Sunday, September 02, 2012

Groupe Coordination Aude Mali

A bit of information about the new PayPal button on the side of my blog. Last Sunday, August 22, I posted a piece titled Songs For Desert Refugees with information about the critical situation involving the very survival of Malian Refugees who are fleeing their homes after the invasion and coup d'etat of the country by the Islamic Al Qaeda linked AQMI. In the piece, I tried to explain the basic situation and gave some links to a project the NGO groups, Tamoudre and ETAR with the English music label, Glitterhouse to raise money to help the refugees with the profits from a CD of Malian music called Songs for Desert Refugees.
I am trying to work with a small NGO group which has been involved directly with a Touareg tribe in northern Mali for the last 25 years. This group of highly committed individuals have put their lives on the line and dug into their own pockets to realize their projects. One of the members is a person who I am very proud to call one of my best long time friends.
The NGO Group is called Groupe Coordination Aude Mali. I will post my friends own words explaining what they have done and the situation today:
"We are a NGO with about 30 volunteers. It all started some 25 years ago with continuing a water project in the desert of northern Mali abandond by another organisation after the big draughts in 1982-83. It developed into a production site of vegetables and soon a tree nursery was started with another groupe of Touaregs. We planted special trees that produce different colors used for painting artisanal products. Later we started a school to educate the children. In 1995 these people ended up in Mauritania, Mbera refugee camp fleeing a civil war. One of our members went to Mbera to work with CARE-International on water supply for three camps around Bassikounou. The people went back finally to their homes and restarted, rebuild life again .... everything they had left was destroyed, school, nursery, well, cattle. We helped those people to rebuild all for more than 15 years and now they are back again in the camps, dispersed between Mauretania and Burkina Faso. We assist those people as good as we can to make life supportable during this "misserable etappe" and hope for better times."

Here is a good video which gives an overview of the situation:

It's very hard to be specific about this situation. Why? Any personal or logistical information puts those most vulnerable directly into extreme danger. To further quote my friend:

"Why can we white people, especially french, not go to the refugee camps any more and why do we have to delegate our supprot to locals? Because we are "cibles" for the jihadist and we won't get any visa anyway. It is just too dangerous."

Your donation will be used to provide for the immediate survival needs of the refugees and put directly into the hands of those who can obtain the basic food and fuel they need for transport and survival. The situation became all the more drastic today as the latest news reports that AQMI has taken Douentza sand now control 2/3 of Mali as of today. If you care enough to donate on the PayPal button, you will have done something real and immediate and I humbly thank you.

I will keep you updated.

1 comment:

mikeb302000 said...

Sounds like a noble cause.

Good luck with it.