VFOM Humanitarian Aid Fund

Dear Members and Friends,

Events have continued to move quickly in Mali since January and accurate information has been as difficult to come by as conjecture has been easy. At this moment negotiations are under way to implement steps for a return from military to constitutional governance, including the installment of M. Dioncounda Traore as interim president of the republic on Friday, 13 April, and to find peaceful solutions to grievances of the Tuareg people of northern Mali. In the mean time, people continue to flee from the conflict areas into cities like Segou and Bamako, as well as into neighboring nations of Mauritania, Algeria, Niger and Burkina Faso, further straining the resources of the drought-stricken Sahel.

Our friends in Segou tell us they are well and at present remain safe. However, as a major city on the road to Bamako from the north, refugees from the embattled cities in the north are arriving in Segou every day, many without resources and in need of health care, food and shelter. Our recent health and sanitation projects have solidified relationships with health care providers in Segou and helped us be better tuned in to the health and sanitation resources of our sister city.

Last week, Virginia Friends of Mali received an anonymous donation of $1,000 for Malian relief and after some discussion we have decided to apply that funding directly to service providers in Segou to help them meet the medical needs of families arriving in Segou.  We have also decided to ask you to help us double that amount. We would like to be able to send $1,000 to each of two community health care clinics (CSCOMs) in Segou, to help them provide care and treatment for refugee children, women and men.  This may seem like little in the face of a national crisis, but our dollars buy more and every dollar helps. We believe timeliness is as important right now as quantity so we plan to wire the full amount this coming Friday, 20th of April. Please help us raise this amount over the next few days. Any funds raised above the goal amount will simply increase the amount of assistance we are able to provide.

You may make your tax deductible contribution online via PayPal using the Donatebutton at the top of this page, by mail to Virginia Friends of Mali, PO Box 4363, Richmond VA 23220, or reply to this email if you prefer to make arrangements to deliver a payment in person.

Please share this notice with your friends and families and let us keep our Malian families and friends in our hearts throughout this difficult time.


Ana Edwards, president
Virginia Friends of Mali
on behalf of the executive committee: Allan Levenberg; Robin-Edward Poulton; Dana Wiggins; Lydie Alapini-Sakponou