years ago, he made a return trip to see his mother and to bring soccer equipment to children there.
What he saw — poverty, poor living conditions, a lack of transportation and poor nutrition, juxtaposed with eager young people looking for hope — motivated him to try to make a difference there.
He found support from the Langley Teachers Association and presented his ideas to the school board, held fundraisers, garage sales and collected donations of bikes, computers, clothing, sporting equipment, books and more and has sent two shipping containers. He met each container in Africa and despite risking his own safety, he managed to get the goods to the right people.
The celebration of life was held at Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship in Coquitlam.
Camara “will be greatly missed by his four beautiful children, whom he loved and adored dearly: Genevieve, 41, David, 31, Roza, 29, and Noah, 12,” Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship noted.