Mali: report 2015
January 2015 : Our team in Gao are extremely motivated and efficient. Daouda, our young leader, holds the reins with a masterly touch. In the space of four months, the ‘Protection Programme’ in our areas has recorded 10,000 children born between 2010 and 2014. These children should receive birth certificates from the Malian state but progress on this is extremely limited and slow. This is very disappointing.
We have signed a partnership agreement with the World Food Programme (nutrition) for 2015, and a new PCA is underway with UNICEF for malnutrition management in the Gao and Ansongo areas.
The orphans are fantastic, chubby babies with hardly an illness in sight, apart from a few colds. The children who attend school are also doing well and are always happy to go to classes. This is a great thing for their families to see. Badra, Daouda, Oura and Fatoumata (all volunteers) organise food distributions regularly, every Saturday.
Nevertheless, terrorist attacks still occur frequently. There has been an escalation in violence throughout the country, especially in the northern areas, where there are deaths and injuries every week. Young adolescents are actively being recruited into the Jihad from all over the countryside. The population are petrified in the face of such actions, and poverty is increasing both in the south and the north of the country.
We are still waiting for official approval from the Malian State for our Reception Centre.
February – June 2015 : The enduringly difficult security situation continues to prevent us from visiting any high risk areas. Our driver’s vehicle was hit by a mine explosion which resulted in his passenger losing both legs. Fortunately, the driver escaped with only an injury to his ankle. We have also learnt that Awa’s daughter was injured in a rocket attack, she too lost a leg. Barely a day goes by without news of this type. It is becoming impossible to count the dead and injured.
Added to this, there is a drought. All the water pools have dried out and it looks like this will be one of the worst dry seasons ever. Livestock herds have been decimated and the survival of the nomadic people is in jeopardy. Without pasture for their animals, they have no hope.
Despite these innumerable problems, our orphan support programme continues. It is more important than ever that it does as the country no longer has the resources to provide for all its population. Those who fall through the cracks have nothing, no water, no electricity, no healthcare and no food, and there is no work available. They are forgotten in the midst of crisis. Surrounded by total chaos, the AAG team are doing all they can to improve the daily lives of the least fortunate. Sophie and her team are fighting with all their force to offer the most basic right of enough food to eat, to the children of this misery.
We thank them with all our hearts for their efforts and also offer thanks to our donors without whom nothing would be possible.
Oura with "Petit dernier"
Pasture lands now look like deserts