This is the home of the Friends of Mali group. Although most of us are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Mali, everyone is welcome, both as members and guests. Due to limited resources, the homepage is not updated as often as we would like, but the announcements and discussion forums are lively places to, share, request and receive information about Mali.

Mali fundraiser in New York on Sept 22nd2012.09.15

Adam Keehn writes: Toubab Krewe has organized a stellar line up of Malian and American artists to celebrate Malian Independence Day, heighten awareness about the ongoing crisis in Mali, and raise money for refugees. ╩In╩partnership with co-producers╩╩and the Malian Cultural╩Center, the concert will benefit Relief International working with refugees in Niger, and Bamako-based Instruments4Africa aiding musicians and their families who have fled the North.

Help translate "Where there is no doctor" into Bambara?2012.05.28

writes: A small group of us have decided to have the book "Where There Is No Doctor" translated into Bambara. We recently met with the publisher, Hesperian Foundation, in Berkeley. We left the meeting feeling slightly daunted, as it can be a long, expensive process (typically 2-3 years and up to $25,000), but also feeling inspired. It's already been translated into 80 languages; why not Bambara next? No sooner than we started discussing it, the coup happened, making it seem like a crazy time to try to do anything in Mali. But I've been in touch with Bocar Bocoum, who is still the training director for PC Mali, and he expressed a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to help. I suppose they don't have much work to do with no volunteers in country? Really, it's hard to contemplate; it's so sad what is happening.
Right now, we're in the planning stage, contacting people who might be interested in helping or contributing to the project, and looking for contacts and advice. I think that Friends of Mali is the ideal partner for the project, since the book is probably familiar to every RPCV. (I am also thinking of fundraising; we are soliciting funds from foundations, but they often like to see a cost match.)
Look forward to hearing your thoughts! Best regards to all of you. K'an sooni,
Matt Heberger, dit Abdoulaye DembelÚ volunteer in Wakoro, Segou Region, 1996-98

Need to interview a Malian for a World Issues course 2010.12.05

writes: I am a student at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio and am looking for someone who was born and raised in Mali, Africa who would be willing to be interviewed about their culture for my World Issues course. It can be via e-mail, phone, chat, etc. If you know someone could you please let me know as soon as possible. I would greatly appreciate it.

Request For Assistance In Locating Mali RPCV2010.12.05

Dan Jenkins writes:

This is a request for assistance in locating a former PCV health worker in Mali.

I served as a PCV in Nepal during the mid-1970's. I have special interest in the PC recruiting film "The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love" (produced in 1978) because I know one of the three volunteers featured in that movie.

My village water supply group trained with a suspension bridge building group, and so all of us got to know Alan. Alan was a mid-service bridge-builder who helped to train an incoming group while on-site construction work was at a standstill during the monsoon, and he is also the is one of the volunteers featured in the film.

Members of our combined training groups recently re-located each other, and many gathered for a weekend together. Alan and two other of our technical trainers were able to join us.

As a result, we got to thinking about finding a copy of this venerable 16mm PC recruiting film, which some of us had seen along the way, and then arranging to reproduce it in a modern format. It turns out that the Peace Corps was quite willing to provide us with a DVD copy.

During a phone conversation with the PC Video Production Manager, I learned that she is interested in re-contacting and interviewing all three of the volunteers in the film. She asked if I happened to know the bridge builder in Nepal, since I had been there at about the same time, and of course I had just seen Alan a few weeks earlier at our gathering.. The names of the three volunteers are apparently lost to the current Peace Corps staff, since none are listed in the film credits.

You can likely guess where I am headed next, as one of the volunteers in the film was a health care worker, likely in Mali. Peace Corps seems to think the country was Niger, but a RPCV who served in Niger and who knows the film just informed me that Mali is the correct location.

The volunteer (a medical lab technician) was probably there sometime in the 1975 to 1977 time frame.

We are working to get the DVD version of the film somehow posted on the Web. I will let you know when this is accomplished, as it will likely help to jog memories.

I am very careful about personal privacy, and realize that this person may not wish to be contacted nor to have anything to do with the Peace Corps. However, she might also be as pleased as Alan has been for the opportunity to comment again about her experiences, so I have set about trying to learn her name and where she might be now.

The third volunteer served in Columbia, and we hope to find a way to contact her as well.

by email.

New Documentary: Barefoot to Timbuktu2010.02.21

Martina Egi is the director of a new documentary movie, which starts on 12th of February in the Quad-Cinema in New York. The film is called "Barefoot to Timbuktu". It's about Ernst Aebi, a Swiss-American guy, who tried to save the village Araouane 20 years ago.
For more information:

Job opportunity in Burkina Faso 2007.09.21

Pediatric AIDS Corps Physician, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Job opportunity with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, based at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Qualifications: Medical doctor board certified or board eligble in pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, or medicine and pediatrics dual trained. Fluent in French.
Duties: Help imlpement the rapid scale up of HIV/AIDS care and treatment servcies in Bobo-Dioulasso.
Salary: $40,000 annually plus student loan debt reimbursement, housing, and many other benefits.
Contact: Dr. Meg Ferris;
For more information:

Interested in a PC "Class Ring"? 2007.09.21

Gary hunt, Sikasso 77-79, sends along this message:

" I was a volunteer in Sikasso, Mali, teaching carpentry from 1977 to 1979, and I have always been disappointed by the fact that nobody makes available a "class" ring for Peace Corps volunteers as a memento of our service. I have contacted Peace Corps a number of times, and nobody seems interested...

... until now. I ran across an ad for a company- National Custom Insignia- that makes rings for schools, businesses, etc. They have sent me some designs for a gold or silver college-type ring with the words "Corps de la Paix Mali" on top, around the stone, and a triangular area on each side with your choice of numbers or letters. Mine would have my Mali address and years on it, that is " B.P. 166" & "77" on one side and "Sikasso" & "79" on the other. I have some amber that I brought back from Mali, so I would get the ring without a stone, and have some of my amber put into it, by a local jeweler.

They have a minimum of 3 orders, and of course, the price goes down as the number of orders goes up. The only thing that needs to be consistent, is the ring style ( #202, in this case), and the message around the stone. If you are interested, please

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, and I'll send you more information and the virtual image they sent me of what the ring would look like. When you go to their website they have a wide range of design options to choose from."

Visual Griots comes to New York! 2007.09.12

Presented by the Museum for African Art, Visual Griots of Mali: An Exhibit of Photography by African Youth has landed in New York. After successful shows at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Kansas City Public Library, Shawn Davis' expo is currently on view at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery, 220 Vesey St, NY, NY. Hours are 12-6 Tues-Fri and 1-5 Sat & Sun, Sept 7 to Nov 25 2007. More information is available here.

New Anti-Spam system on the Announcements page 2006.11.01

We have a new anti-spam system on the Announcements page. This was necessary because we were getting upwards of 200 spam messages a day on the page, which I had to delete one by one. For a discussion on this phenomenon, check out David Pogue's blog post or the Wikipedia entry. We are starting with a very simple system - you just have to answer the very simple question.

Thanks for your patience.

After a successful test run on the Announcements page, I have extended the system to the Discussion page as well.

Salif Keita tour dates

6/28/06 Washington DC Lisner Auditorium
6/29/06 New York, NY BAM
6/30/06 New York, NY Apollo Theatre
8/4/06 Raleigh, NC Museum of Art
8/6/06 Piercey, CA Reggae on the River
8/8/06 Oakland, CA Yoshi's
8/9/06 Oakland, CA Yoshi's
8/10/06 Santa Monica, CA Santa Monica Pier
4/20/07 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
4/25/07 Berkeley, CA Zellerbach Auditorium
4/28/07 Los Angeles, CA UCLA/Disney Hall

AMADOU & MIRIAM tour dates

July 5 - Montreal, QUE - Metropolis
July 7 - Quebec City, QUE - Quebec City Summer Festival
July 9 - Ottawa, ONT - Cisco Systems Blues Festival
July 11 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
July 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center
July 13 - Brooklyn, NY - BAM Rhythm and Blues Festival
July 14 - Boston, MA - Bastille Day Street Party
July 16 - New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage

Looking for Soninke and Bambara interpreters

Lionbridge Interpretation Services works with the U.S. Department of Justice to fill all Immigration Court cases with interpreters for all languages nationwide. Two of their priority languages at this time are Soninke and Bambara in the NYC/NJ and MD/DC/VA areas. More information is available here on our discussion boards.

New Newsletter Editor! 2005.09.01

Friends of Mali is thrilled to welcome Jennifer Fowler, Segou 96-98, as our new newsletter editor. We hope to publish the next issue by the end of September. If you have announcements or content that you would like to share, please forward them

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Soninke Speakers or FGM experts out there? 2005.07.01

Jessica Salsbury is looking for a Soninke speaker in Richmond, VA to help a young malian woman in an asylum case who is fleeing female genital mutilation in Mali. You can contact her by phone at (202) 274-4147 or by

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Photo project 2005.07.01

Shawn Davis

(Motio region '96-'98) invites members to visit the website of Visual Griots--an international program to promote community cultural development, helping educators, photographers, and community leaders engage young people in a powerful process of self-exploration and expression by using the art of photography. The site includes:
Notes From the Field: On-the-ground observations from the inaugural Visual Griots workshop in Mali
Student Photo Exhibit: A collection of the selected works from Malian youth.

NPCA MicroEnterprise Program

How fast would you jump at the opportunity to assist families in the Asian region to break the cycle of poverty while you earn interest on the money you have invested in helping them?
You can make a dramatic difference by simply investing in the National Peace Corps Association's Microenterprise Program (MEP). With a minimum investment of $1,000, you will provide a guarantee for Micro-credit loans in Asia and in developing nations around the world through one or more of MEP’s designated institutions: Catholic Relief Services, FINCA and Freedom from Hunger. Investment notes in the MEP are issued and managed by the Calvert Social Investment Foundation, one of the premier socially responsible investment organizations in the U.S. For more information, click here.

New Peace Corps Partenerships Projects

Our Projects page features 9 new PCV projects that need and deserve financial support. Please check them out--maybe one of them is in your town of service!

New FOM Partnership - Calabash Music

Calabash Music
offers legal $0.99 MP3 downloads of tons of African music, including lots of Malian music. FOM is partnering with Calabash in a "click-through" partnership. Every time that you visit Calabash Music by clicking on a link on the FOM website and purchase music, FOM will receive 50% of the sale. So start shopping--right this way!

Greeting Cards

Looking for beautiful, unique greeting cards? Check out Shawn Davis's "Malian Greeting Cards" series, for sale via the FOM webstore. They're for sale as a ten-pack (2 each of 5 images) - click here to see them all.


Do you have something to share? A question? A event to announce? The FOM website is member-driven, and we need your participation to make it all happen. You can contribute to our website in three ways:

- make an announcement: if you have something to announce, log onto our announcements page and start a new thread
- start a discussion: if you have a question, or want to get reactions from other members about something, you can go to the discussion page and start a new discussion
- publicize an event: if you want to let other members know about a particular event, in addition to posting an announcement you can add it to our calendar.

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Do you want to join the group? Are you interested in Mali, Africa, the Peace Corps, making a difference? Registration information is available in our Member area.

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