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IMDID Mali: Youth Civic Engagement Forum

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Youth Civic Engagement Forum at the Community Center of the Sangarebougou Municipal Office, Bamako, Mali organized by IMDID Mali National Executive Management Team (NEMT) in collaboration with the International Office of IMDID on the theme, “the engagement of youth in controlling environmental issues in Mali”

On Saturday 11th May 2019 at 9:00am, the forum for civic engagement commenced with the moderator, Modibo Diallo introducing the guests present. The President of the Youth Association of Sangarebougou, Bangouma Coulibaly in his welcome speech stated that the coming of the Executive Director of IMDID and the introduction of IMDID in Mali is a great opportunity for partnership and collaboration for greater heights and development in the communities. Adding that, IMDID as youth volunteering organization has many values to impact in Sangarebougou and other regions of Mali.

The Mayor, Hon. Kassim Sidibe in an opening remarks officially welcomed the Executive Director, Gilbert Reinall Addo to Mali and acknowledged that he’s very happy to find such network to developing the African youths for the world. Urging the participants of the forum to pay close attention to every presentation in order to learn and apply every knowledge acquired.

The Country Director for IMDID in Mali, Adama Konta briefly stated the purpose of IMDID and what it hopes to achieve. He applauded the presence of the key personalities and the youths that made it to the forum. He concluded by saying that IMDID Mali is happy to have the Executive Director from the International Office attending the meeting and the involvement of the Youth Association of Sangarebougou to ensuring an effective planning and execution of the forum.

Starting his presentation, Gilbert Reinall Addo first admonished participants to contribute to the developments of their communities, challenging them to understand community needs in order to help foster empathy and self-efficacy. He continued by saying that if the youths of Mali are dreaming of and eager to travel and stay in France, that should trigger the need to support community service and control environmental issues for others to dream of coming to Mali. In his presentation, he introduced the vision, mission, objectives, projects, focus areas and other vital information about IMDID. Urging the youth to support voluntarily. He explained the benefits of volunteering and the ability to network with others in different countries. He added that volunteering unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal and building camaraderie and teamwork. He outlined how volunteering and civic engagement can help in solving issues of deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, drought and inadequate water supply in Mali.

The paramount chief of Sangarebougou, His Royal Highness Dougoutigui Cheickne Diarra, in a closing statement appreciated the presence of IMDID in Mali, especially in Sangarebougou hosting the first forum to launch the organization’s projects and objectives. He thanked Gilbert Reinall Addo for his enthusiasm and the impact he has made with his presentation ensuring that the youths are reoriented to understand their role in issues of societal concern and positively engage in solving problems.

The forum ended with group photographs and social chats. The President of the Youth Association led the NEMT and other participants of the forum to the Sangarebougou community park which was previously a rubbish dumping site but has been developed in partnership with the Canadian Embassy in Mali into a recreational center for the youths. On a visit to other areas in the town, the Executive Director discussed how several environmental issues including drought, deforestation, soil erosion and desertification can be controlled by the involvement of the people and other stakeholders to build a better and safe society for all. He encouraged the need for recycling and measures for waste management, introducing the efforts of Zoomlion and Coliba in Ghana. A private meeting between the leaders of the Youth Association and IMDID’s Country Director and Executive Director was scheduled to further discuss how we can work together to build Mali on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6

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