بسم لله الرحمن الرحيم
Your Excellency Amadou Toumani TOURE, President of the Republic [Mali], Ministers, Ambassadors, Governor of Koulikoro, Assembly Members of the Koulikoro Re...

Speech at Village Sakina Inauguration (Bamako, Mali)

27.Mar.2011

بسم لله الرحمن الرحيم

Your Excellency Amadou Toumani TOURE, President of the Republic [Mali], Ministers, Ambassadors, Governor of Koulikoro, Assembly Members of the Koulikoro Region, Village Chiefs, Imams, valued partners; Trustees of the Malian Association for Education and Development (AMED), the Director, mothers and children of Sakina; honourable invited guests - Assalamu 'Alaykum [Arabic/Islamic greeting: peace be upon you all], aw ni sogoma [Bambara greeting: good morning], hello and welcome everyone. Thank you all for coming.

I begin by thanking God who has allowed us to complete this project and allowing us to meet for this inauguration. My special thanks to the Head of State for agreeing to be the chief guest of this inauguration. I thank the government departments for their significant contribution to the implementation of the project.

Thank you to all members of the Kanouté Foundation [Development Trust] and AMED, partner organisations like UNICEF, Rotary Club, Re've d'Enfants Mali, Football Solidaire, FAF [Andulcia Football Federation] who brought the World Cup, won brilliantly by Spain, as a sign of friendship with the people of Mali, the Foundation for Children, SOS Village Sanankoroba, 1st Ethical, EDM.

Thank you to my mother, my father for being an inspiration in his personal experience and for his help through his association, and all my family for their unconditional support, and to all those near and far who have contributed to this project.

It was a project close to my heart for several years, and for which we have worked tirelessly to ensure that, by the will of God, last September [2010] we opened our doors - and now we can open it officially.

Let me turn to the main purpose of this project. The aim of this village is to help orphans, and provide the love and affection that every child needs in a family environment, through adoptive mothers and aunts, whom I thank warmly.

For these children, we provide access to education, health care and later Insha-Allah (God willing) to employment opportunities. This is not a simple task but we're all working very hard to realise this.

We wish that like all the other children of this beautiful country, these children will be equipped with the intellectual, emotional and spiritual strength to become good role models and future leaders. Our role is to provide them with the assistance and tools to become independent responsible individuals: "Give a man a fish he will eat for a day, teach him to fish and he eat all his life."

Finally, I wish to explain the name chosen for this village - "Sakina". It's an Arabic word which means inner peace, tranquillity and serenity, the root of which means 'home' and 'settlement'. We hope and pray that these concepts and values are with the children throughout their lives.

Thank you everyone.


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