31 May 2013

Launching partnerships in teaching and research

11 January 2013 meeting of the Segou physicians, administrators,
both local and state, with the VFOM/VCU team members to
discuss ethical protocols for the research project.
In January 2013 VFoM members led a group of VCU professors to Ségou and Bamako, to launch new partnerships in teaching and research. The delegation of professors and colleagues (with their Malian names and research interests) included the following:

Dr. Helen Ruth ASPASS, geographer interested in transferring knowledge of Africa to early childhood and elementary education students

Dr. Christopher BROOKS, VCU Head of Anthropology interested in social problems related to AIDS, Malian music and the historical Virginia-Mali connection 

Dr. Patricia CUMMINS (Rokiatou TRAORÉ), VCU French professor interested in comparative university systems and in innovative French language teaching 

Ana EDWARDS (Aminata TALL-SISSOKO), VFoM President, interested in Mali-Virginia cultural relations through history, the arts and women's affairs

Dr. Michelle ELCOAT-POULTON, (Oumou KONÉ), former Vice-President of Child Fund International, working with early childhood 

Marcia FONTES-HELLMAN, VCU professor of Portuguese interested in youth and women’s self-empowerment through intercultural exchange and technology, and the 2014 project to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Aboubakr II's 1314 crossing from Mali to Brazil. 

Brahima KONÉ, VCU French professor interested in West African history, culture and economic development, and also working on the 2014 project to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Aboubakr II's 1314 crossing from Mali to Brazil 

Dr. Bernard MOITT, VCU History Professor interested in Malian history, French colonial history and Mali's links to Virginia and Haiti.

Dr. Robin POULTON (Macky TALL), VFoM vice president interested in peace research and practice, civil society and sustainable development in Mali 

Dr. AJ SHRIAR, geographer interested in regional planning, irrigation systems and the sustainability of Sahelian production systems 

Dr. Shawn UTSEY, psychologist and VCU Head of African Studies, interested in urban youth and their expression of relationships in their lives 

11 May 2013

VFOM Update: May 11, 2013

Pat Cummins, Robin Poulton, Dr. Fanta Diabate visiting Byrd House Market
on opening day of the 2013 season. Fanta then flew off, back to Bamako.

Fanta’s visit to Richmond

Dr Fanta Sambou DIABATE, Mali's most famous gynecologist and obstetrician spent a week in Richmond working with the VCU Health System and the VCU School of World Studies. On Friday May 3rd a group of members joined Fanta for lunch at MAMUSU's Africaine on Main, a popular West African restaurant on West Main at 2nd St, behind the Richmond Public Library. That day the akra were particularly delicious (these are fried black-eye pea or bean flour balls, and they are the delicious the West African ancestor of our 'hush puppies').

Fanta is working with the VCU AIDS clinic to set up a medical research project in Richmond's Sister City - Ségou on the Niger River - to help AIDS sufferers in Africa. The SWS brings knowledge of French and Mali and Anthropology to the medical team, which has won a Gates Foundation grant. Winning this grant - very very competititve - was highlighted in VCU Health System as one of the ten most important events of 2012. VFoM is proud to be a part of this team with the School of World Studies and Richmond Sister City Commission.

Mali’s election dates:

It has been announced that the Malian Presidential election will take place on July 7th and 21st. The Malians use a transferable vote system, with the two top candidates running off two weeks after the first round. Inauguration of the new President will be on July 31st.

Refreshing the voice of a talking drum...

Allan restrings.