THE NOSSOMBOUGOU VILLAGE IN MALI is being transformed by ADRA. Through the key activities of clean water, sanitation, literacy, agriculture, and environmental initiatives, this community that once had a 52 percent child mortality rate and suffered from continual hunger is now self-sufficient and prospering. The HEAL project is being funded by ADRA Sweden/SMC/SIDA with a total amount of 2.100.432 SEK
(=145.032.409 FCFA or 221.100,00 EUR).
“I have always been curious about this body that I have and how it works,” says Mpènè. “When ADRA formed a health committee in our village and asked for volunteers to be trained as health workers, I was the first to volunteer. To think that simple things like mosquito nets and ORS [oral rehydration solution] can keep us well is a new idea. What surprised me most, though, was learning that keeping a clean house and yard keeps us well. That I would never have believed before ADRA came.”
Yes, some of the initiatives going on in this village are very simple things, and yet if no one is there to share these things, nothing changes. Life continues to be a daily struggle. A measure of freedom has been found in cleanliness, education, hard work, and caring for the earth.
“When I was a girl, we cut the baobab and eucalyptus trees for wood, for fodder, and simply to get them out of the way,” says KONTO. “ADRA has taught us to leave these trees to grow. Since we have been doing this, we have shade to help us with the heat of the day. They have taught us that there are many vitamins in the baobab leaves and that we are all healthier when we put them in our stews. ADRA has also taught us that God cares for trees, and we should too. The more trees we have, the more rain we will have. Usually, we are in great need of rain.
ADRA is providing Acacia Senegal seedlings and training in tree production in this arid village. Individuals are taught proper planting, how to install wire fencing around the seedlings to keep the animals out, and all aspects of caring for the trees. The leaves of this tree nourish and regenerate the soil when they fall to the ground. This fast-growing, multibranching tree provides fodder for animals. The leaves are also used in traditional medicines for both humans and animals.
“There have been so many changes in the past few years since ADRA has been working with us,” says TIENEGUE DIARRA, the 97-year-old village chief. “I thank God that I have lived to see such changes. I am alive because of His goodness. Unlike most chiefs, I have had only one wife in my entire life, and I do not believe in hating others. I think that is why God brought ADRA to my village.”
“Tienegue and I have been married for 60 years!” exclaims GUAGNINE, wife of the village chief. “He always says he waited till he found just the right woman. We have seen great loss through the years. I lost many of my children to diseases that ADRA has now taught the mothers of this village to look for and treat. I am grateful that the young mothers are getting their children immunized. Hopefully, they will not experience the great losses that I have had to deal with.”
“And here I am learning to read, at this age!” Guagnine continues. “Never in my life did I think that I would have this skill. School was never a possibility for me as a girl. I encourage everyone in this village—women, men, and children—to learn. ADRA has brought this opportunity to us. Everything in our entire village will be better if we all embrace this learning.”
ADRA longs to transform more communities throughout the world. WILL YOU HELP US?
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