The crisis of 2012 which began in the northern regions of the Mali has increasingly shifted towards the central regions, notably Mopti and Segou. The terrorist threat in these regions is becoming more and more common and has also exacerbated intercommunity conflict. Over 3.7 million people are affected by the conflict and among them around 328,548 people in the Segou and Mopti regions currently require food assistance. In the Mopti region vulnerable families are struggling to provide the base needs for their children. Solange Koni (44) a widow mother of five children from Tominian in (Segou region) was until recently, among the vulnerable families in need of food assistance. But she explains, that hunger is something she doesn't have to worry about any more.
“In the past my family used to have one meal a day. It was difficult sometimes because children use to complain a lot. I used to be forced to beg for food in the local market or do domestic work for someone to be able to feed my children”.
The three-month seasonal assistance project that resulted from a partnership between World Vision Mali and World Food Program, in the region has been able to save the lives of 19 554 vulnerable people, including (7 481 children ages 0 to 18) since it's initiation in June 2018. During, each distribution, register families received, 72 kilos of cereals, 4,5lts of vegetable oil, 0,9kg of salt,18kilos of peas\beans and 9kilos Blend CS+.
According to Solange, the three consecutive food distributions she benefited from in since June, have given her peace of mind, because she has been able to feed her children. “Now, I feel relax, because I don’t have to worry about getting food for the family. The children eat three times a day, and with the earns from my domestic work, I am able to buy meat, fish and spices to make a good source for them”.
Although, Solange feels relieve right now, she is well aware that the food assistance provided by the project is seasonal. So when asked, if she has an alternative, when the project finishes. She adds” To be honest, if people here don’t continue to receive food from World Vision, a lot including myself will suffer. I will be obliged to return to the market to beg, or ask for a loan to be able to feed my children”.
Unfortunately, the current security situation in the area, represents an extra burden and doesn’t help improve the life vulnerable families like Solange’s one. “Apart from the lack of food around, I also worry about the insecurity. There are rumors that we may be next in the line of attacks, because several villages nearby have been attacked. If this happens, I will not have a place to go too, with my children” says Solange looking worried.
Despite her situation, Solange is a mother with high expectations, because she told me that she hopes that her children finish their education and take care of her, in a near future. Solange oldest child is a bright 22 years old boy keen in school. World Vision Central Mali emergency response relief efforts is providing hope to people like Solange, so remember you can play your part. Be a hope provider.