From Our Board
First, thank you for taking an interest in the Ouelessebougou Alliance. It has been my privilege to serve as Board Chair this past year. I have had the opportunity to see up-close the workings of this charitable organization and I am pleased to share with you the remarkable strides we have taken during our 2018 - 2019 program year.
I have great confidence in the continued work we do with our friends in Mali, West Africa. The following report supports the integrity and success of our programs and projects. And our more than 30 years of on-going work proves our board members’, staffs’ and volunteers’ dedication to the progress and strength of our Malian friends. I invite you to get to know us and feel the same confidence in the Alliance’s work as I do.
Danene Torgerson, Board Chair 2018 - 2020
To work in partnership with local villagers to transform the quality of life in the Ouelessebougou region of Mali, West Africa by delivering sustainable programs in health and education.
Ouelessebougou Alliance is a trusted non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are the longest serving non-profit in the Ouelessebougou region. We are also one of the few international NGO's still working in the area with a local Malian staff. For nearly 34 years, the Alliance has given Utahns the opportunity to serve a specific African community. Our supporters can feel confident knowing that their assistance goes directly to the people of Ouelessebougou.
Mali continues to face tremendous challenges due to wide spread poverty, instability and conflict. Our motivation is grounded in the belief that building "human capital" -- the potential of individuals - is the most important long-term investment we can make for the villagers' future prosperity and quality of life.
Our Work in Mali
A large part of the Alliance's longevity is the establishment of lasting partnerships which empowers the villagers themselves to transform their communities. We focus on sustainable development which meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability for future generations to achieve self-reliance.
We work with villagers to teach principles for problem solving vs. fixing issues with temporary solutions. By providing sustainable resources and training, villagers can develop programs to alleviate poverty not only for today, but for the future.
In all our partnerships, we strive to follow these three core principles of development:
- Ownership: participants are significant contributors
- Sustainability: build capacity in individuals and communities
- Accountability: programs and projects produce qualitative and quantitative results
Our Impact: HEALTHY VILLAGES
Health Workers & Councils
- 20 out of 25 villages have active Village Health Councils
- 48 village health matrons & apprentices received training
- 4 villages completed one phase of the Healthy Village Workshop
- The village of Folona finished the three-year Healthy Village Workshop program
"Before the Healthy Village Workshop, we saw many cases of malaria and diarrhea. The villagers didn't understand cleanliness. We taught them about sanitation. They are now healthier and drink good and clean water." - N'Ton Coulibaly
- Over 80 women work in individual garden plots at the OA Women's Garden in Ouelessebougou
- 24 women from Famana and Bassa received gardening training from the women at the OA Women's Garden
"Thank you to the Utah Alliance. They provide so much help at the garden that we cannot estimate it and we really appreciate it." - Awa Diarra
- 1,200 mosquito nets were sold to the villagers for a subsidized cost of $1 USD
- 415 families received training from Health Agents on proper use & disease prevention
"We have two nets at our house so everyone is protected. I sleep with three of the children under mine. It is very important we buy the Alliance's nets so we do not get malaria." - Salimata Traore
- 12,952 children ages 0 - 5 were vaccinated from nine life-threatening diseases. This was an increase of 54% from 2017 - 2018.
- 2,619 expectant mothers received maternal immunizations -- an increase of 83% from 2017 - 2018.
"I am grateful to Utah Alliance because these shots will keep my baby healthy. I will keep my yellow card safe so I can know what shots she needs." - a Mother from Djenfing
Days for Girls
- Over 1,000 Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits were distributed in our partner villages
- 471 kits were made at the OA compound to provide more women and girls will sustainable feminine hygiene solutions in the town of Ouelessebougou
- 3 women Days for Girls ambassadors worked at the OA compound to learn how to sew DfG kits, teach about women's health, and sell the kits to earn an income for their families.
"The hygiene kit will make a big change in our lives. We are so happy for the Utah Alliance. You give us hope and dignity." - Mariam Samake
Specialized Health Care
We partner with local Utah medical teams to provide services that are either unavailable or too expensive for our village friends. Our committed partners at Utah Valley Eye Center coordinated it annual ophthalmology expedition in November 2018. They worked side-side with the medical professionals at the Ouelessebougou Hospital to provide eye care and surgeries to Malians -- free of charge.
- 1,461 patients were seen and received services
- 92 cataract surgeries, 5 pterygium surgeries and 47 other critical procedures were performed
- 598 pair of prescription eye glasses, 126 reading glasses and 397 sun glasses were distributed
Our Impact: LITERATE VILLAGES
- 2,042 students attended our 12 partner elementary schools in 18-19 school year
- 43% of students enrolled were girls!
- All 12 schools have active Education Councils who work with the school, teachers and parents on literacy goals
"French is my favorite subject. I want to study abroad so I can become a doctor and help people." - Fanta Samake from Tamala, age 14
- 24 village teachers received training on lesson planning, Bambara/French, literacy and mathematics
- All village teachers received annual C.A.P. supervision and evaluation of their performance
Kadiatou Traore is a dedicated teacher to the 1st and 2nd graders in Tamala. She is a mother of four and brings her youngest, Issa, with her to class. Kadiatou has been a teacher for four years and enjoys teaching French.
"The Utah Alliance understands the importance of education and helps children stay in school. The Education Council helps as well as the teacher training and CAP follow-up." - Kadiatou Traore
- 288 students ages 14 and older completed the 3-month literacy workshop in 12 schools
- 24 literacy teachers attended a two-day workshop to receive training on lesson planning, reading and math
- 96 textbooks were purchased and distributed to Literacy Workshop Teachers
"I love the Literacy Workshop and what the Utah Alliance has taught me. Now I shop at the market and I know what size of shoe I should buy." - Yiridio Bagayogo
- Over 75 students and 60 women are working side-by-side in the Famana School garden
- A solar pump well and garden fence was constructed in partnership with the village of Bassa to start a new school garden
- Over 120 students will start gardening with their mothers in the Bassa Garden this fall
"The villagers are so happy, I nearly cry. The women and the children of Bassa are going to have a better life because of the garden." - Anounou Sissoko, Malian Field Director
Hand Washing Stations
- 12 new hand washing stations were purchased and distributed in all 12 partner schools
- Over 2,000 students have access to hand washing stations and drinking water
"Hand washing with soap has been very important in our Dialakoro Keleya school because it reduces some preventable diseases such as diarrhea and stomach aches. Most of our kids do not touch their eyes with their dirty hands anymore. Our students wash their hands with soap after using the bathroom and before eating. Every morning they wash their hands with soap before they get into the classroom. They are getting used to washing their hands with soap now and they even practice it at home." - Amadou Dicko, Principal of Dialakoro Keleya
We can't do this work without supporters like you!
"The Alliance works hard every day to make sure that funds and efforts are focused in areas that will make the biggest impact. I know there is a need in Mali for assistance and guidance from the Alliance and I have seen how partnering with the villagers can result in positive, long-lasting change. It is exciting to see how even a small donation from lots of people can make an impact." - Claire Johnson
We are grateful to our corporate, community and school partners for making a profound impact in Mali.
A special thank you to our wonderful community of volunteers!
We have an amazing support system of volunteers including our Board of Directors, Gala Auction committee, day of event volunteers and expedition teams. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of our organization. We simply can't thank them enough for all they do to support our mission!
In 2019 - 2020, we will continue to invest in the health and education of villagers. Through our grassroots approach, we will provide locally vetted programs that make a lasting impact and break the cycle of poverty for village families.
- New construction for three classrooms at the Djemene School
- First Aid, Emergency Care & Women's Health Training for Village Health Care Workers
- 120 new bench desks for students in Soumaya and Djemene
- Additional three-month fall session for Literacy Workshops for teenage girls and women
- New "Success in Commerce" training for neighborhood self-reliance groups in five partner villages
- Partner OBGYN expedition to provide specialized health care for village women
It's going to be a great year. Join us in making it possible.
2018 - 2019 Board of Directors
Danene Torgerson, Board Chair*
Talatou Abdoulaye | Ryan Bonham | Bakary Camara | Paul Cazier | Carl Dempsey* | Alyson Deussen* | Jonathan Dudley* | Addie Fuhriman* | Jessica Kallin | John Lewis | Richard Loomis* | Mike Maughan | Robyn Mock | Dr. Paul Olson* | Heidi Poelman | Richard Wilson
* Executive Committee Member
Learn more about our Board of Directors
We welcome the support of friends and partners who believe in our mission as strongly as we do. Your contributions are critical for us to continue providing life-changing programs in Ouelessebougou. Please help us by supporting our 19-20 program year.
For more information, please contact 801-983-MALI or visit www.lifteachother.org