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More About Sanambélé

Sanambélé is a beautiful traditional Malian village located 60 kilometers South East of Bamako (See map). Mud brick homes and walls line the dirt streets of this village whose population is estimated at about 1,000 inhabitants. The well-attended mosque and school are the largest community buildings. The villagers are subsistence farmers and cultivate millet, sorghum, corn, cowpeas, some rice and vegetables. The majority of the population is Bambara. Some Fulani families live on the outskirts of Sanambélé and take care of the cows.

Sanambélé is headed by a chief and a council of elders known as notables. Various organizations, such as the Farmers’ Association and the Women’s Association, play a significant social and economic role in the village.

The Women’s Association was founded in 2001. Its members are responsible for managing the village. They also generate income by working collectively on neighboring fields. The association is headed by Hawa Coulibaly the former chief’s daughter. Being the only literate woman farmer in the association, Hawa has taken it upon herself to teach reading and writing to the village women. She is also the first woman to learn crocheting in the village. Through her leadership a majority of the members are now engaged in this income producing endeavor.

Sanambélé has many basic needs. Clean water is scarce and food insecurity is significant. Teachers and education materials are extremely limited. Still, the villagers have prioritized their number one concern as protecting their children from malaria. MMAMA.net’s grassroots efforts have increased the mothers’ income by 60%, enabling them to buy bed nets, medication and even food.

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