Regional Director visits Mali: ‘‘we have outstanding assets and we shall try to do better’’

Regional Director visits Mali: ‘‘we have outstanding assets and we shall try to do better’’

When visiting Mali in May, Esther Lehmann-Sow the West Africa Region Director said that she was satisfy regarding the whole assets of the programs but she asked World Vision Mali staff to do not stop doing in that point.  We shall always try to go further in the improvement of children well-being and make sure that we support communities in a process of resilience which makes them independent in the long term and they will be able to decide for their own development” she said.

According to the West Africa Region Director, the integration of sectors, resources, teams and approaches, combined to the sustained involvement of religious leaders for the change of behavior ; in addition to a reflection beyond written documents (to think out of the box) are important elements to take in consideration in order to succeed.

Field visit has been very rewarding with several stages, which allowed updating better assets and doing outgoing schedule of fixtures to a sustainable improvement of living conditions. In the project of general food distribution of Bandiagara, Director attended to a very good distribution in terms of quality made in respecting the dignity of vulnerable persons through LMMS technology.  In addition to, a discussion with the former beneficiaries of EMOP project 2014 of the village of Songho in the region of Bandiagara, shed light on the mechanism of resilience that communities organized. Men gather, break and sell stones of which, incomes serve to buy millet for the entire village. Women involve in the trade of cotton thread that they sew on their own in addition to their tontines serving as saving groups someway. In order to improve their conditions in a sustainable way, Esther Lehmann-Sow proposed to the communities to envisage the possibility to do market gardening and animal fast-feeding and at the same time to remain focused on looking for water and a funding.

In Koporo Na in the region of Koro, the West Africa Region Director and its delegation visited the community healthcare center where the head of the center showed them impressive results of analyzes regarding the chemo-prevention against malaria. Over there, the recommendations of the Director concerned making available the results from the district. Those can serve to do advocacy with the ministry of Health so that this campaign can be replicated everywhere on the territory to protect thousands of children who die each year from malaria.

Health related activities brought Esther Lehmann-Sow to the center of positive deviance at Bégnepérou where mothers were proud to present their new skills in terms of better feeding of children. Culinary demonstration sessions in the centers brought a bunch of mothers to become aware of that they can easily and healthily cook food with local products and avoid malnutrition to their children.  

World Vision staff transfer skills towards communities is a key element of resilience of our support and the Director took pleasure to read carefully Sogourou Pen populations’ achievements. She saw business plans; documents of market data collection information, contracts of partnership between market gardeners and traders, etc. Throughout value chain development, farmers received skills, which allow them to understand better and become integrated to the production line – transformation – consumption. 

When Esther Lehmann-Sow returned to Bamako service center, while conducting the prayer she reminds all the staff the importance to play our role as salt and light in the world. She also made it clear to the staff that our positive influences on our entourage and putting into practice daily lessons of Celebrating Families (sharing, love, forgiveness, self re-assessment, etc.).

In a last meeting with the staff, Esther Lehmann-Sow took advantage to share her vision for Mali where all our project proposals will include five models which will help to facilitate a common comprehension of success and to boost our impact: saving groups, Citizen Voice and Action approach (CVA), children clubs, channels of hope (CoH) and Celebrating Families Curriculum approach. For her, it is also important that we have a qualified ministry where the impact is measurable and all the staff makes the difference in all their actions and activities for the well-being of children.