Motorcycles heralded us into the village of Beneko, 20 minutes from Ouelessebougou, beeping their horns loudly and incessantly as a sign of welcome. And with this welcome PACP returned to the village of Beneko to reinforce its message of change and hope for a new Mali.
This rally was attended by about 150 people, a pretty good turnout for a midweek middle of the day rally. The elders of the village were there to greet the man that had built a school in their village. The women danced and sang their gratefulness not only for Yeah’s efforts but also the hope that Mali would elect Yeah as their new leader. The drumming in Beneko is some of the best drumming I have ever seen in Mali. The drummer was simply amazing and the beat was unmatchable. The rally began with singing and dancing to welcome PACP.
Then the representative of the village Coulibaly spoke. He introduced Yeah to Beneko by talking about all that he had accomplished. He spoke of how his own children had to be sent away to Bamako so that they could attend 7th, 8th and 9th grade. When the Beneko School was built by Yeah through MRF, he immediately brought his children back home so that they could go to school in their own village. He spoke of how because of this school the remaining children in Beneko could get a good education. There were even books in this school that children could refer to and read. In Mali, usually 4-5 children will share the same textbook. As you can imagine even though the tools exist, learning becomes almost impossible. Also present were representatives from the communes around Beneko. They too praised Yeah’s efforts and his willingness to come back to Mali so that his people’s needs could be answered. Then Yeah spoke. He spoke of his gratefulness to the people of Beneko for their kindness in welcoming PACP and also their kind words. He made a pledge that change would come under his leadership. Every child would be educated and every family would get the necessary healthcare. It was a rousing speech which was greeted by clapping. One of the women of Beneko came up and offered her friendship saying that now I had a friend in Beneko. The village also presented us with two chickens to thank us for coming to Beneko. I was very touched and humbled by this gesture and grateful for the kindness showed to our party in Beneko. Then the music began again and the drumming continued in earnest. Even the little children, that are usually scared of the toubabous( white people ) joined in.
This event was great and reinforced why PACP continues its fight for the Presidency. Every child deserves an education like the children of Beneko. Every family deserves decent healthcare that will be available to the people of Beneko when the big hospital is completed in Ouelessebougou. The time is now. Let’s push this campaign that will change the life of generations of Malians. Are you in?