My name is Marissa Coutinho Samake. I am Bahraini born and educated, Indian raised, married to a Malian for the last 10 years, studied in the US to get my Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems at Brigham Young University and been blessed with two inquisitive children.
I have been blessed with many opportunities as I grew up. I have two wonderful parents that made sure my every need was fulfilled. I had access to quality education and a good health care system. I also had an opportunity to come study in America. I met my husband, Niankoro Yeah Samake, 11 years ago at Brigham Young University in Utah. 11 years ago he told me he wanted to be President of his country, I told him I wanted to be the next Madonna. 🙂 Today, he is closer to his dream.
We ]returned to Mali in 2011 so that he could run for the presidency. The elections were to be held on 29th April 2012 with a final runoff in May. A military coup in 2012 destroyed the democracy of 22 years. Fresh elections were then held in July 2013. Unfortunately our hope for a new Mali did not see fruition.
We continue our fight for a new Mali filled with opportunities for all Malians. We continue to do this through our foundation Empower Mali and Yeah’s role as Mayor of Ouelessebougou.
Empower Mali is a non profit foundation looking to improve access to education, healthcare, clean water, clean energy and leadership training. EM partners with local leaders and communities in Mali to create sustainable projects that move the community further. You can volunteer or donate at http://www.empowermali.org
Yeah still hopes to provide his country with quality education, healthcare and to also decentralize the government’s power back to local leaders. The hope is to lift Malians out of the corruption that has made their country the third poorest country.
This blog is an attempt to chronicle our journey which I am sure will be filled with fun times, times of distress and anxiety as the campaign progresses. It is also an attempt to keep in touch with all my wonderful friends out there and hopefully pick up a few 🙂