Due to the conflict in central and northern Mali, there has been an influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) seeking refuge in their region of Ouelessebougou. Women like Mariam were forced to flee from their homes and take their children on the long-trek south to find safety. Several of the Ouelessebougou Alliance's partner villages have opened up their communities and allowed these IDP families, mostly led by women, to settle on their land.
Mariam shared with us her struggles and those of the others who recently settled in the village of Sounsounkoro. "We came to Ouelessebougou with nothing, but we are anxious to build a future here," she said. "Our biggest concerns are for our children. We want them to lead a healthy and safe life."
We know that childhood vaccinations are the best chance for a Malian child's survival. One in ten children in Mali dies before the age of five of preventable diseases. There is an increased risk for internally displaced children, whose families do not have access to healthcare.
This is why Ouelessebougou Alliance's vaccination program is so important. We invest in a locally operated, multi-year vaccination program to ensure that more children under the age of five survive. Our program reaches the most vulnerable in Ouelessebougou, a rural region of villages that is continually underserved by the government. We provide vaccinations FREE of charge to children under the age of 5 that protect them from diseases such as yellow fever, measles, and tuberculosis.
We are committed to expanding our efforts to include immunizations for children of Internally Displaced Persons who have settled in our partner villages. By investing in their children's health and providing routine vaccinations, together we can give them a brighter future.