Tuesday, September 8, 2015


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    Now that a large portion of the Malian refugees have returned home to their villages, and a peace agreement has been signed, NomadHope, Adjmor NGO, local Rotary Clubs in California, and Rotary International are restarting our Water, Solar, & Sanitation projects for the Schools outside of Timbuktu!

    These projects will enable children to pick up their education where they left off when they fled with their families to the refugee camps in surrounding countries.

    We pick up our work again this month, to assure several remote pastoral village schools have clean water, latrines, hand washing programs, and solar lights.

    Clean water, latrines, and hand washing programs at school, reduce student illness and absences caused by poor hygiene. Children no longer need to run to the nearest cattle watering station to get a drink and can wash their hands before their daily school meal, and after using the latrines.

    Solar lighting at school allows for evening studies, national test preparation, and teachers to change the black board curriculum daily. School buildings are also used in evenings for community and school / education governance meetings, and lighting provides safety and better usability.

    Some of the school buildings are now in disrepair, due to this long period without maintenance; and the sands continued, in the students' absence, to  push against the school perimeter walls that we built in previous years. Some buildings need only be cleaned up, desks repaired, and the sand pushed back, while others are no longer safe for students and they must use temporary shelter, until repair funding can be obtained.
    School building just needs a good cleaning and a few repairs.

    School in session, using temporary structure.

    Thus several schools are being held in temporary thatch hangers, as other NGO's work to repair or rebuild the structures. Therefore, rather than build a permanent water pipeline and tap stand to these schools as we had planned,.we will purchase donkeys and carts with portable water containers to provide clean drinking and hand washing water to these students and teachers. While the donkeys are not working for the students and teachers, they can be $ leased $ out for local work... like hauling building materials, fetching water for remote families, and other hauling needs, ...thus generating petty cash for any repairs needed to latrines, solar, wells, and donkey carts, over time.

    Some of the village water reservoirs are in need of repairs, so we will be assisting with these to assure a source of clean water for the village and school.

    Water reservoir needs a new platform.

    The millet machines we  installed previously are in disrepair and missing parts, and now due to the drought and lost herds, the local women do not currently have the ability to pay for use of these wonderful millet machines in their villages.  As always in the Sahara, one blocked path, only forces us to find another route, which typically leads to a better set of solutions for the present situation.

    Assessing the value of the millet machine parts remaining.
    The Tuareg villagers are now in a period of family and herd re-establishment, working to get their children back into school and establishing herds of goats, cattle, donkeys, and camels to be used for trading for food and supplies. Therefore, we have decided to sell the millet machines and parts in order to purchase goats and donkeys for the school management Committees. The Committees will $ loan / lease $ these animals to families of students in need, who will pay back the loan with the loaned animal's offspring. The school can also sell off goats for cash as needed, to repair water, latrine, and solar installations.

    Herds need to be replenished.
    We are working hard to get back on track and look forward to your continued support!

    PLEASE DONATE for these projects by clicking on the DONATE button in the right hand margin of this BLOG.

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    Monday, December 30, 2013

    Refugee Children Returning Home and to School!

    I am so excited to tell you the good news........ families, students, and teachers of northern Mali are finally returning home from the refugee camps, where they have been seeking safety for two years now! There is a new President and parliament in place, Timbuktu and other large towns are beginning to thrive again. Don't get me wrong, there continues to be conflict north of Timbuktu, but the news I bring you comes from those on the ground in Timbuktu and other towns and villages, news you are unlikely to read about....
    Many village and city  schools are back in session, overcoming challenges such as, finding the teachers that have returned and offering a salary to get them back to work (many working for food and lodging for now), and providing water and meals to the students.

    Our project manager is back in Timbuktu and his family has just arrived from the camps as well. He has some outside work and keeps us informed. Many NGO's and aid organizations have re-established bases there. Families continue to arrive daily.
    So, let the work begin! This week, we are starting our re-assessment of the village we halted work in two years ago, about 3 hours from Timbuktu in a 4x4 vehicle, to provide the school there with clean water, solar lighting, and sanitation programs for the students. We will begin work on implementation next month. Yippee.
    So, HELP us KEEP GIRLS IN SCHOOL, and Give the Gift of Education to begin the New  Year. DONATE by clicking the donate button on the right margin of this BLOG, or do to our Facebook Cause page at: https://www.causes.com/NomadHope
    I’ve seen how important it is for girls and boys to stay in school, giving them choices for their future. This 2014 EDUCATION campaign in more important than ever, with very little infrastructure in place, parents moving home and looking for work, and organizations like NomadHope beginning to improve the remote village infrastructure; children returning home need to restart their education and be in school every day. I want to give these children a better future, to avoid ever having to run to a refugee camp again, and after 14 years working in remote villages of northern Africa , I know it starts with schools.
    Thanks to Rotary International, we are able to fund the infrastructure of this remote village school through a large grant, providing clean water, solar lighting, and latrines. This enables your donations to go solely to the needs to the students and teachers, for school supplies, uniforms, and temporary donkey transportation of clean water to the school. Every dollar you donate will immediately benefit students in classrooms, while we do the heavy lifting for sustainable solutions. I made my donation; can you take the journey with me?
    Thank you for your patience and continued support of NomadHope, as we give girls and boys an education and a better future.
     Please click on our DONATE button to make your contribution! ... and pass the word, we're back.
    Happy New Year,
    Keely McGeehan
    President of NomadHope

    PS - as the assessment report rolls in, we will share more photos. Lots of work to be done, for example, the sand has encroached on the wall we built to surround the school, but the wall kept it out of the school building! So we need to do some sand re-distribution so the donkey's can't peek over the wall. LOL

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    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Cameras d'Afrique: The Films of West Africa

    See this great October film festival coming up in Los Angeles:
     The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Loyola Marymount University present over 20 fiction and nonfiction films will offer students and general audiences a rare look at the wealth of cinematic talent that has emerged from West Africa in the last 50 years. Long a Francophone section of the African continent, the films generated from directors as varied as the Senegalese artists Ousmane Sembène to the Diop family–director Djibril Diop Mambéty, his composer brother Wasis and Wasis’ daughter, Mati–and Mali’s Souleymane Cissé wrestle with the cultural imperialism of Europe, while observing the traditions that shaped West Africa. Featuring appearances by directors, panels and a series of four free community screenings on the LMU campus. Please note: Program subject to change
    LACMA- Bing Theater (5905 Wilshire Boulevard)
    LMU- Communication Arts Building (1 LMU Drive)
    Los Angeles, CA CA
    October 3–October 28, 2013

    Thursday, October 3, 2013 @ LACMA

    5:30 PM – Bye Bye Africa
    Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad, 1999)
    The debut film by Mahamet-Saleh Haroun is a new step in meta-cultural commentary. Haroun draws his narrative from the real life forces that pulled him, and many artists from Francophone Africa, in several directions. Bye Bye Africa is a daring treatment of the age-old story–being a continent man versus a man of the continent. (86 mins)

    8:30 PM – Grigris
    Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad, 2013)
    U.S. premiere
    Winner of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Vulcan Award
    25-year-old Grigris dreams of becoming a dancer, despite his paralyzed leg, but his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls ill and Grigris must work for a gang of petrol smugglers in order to save him. Featuring original music by Wasis Diop. (101 mins)

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ LACMA
    12:00 PM – Finyé (The Wind)
    Souleymane Cissé (Mali, 1982)
    Two classmates from disparate worlds find themselves in the midst of a political stand when a force of nature drives another such force into action. (100 mins)

    2:10 PM – Borom Sarret

    Ousmane Sembène (Senegal, 1963)
    As Borom Sarret struggles to make a living with his streetcar,the film becomes both a social statement and an extremely personal story. When Sarret enters the forbidden and exclusive quarter of Dakar, he takes a stand against how he is treated. (20 mins)

    Followed by:
    2:30 PM – Panel: The State of African Cinema

    Monday, October 7, 2013 @ LMU
    7:30 PM – La Femme Porte l’Afrique (The Woman Wears Africa)

    Idriss Diabaté (Côte d’Ivoire, 2008)
    A documentary about the daily lives of women who work to provide for their children in the hopes that they can go to school and escape a life of poverty. (52 mins)

    Followed by:
    Tilaï (The Law)
    Idrissa Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso, 1990)
    Winner of the 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize
    IN PERSON Idrissa Ouédraogo
    Saga returns home to his village to find his father married to Saga’s fiancée, Nogma. A family destroyed from the inside by an envy that binds two brothers together even as it drives them apart. (81 mins)

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013 @ LACMA
    7:30 PM – Caméra d’Afrique

    Férid Boughedir (Tunisia, 1983)
    Director Férid Boughedir’s first documentary takes the viewer from 1960s through to the 1980s, showing both a curatorial eye as well as an artistic perspective on African filmmaking. (95 mins)

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ LACMA
    7:30 PM – L’Absence (The Absence)
    Mama Kéïta (Senegal, 2009)
    After achieving great success studying abroad in France, Adama, a young engineer, rushes back to his home country of Senegal when he receives a telegram saying his grandmother is very ill. His brief stay will revive a family drama seemingly forgotten. (82 mins)

    Followed by:
    Buud Yam
    Gaston Kaboré (Burkina Faso, 1997)
    IN PERSON Gaston Kaboré
    Set in nineteenth century Niger, Buud Yam is an absorbing tale of self-belief versus fate. Wend, a young tribesman, fights against his bad luck as he tries to be a better man to his adopted family than the father who abandoned his mother. (97 mins)

    Monday, October 14, 2013 @ LMU

    7:30 PM – Au Nom du Christ (In the Name of Christ)

    Roger Gnoan M’Bala (Côte d’Ivoire, 1993)
    A social satire about religion and organized faith, Magliore is a pig farmer turned miracle man who claims to be a cousin of Christ. (85 mins)

    Preceded by:
    Et la Neige n’Etait Plus (And the Snow Was No Longer)

    Ababacar Samb-Makharam (Senegal, 1965)
    A young Senegalese scholar comes back from France. What has he learned? What did he forget? How will he confront the new African realities? Et la Neige n'Etait Plus exposes 1960s African youth culture with candor, courage and humor. (22 mins)

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 @ LACMA

    7:00 PM – La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)

    Djibril Diop Mambéty (Senegal, 1999)
    After Sili, a young beggar, is attacked she decides to challenge the rule that only boys can sell newspapers on the streets of Dakar and determines to provide for herself. (45 mins)

    8:15 PM – Yeelen (Brightness)
    Souleymane Cissé (Mali, Burkina Faso, 1987)
    An epic tale of Niankoro’s quest to find his father and the grandmother who has tried to keep the father–a deadly wizard–away from him. (105 mins)

    Monday, October 21, 2013 @ LMU

    7:30 PM – Xalima La Plume

    Ousmane William Mbaye (Senegal, 2004)
    Mbaye’s documentary focuses on the life and mastery of folk singer Seydina Inya Wade, whose unique guitar and vocal stylings created a powerful storytelling convention. (51 mins)

    Followed by:
    President Dia

    Ousmane William Mbaye (Senegal, 2012)
    This documentary, set in the world of Senegalese politics, recounts the story of President Senghor and Prime Minister Dia’s efforts to rebuild their homeland. When Dia’s vital Socialism began to emerge and galvanize the country, Senghor had him removed and Dia tries to comprehend every level of his betrayal. (55 mins)

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ LACMA

    7:30 PM – Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns)

    Mati Diop (Senegal & France)
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Mille Soleils picks up 40 years after the film Touki Bouki left off, exploring what has happened since the film’s two young lovers, Mory and Anta, have separated. Mory, who stayed in Dakar after Anta went to Paris, now wonders what happened to the love of his youth. (45 mins)

    8:15 PM – Touki Bouki

    Djibril Diop Mambéty (Senegal, 1973)
    Influenced by the French New Wave, Touki Bouki is the story of Mory, a brash young rebel who cruises the streets of Dakar on a motorcycle, and Anta, the woman he loves. Their dream of leaving Dakar and moving to Paris is ruined when Anta leaves but Mory stays behind. (95 mins)

    Special Screening! Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ LMU
    7:30 PM – Tey (Today)
    Alain Gomis (Senegal, 2012)
    Winner of the 2013 FESPACO Gold Stallion Award and Best Actor Saul Williams
    IN PERSON Alain Gomis and Saul Williams
    In his third feature, director Alain Gomis takes a well-worn topic in Senegalese cinema and turns it on its head: unlike other films, many of which choose to focus on emigration and neo-colonialism, Gomis’ work instead tells the story of a man who leaves America to return to the land of his birth. (88 mins)

    Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ LACMA
    7:30 PM – Soleil O (Oh, Sun)
    Med Hondo (Mauritanie, 1969)
    Soleil O tracks an African desperately in search of his French ancestors who eventually discovers what has been taken away from him, and questions whether a sacrificed soul can be reclaimed. (102 mins)

    Monday, October 28, 2013 @ LMU
    7:30 PM – Le Damier (The Draughtsmen)
    Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda (Gabon, 1996)
    The Founding-President-for-Life, the first citizen of his country, plays draughts–a verbal duel where both players hurl insults at each other– with the man known as the all-class people’s champion and becomes “Papa National Oyé.” (40 mins)

    Followed by:
    Abidjan Des Enfants (Abidjan Children)
    Idriss Diabaté (Côte d’Ivoire, 1999)
    Part documentary, part animation, Abidjan Des Enfants shows children working odd jobs in their daily lives in Abidjan. The cartoon was created by the Abidjan children and tells the story of a young boy, Guede, whose adventures take place in their city. (47 mins)
    Info forwarded by the UCLA African Studies Center

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