“Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.” — Kofi Annan
One of the most essential parts of the Samake campaign in Mali is the youth movement. The success of our campaign so far in Mali has been because Yeah has been able to get the youth involved and encourage them to become part of the Mali solution. And they should be. From a recent survey done, Mali’s youth population is the 3rd largest in the world with 47% of the 15.1 MILLION population between the ages of 18-24. (http://world.bymap.org/YoungPopulation.html). Some other studies quote even higher percentages. The youth need a voice. And Yeah has been giving that voice to them.
On a daily basis I see people who give up of their time and efforts to benefit the campaign. A few of them have been with this campaign since its inception in early 2011.
Most recently, 25 different leaders over youth associations all over Bamako banded together to form Association des Jeunes Leaders pour le changement et de la Decentralization du Mali (Association of Young Leaders for Change and Decentralization in Mali). Their goal was to use their Association and their voices among the community to help Yeah spread the message of change. As one of our volunteers, Dramane Bagayoko , reports: “We created this group to better support Yeah Samake and to spread the word about his political party PACP all over Mali. Mr. Samake spoke to us about his biography. What motivates us is that it is a powerful, incredible biography of one man who came from a village but has the vision to change Mali. We are ready to fight for Yeah Samake’s victory. We are ready to support an honest leader like Yeah Samake.The President of our Association decided that he would lead the association to fully support Yeah. We , the youth, understand that we need a person who has helped the youth and will continue to help youth. We know that Mr. Samake will create the educational opportunities for the youth so Mali can be a great country filled with many opportunities. To start our activities, we will host a number of soccer matches among the different districts in Bamako. This will allow us to raise alot of attention about Yeah Samake as these matches will be well attended by all the university students in the area. We will continue to give our voice to this leader as we believe in his efforts and we believe that he is the best chance for Mali.”
Every day, new groups like these are being formed. Every day in a different region of Mali, a new group vows to help Yeah bring change to Mali. We know that this fight is not over. In fact it has just begun. Mali’s time and resources have been wasted too much by the old political class. It is time that someone gave back to Mali and Malians everywhere.
All these supporters have become a vital lifeline to Team Samake. A 24/7 commitment is not what drives Team Samaké. All our volunteers have full time jobs and commitments and still find the time to lend their voices and talents to this campaign because of their faith in the country Mali can become with a leader like Yeah. Check out the stories of our volunteers and what they are doing on behalf of Team Samake and Mali at www.isupportyeah.com. If you have a story about Yeah, reasons why you support him, or thoughts about a recent Samaké2013 event that you would like to share please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience.
Those of you who have met Yeah know of what he is capable of and what he has already done for his people. Those of you who haven’t have read of his journey and his contributions to Mali. Yeah has the ability to change Mali for the better. Without the volunteers, this campaign would have been hard. Never underestimate the value of yourself and what you can offer. If you believe that this campaign is an effort to break the chains of poverty, illiteracy and poor healthcare, then support us. The people on the ground in Mali need change. If every person we knew donated the money they used for one morning coffee or soda, we could easily raise a $1000 in an hour. A $1000 helps us hold a rally in a big village. A $1000 can fill the gas tank of 50 motorcycles to reach the distant villages and towns. Support does not have to be financial. The power of the human voice is unmatchable. Tell a friend. Tell 100 friends. Post it on Facebook, Twitter and any other outlet you can think of. We have the ability to win this for Malians everywhere. But we cannot do this without you. This isn’t about winning the election on July 7th 2013. However the election is the first step to creating a secure Mali of equality and better living conditions. Can I count on you?