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Field Experts .

Release Date: November 1, 2009

Video Testimony: Jean-Baptiste Sankara

Photos: A. Seegers



Generations of Giving Back

When I met Africare I was14 years old...  I was always saying, if one day I had the opportunity to work for Africare, I’d do it… and I made it!


Tucked away in Northern Mali near the fabled city of Timbuktu, villages in the Circle of Goundam are thriving.  

“They are growing rice, they are growing wheat, they have micro-credit programs, nutrition and health programs… and all in the middle of the desert,” remarks Alassane Aguili, program manager for Africare-Mali, a leading development organization working to improve the quality of life in Africa.  “This makes me proud because they’re moving forward.”

Alassane has seen the transformation of Goundam first hand. He grew up just 12 kilometers outside the Circle and remembers seeing Africare trucks travel to and from his village some 20 years ago.

“When I met Africare I was 14 years old, maybe even younger.  I was very very happy to see Africare because Africare was the first NGO to dig wells in the Goundam Region when the water problem was a big issue.  My friends and I would approach Africare employees and ask questions like how deep the well will be and how would they reach the water. I said then, if one day I have an opportunity to work for Africare, I’d do it!”

After graduation from high school in 1987, Alassane was granted a scholarship by the Government of Mali to pursue his studies in Political Science at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, former Yugoslavia.  After 10 years in Europe, Alassane returned home to serve his country. His childhood dreams brought him straight back to Goundam… and to Africare.  Turning down paid positions elsewhere, Alassane took up a volunteer position with Africare’s Goundam Food Security Initiative (GFSI) that aims to strengthen the agriculture potential and infrastructure of isolated villages and communities in the rural outskirts of the Sahel. Within three months he was offered a full-time position as Project Administrator and soon thereafter named Deputy Project Coordinator to supervise the second phase of the project. Today, Alassane serves as Program Manager, overseeing all Africare programs in Mali.

“I was always saying, ‘Would I have an opportunity to work with Africare?’ because they are doing great things! It isn’t just a job for me, but a source of pride.”

Every day across the African continent, Africare staff like Alassane are waking up with the sunrise to implement programs that improve lives and build futures for families and entire communities. To date, over 2,500 programs and well over $800 million in resources have been dedicated to their work and the people they serve.

These are the individuals that make Africare’s work possible.  Keep their story going. 

Pass It On! for Africare.