Mali: report 2016
January - February 2016: What a dreadful start to the year! Three people have been abducted, one Swiss and an Australian couple. Also, a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou has left many dead, including two Swiss humanitarian workers. We are overwhelmed with sadness and our thoughts go out to the affected families.
Sophie is called to Gao to receive a donation from MINUSMA (the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali). They want to support our work and such a mark of recognition cannot be ignored. A ceremony is organised, with local officials.
Time is moving on, so Sophie takes advantage of the opportunity of her visit to kick-start the repainting of the interior of the new Reception Centre, making of new furniture and planting in the gardens.
March 2016: We sign a partnership agreement with ACF (Action Contre la Faim) to work against malnutrition in the Gao and Asongo districts. This programme will be financed by ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection).
The Reception Centre now looks better than it ever did. The interior walls have been livened up with pictures of children’s characters and the furniture has been tastefully painted in many exciting colours. It all looks fantastic.
The first meeting of the Centre’s Board of Directors and Steering Committee takes place. Once again, the work of organising this falls to Sophie and Daouda because the Mayor is absent. Sophie takes the role of President and Vice-President. The atmosphere is unsettled but everyone relaxes following a visit around the new Centre. There are many compliments for the work that has been achieved there, and for good reason.