02 August 2012

Mali's Refugee Crisis Sparks Visit by Segou Mayor

M. le Maire, Ousmane K. SIMAGA, arrived in Richmond the evening of 24 July, 2012 for a 7-day mission of urgency from his hometown of Segou MALI. The northern rebellion and March 22 coup d'etat have resulted in a burgeoning crisis in the north that is driving Malians of all ethnicities from their homes into neighboring countries and southwest into the cities along the main road toward Bamako, and beyond. Segou, a city of 135,000, has so far received more than 7,200 displaced men, women and children from northern cities, Summary of Number of Displaced Persons in Segou (22 March - 20 July), which is roughly equivalent to Richmond receiving 11,000 people. Click here for Mali and Overview of Crisis.

To ameliorate the situation which also pressures local residents' capacity to remain self-sufficient, the city of Segou is asking for immediate assistance:
1) Direct financial contributions through the Virginia Friends of Mali to support their 3 top needs: food, medical treatment and the continued schooling of displaced children
2) Contributions to raise the $24,000 needed to implement Project CURE - a shipping container filled with $450,000 worth of medical equipment, supplies, and medications. Read the talking points here: Mali and Project CURE 
Journalist Michael Paul Williams spent Monday afternoon, July 30, with Mayor Simaga discussing the situation in Mali and its impact on Segou. Click the link below to read the column:
Michael Paul Williams: Sister city in Mali needs help from usRichmond Times DispatchAfter lunch with world studies faculty at VCU and an afternoon confab with Mayor Dwight C. Jones, the mayor of S├ęgou, Mali, visited a truck salvage yard in search of vehicles and spare parts to ship home. Operational trucks to transport trash are but ... 
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to Segou MALI to provide food, medical and educational assistance to the internally displaced families and/or Project CURE container of medical supplies, please use one of the following:

The PayPal DONATE button on this blog or on our home website, vafriendsofmali.org.
Send your check, payable to Virginia Friends of Mali (with "Segou MALI Humanitarian Assistance" OR "Segou Project CURE" written on the memo line), to Virginia Friends of Mali, Post Office Box 4363, Richmond, Virginia 23220 USA