hopeforabetterworld_dissan(1) dissan individual water systemMay 2023-

Finally, for the first time since 2009 when HBW was founded, we got boots on the ground again in Mali.

The aim of this return was to benefit our Malian neighbors who lack access to clean drinking water. We still have hopes of bringing an entire school to at least two regions I visited back in 2009 (see earlier posts), but for now we were happy to be able to help in any way it is needed.
Mali has rich culture that dates back to time periods that, for me, almost lack meaning because they are so far removed. My amateur research into the country tells me that the Mali empire, roughly c. 1200-1700, was the largest in west Africa  and widely influenced culture in the region. In time, they eventually became subjected to French colonization around 1880, before regaining independence in 1960. Despite such an ancient history and culture, the country lacks infrastructure.

Access to clean drinking water is severely limited for too many people in Mali. We were very fortunate to have been able to partner up with Empower Mali and with the funds raised, sponsor the digging of a well in one remote village.

While I was in Mali this time around, I stayed in a village hospital with a local surgeon and his team so I could learn from them. This was very rewarding and I am so grateful that the Peace Clinic, so vital to the area, is there.

My first visit to the site where we intended the well to go was at a different location (pictured with photos in another post). After my departure from Mali,  it came to light that this site would require much more labor and cost intensive attention.  So Empower Mali worked with another organization with more funds at their disposal to bring that one to fruition.

The community of Dissan, more rurally, was then chosen to be the site beneficiary.  Once they had met the requirements that Empower Mali sets forth, such as providing roughly 10-20%  of total funds needed, depending on the project, our donations were used to fund the rest of the expenses. I hope to visit the community in person on my next trip to Mali that is tentatively planned for 2024-25

No person, family, or town should be deprived of access to clean water. Thanks to all of you who donated and supported this effort, we addressed this disparity in a substantial way for the people of Dissan, Mali.