A few days ago the President of Timbuktu Music Project, Baba Gentle, returned to Barcelona after a month and a half in Mali to carry out the campaign food aid “Arròs per Mali” we organized the association Addim and thanks to your help and co·partnership. Now is the time to take stock.
The rice was distributed at meetings of the orphanage and the city of Timbuktu, with the help of fellow Timbuktu Music Project who live in this town in northern Mali that has suffered so much in the last year. When we started working on the campaign we also think Segou and Mopti carry rice in the field but once we saw that some NGOs had come south and center of the country, Even though the population of the area is victim of food shortages and the crisis in the country, the critical situation exists in North, and Tombouctou (and of course also in Gao and Kidal). With the final numbers of the campaign believed necessary to allocate the only Tombouctou. The food aid campaign “Arròs per Mali” Timbuktu Music Project was organized to collect 4.000 euros: 3.000 euros in the form of calendars that you buy for personal and acoustic concerts we did in the tea Salterio, more supportive of the concert hall with Vivaldi Addim (Dorban and concert groups Cisko Band), The charity dinner at the Ateneo de Caldes de Montbui and the contribution of the local council and personal contributions, more 1.000 euro that had collected in the last concert held at Luz de Gas in June 2012.
All this money became 86 sacks of rice 100 pounds, bringing total 8.600 kilos of rice for 350 families of Timbuktu (bought rice and millet to promote local production in Mali, severely hit by the crisis and the country's overall export). The rice intended for orphanage meetings, was purchased in Segou, contribution came from fellow Addim. NION is a village in the region of Segou that, despite not being in the north, suffers from a lack of resources and the crisis affecting the country, and is now in a particularly difficult situation by closing adoptions.
El Baba Maiga, together with Mahamane Sangare, TMP member and representative Addim Zoumanna Bougoudogo formalized donation to the orphanage meetings on a day where local authorities took part in meetings, the director of the orphanage as well as representatives of two NGOs. In the end they make the food for all and played with the children and the orphanage to hold meeting.
Up to Timbuktu was a bit more complicated. A few days ago it had been a suicide attack by some Islamic radicals infiltrate lonely at the airport and the city center, terrorize the entire population. We had to wait a few days to carry out the operation.
Once in Mopti and to ensure that the rice would reach Timbuktu, Baba wanted to divide the cargo into two distinct parts: a trip was made in pine-crossing the Niger River- and other local road transport (Cami merchandize).
Finally, both items arrived in Timbuktu whole, where the expected music teacher Boucar Tandina, has patit, along with other members of Timbuktu, the long months of conflict. The moment of reunion of Baba and Boucar and other members of Timbuktu Music Project was especially emotional, and so after suffering months of total isolation and despair. Remember that for most of the year invasion of Islamists, the population was under the law stipulated that newcomers, relying on Sharia, or Islamic law: men and women could not talk to each other on the street, women should be covered, stoning to couples who were not married and had children, cut hands who believed that they had stolen, could not take alcohol or smoke tobacco, and many other prohibitions, could not sing, dance or music.
Members of Timbuktu Music Project worked very hard in the office of TMP to divide all the sacks of rice and millet in blue and black bags, the population that would receive (families received more or less depending on the amount number of members). The first idea of the campaign was to deliver a sack of rice 100 pounds for every two families (to us 50 kilos per family), But the influx of single family·applicants had caused to make distributions. They gave rice 350 families and the grain was divided into smaller bags (received between 20 in 25 pounds each). The distribution was made in conjunction with the City Council: Tickets were distributed to families in the most disadvantaged sector and became the official ceremony, the parliaments of the authorities and representatives of Timbuktu Music Project. We want to highlight the great work carried out by fellow Boucar Tandina, also, after distribution, encouraged all young Timbuktu Music Project back to try to record songs for us! One of these are recorded to give thanks, Barcelona say thanks (but want to talk to Catalonia, all you co·operated from anywhere!)
Baba and Boucar told us by phone that the situation was very very critical, there are many families who have nothing to eat. Baba reminds us now, Once back in Barcelona. The problem is serious, Here are some details. Our campaign might have been only a small patch but has served to witness the reality that crosses northern Mali. Back calm music and Timbuktu, hopefully soon also activated the economy.
Text: Marina Ubach, Timbuktu Music Project
All photos are from Timbuktu Music Project NGO (all rights reserved).