CBN Provides Vital Aid to Refugees in Mali Town

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BAMAKO, Mali -- As French troops begin winding down their battle against Islamic militants in Mali, CBN continues to feed and assist those caught up in the conflict.

CBN News joined Operation Blessing International in the capital city of Bamako as it fed a group of refugees.

Most fled the Islamism take-over of the northern city of Gao. While they've found temporary housing, they still depend on the generosity of others to help feed their children.

Alimatou Diarra was pregnant when her family made the 600-mile journey from Gao to Bamako. Her baby was born with an abdominal hernia.

Tiny Abdou Malik underwent surgery, but his condition has not improved. Operation Blessing asked a doctor to examine the infant.

"The first surgery wasn't done well," the doctor said. "This baby has an infection and his intestine could come out again."

Abdou's mom is now awaiting results from an ultrasound test paid for by Operation Blessing. He may need another surgery.

"I am grateful to God and you for the high quality of beans and rice you have provided -- also for your concern for my baby," she told CBN News.

Not only are refugees and victims of the war being fed and cared for, but CBN is doing what it can to help change the lives of young women.

Fatima, 19, will soon graduate from sewing school in Bamako. She attends classes because she wants a better future. She hopes to start her own sewing shop and she wants to be a blessing to others.

CBN helped Pastor Yiranou Traore begin the sewing school in 2004. Fourteen young women started classes back then. Today more than 120 students are enrolled. They attend classes for three years.

Pastor Traore says without job skills, many of these young women would turn to prostitution to support their families.

Divorced women also receive training at the school.

"When a woman is divorced with three, four, five children and she can't earn her own life, that is misery," Pastor Traore said.

Some of the students are non-Christians. Traore often reads Bible verses to the women and teaches them about Christianity.

"We have received some who have become Christians, and they follow the Lord," he said. "They want to go to church."

So, in a time of war, CBN is helping Malians meet some of their immediate needs, receive job training for the long term, and spiritual truth for eternity.

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CBN News
Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Sr. International Correspondent

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