Mali: interview to Souleymane Yanogue

Souleymane Yanogue president of the Mali association for rural developmentSouleymane Yanogue is the president of the Association for the solidairty of North / South Mali which deals with the development of rural and urban areas of the country.

Africanews.it interviewed him via Facebook despite the oddities of electricity in Mali.

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How would you describe the work of the association in Africa?
Our association  work for the improvement of living conditions of rural populations in Mali in general and particularly in the Dogon villages.

When the association started operating in Mali? What are your goals?
The association has existed since 2005 but from 2007 we are officially an association. We do not donate money  or supplies for free without a request from the villages, municipalities, etc.. The association involves the population through the funds that we can find.

The aim is to promote active and responsible participation of rural communities in the process of their development through a true solidarity among the friends of the north and south.

How many member your association counts?
We are an association recognized by the state dedicated to the development of Mali. There are groups and friends who help the association but there are  no associates. There are entertainers and people in the areas of intervention such as in the Dogon country in the rural community of Bamba. The members of the bureau of the association are 18, all are Mali citizen.

We are about to open a campaign to have more associates. The campaign will also run through the website of the association which is under construction www.solidaritenordsudmali.ea26.com

What goals you have ach
ieved since 2005 as an association?
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We made health projects in Weré, a hospital first aid facility with the financial support of Italian friends, the restoration of three classrooms in the villages of the Dogon people.

We are seeking funding for our projects that involve a cereal banks in four villages in Dogon, drilling projects in 10 Dogon villages, micro-credit projects for the autonomy of women, and projects in support of school-age children in the town of Bamba.

Who are the Italian friends who helped you and what are your main economic means?
They are single citizen and groups of people who have sought and found funding particularly in Italy, also through fund-raising events. In this way, all funds raised were allocated to projects of the association.

We also have the “solidarity travel agency” that contribute in small part to the financing of projects.

For those unfamiliar with the Mali and know little of Africa, the Dogon is the name of a town or something?
This is a people or ethnic group of Mali. They are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1989. They are a nation that still maintains true values despite the evolution of society.

It’s a people who live on a plateau. They live very close to the nature and they are also a victim of it, because of nature’s inequalities. This means that they suffer the loss of arable land, being a country situated in the Malian Sahel zone they suffer from the fact that rains are few

They are like the Amish in the U.S.?
It could be due to the fact that both are very close to their traditions but I also think that they are different because the Dogon people is unique due to their way of life that responds to the Dogon philosophy: their world view, their relationships with other peoples of the whole world, their relationships with nature and the environment and their religion is the spirit in which it is the first African religion, etc..

To learn more about the Dogon: wikipedia.org

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