|When Doria and I were in Mali earlier this month, we found that our nephew Fodé Camara had started to work with a group called Siguida Keneyali - Health in Our Homes - an organization working to improve health in Sikoroni, the poorest Quartier in Bamako. While we were there, we had a chance to talk to Fodé and his colleagues Caitlin Cohen and Modibo Niang about the organization and its approach. And Fodé and Niang took us on a stroll through the neighborhood, where we were always surrounded by the exuberant kids of this village.|
The organization is guided by a local board with deep roots in the community.Fodé emphasized the grassroots nature of the organization:
Siguida is a shift from the top down practices common in this type of development effort to a more participatory approach where the community is involved in identifying project goals, and in the design and the management of the project while taking in to account the local cultures and traditions.A preliminary health survey showed that by far the most serious problem confronting the village is malaria, and that is the area where work will begin. In an email, Caitlin shared the survey results with me and pointed out a group of questions that revealed the low level of health knowledge and information among Sikoro residents. There's no doubt a health education component will be key to the project's success. The renovation of an old community center to serve as a library and discussion place should help in this effort.
Check out the Siguida ' website - there are lots of ways you can help this great community effort.