The Christian Broadcasting Network

Twelve-year-old Koumba, right, was hit by shrapnel during an attack in her village.

Aid for Mali

By Holly Drake
Operation Blessing International

MALI – In the city of Diabali, Siatan waited patiently for the food distribution to start, her 12-year-old daughter Koumba sitting next to her. Koumba’s knees were bandaged—a constant reminder of the recent skirmish between rebel soldiers and the military that had killed her younger brother and left her with shrapnel wounds.

Sadly, their experience is not unique. Fighting between rebels and government forces have endangered families, forcing a quarter million people to flee their homes in Timbuktu and other northern cities of Mali in search of safety.

Ameen and her family fled the city of Gao when fighting became intense.

“I said to my husband, ‘Let’s try to go, we need to walk. If we are unable to make it—fine. But if we stay, we will be killed.” So Ameen and her family set out on foot to make the 600 mile journey to safety with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

Eventually, they were offered transportation in a vehicle and brought to the capital city of Bamako where they are living in an internally displaced persons—or IDP camp. But in the city of Bamako, food and other necessities are expensive, and she worries they will not survive if they do not return home.

“They have fled their homes, work, and every sense of normalcy as they try to keep their families safe from harm,” said CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s Tony Cece. “Most can’t find work. Life is very difficult and they need help to provide food for their families.”

Operation Blessing teams distributed several tons of rice and beans to families in crisis.To help alleviate some of the suffering for these desperate families, Operation Blessing relief workers distributed several tons of rice and beans to displaced families like Ameen’s who have fled fighting and are now living in IDP camps.

For others who are beginning to return to what is left of their homes in cities like Diabali, Operation Blessing is also providing mosquito nets as well as additional food and relief supplies, to help these impoverished families survive the crisis.

Still, the reminders of the conflict are everywhere—with ammunition shells and burned out vehicles littering the ground where children used to play.
But thanks to CBN partners like you, there is now some hope arriving as well.

“God is in control,” Ameen said. “I know that He will make a way. I don’t know how or when, but I trust Him.”

You can help by making an online donation toward CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an on-line donation today.



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