Wow, what a year it has been! This time, last year, Yeah and I were busy campaigning in rural villages all over Mali. And while things have definitely slowed down, we are by no means halted in our goal to help bring change to Mali.
But I would like to take a minute and ask you to celebrate the life and achievements so far of a very special man. In 1968, a fortune teller told a Malian woman in the village of Ouelessebougou, whose name was Sanamba Doumbia, that she would have a child who would become a great leader one day. 45 years later, I would say that Yeah is very well on his way to being that leader.
But the one thing I love about this man, is that he does not lead just by word. His actions have determined and highlighted the wonderful leader he is. And many in Mali have grown to respect and trust him because they see real action on their behalf. How do you teach people not to be corrupt? For Yeah it meant not stealing a single dollar of the tax payers money and holding accountable any corrupt official. How do you show service and teach people to be better citizens? For Yeah it meant leaving a country of fortune and coming back to Mali to serve his people on the ground. How do you become a good father and a caring husband? For Yeah, it means spending hours building tents with our kids after a day of meetings and even washing dishes ( a crime for any Malian man in this patriarchal society;))
Yeah is just simply a special spirit. When you look into his eyes, you see a sincere desire to help and a kindness that warms. He is different in a way that is a blessing for Mali and all Malians. He truly cares and even when people harm him, Yeah is usually one of the first to help. It used to drive me crazy but one day he simply said to me, ” I have been blessed and it is my calling that I should share that blessing with others, no matter what”. Our children in Mali need more men like Yeah. The Malian youth are still being forgotten and no change has benefited them. Mali has one of the youngest populations in the world with about 70% under the age of 25. Thanks to your support, we can focus our activities on our youth in the hopes that they may be strengthened to raise themselves from the circumstances they were born into.
So today, I call on our Samake friends, family, and supporters around the world to help me celebrate this generous, amazing man by supporting the cause he loves the most. For the past two years, you kindly answered our call for donations to our campaign. This year I would like to celebrate the spirit of giving that defines Yeah and highlight what so few Malians have today: access to education.
A month ago we visited the village of Fala. Many children in Fala are working in neighboring mines in order to bring in an income for their families. However community leaders are committed to breaking this cycle of child laborers and poverty and want a school in their own village. So Empower Mali’s new village that will get a school is Fala.
Today, come celebrate this wonderful man with me by making a donation to Empower Mali’s new school in the denomination of 45– 4.5, 45, 450.. etc. or whatever you can. And/Or share this with your family and friends. You can click the button below or go to http://www.empowermali.org ( Enter “Fala school” in comments)
Your support has been immense. My heart overwhelms with gratitude when I think of your prayers and investment in us. Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for sharing our ambition, our desires for a better Mali and our journey.
From our family to yours, God bless you and your loved ones
February 28, 2014 at 02:15
Great post, as usual, Marissa – a wonderful tribute to an amazing man, and good friend.
Adele Kammeyer firstname.lastname@example.org “Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured”
March 1, 2014 at 08:14
I trully hope that yeah had a great birthday with the wonderful lest family serving Mali in an extraordinary humbling way. I thank you samake family for your gifts for Layla you have no idea what it means to me and jesse. I will be sending pictures of her using her bottles;).. Again thank u love hoffman:)