Images: B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger, Mali, 2016
Meet the villagers of Kourounan: The teacher
"Our children are our future"
Jan 13 2017
Together with the innocent foundation, we are revolutionising the way malnourished children are diagnosed and treated, paving the way for health workers in Mali to reach all malnourished children, no matter where they live. Our Healthy Kids series features some of the wonderful people from Kourounan in Mali. Find out how access to healthcare has transformed their lives.
A father of five and head teacher at the local school in Kourounan in Mali, Kabo Dembele knows the devastating effects of child malnutrition all too well.
“We’ve suffered a lot in the past. I’ve seen so many children die needlessly from undernutrition because there was no health care in our village. When our children fell ill, they weren’t able to recover,” he remembers.
Kabo Diale is the head teacher in the village of Kourounan. Kabo’s son Sumita has recovered from undernutrition. B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger
Deeply passionate about his work, Kabo and his five colleagues teach math, French and grammar to some 200 children at the school in Kourounan, a remote village in the Kayes region of Mali.
“Our village is very remote,” says Kabo. “Growing vegetables is a challenge because our wells are drying up. The next health centre is over 40 km away. We used to not be able to afford transport for our sick children and it’s nearly impossible to walk to the centre in the blazing heat. It hurt me seeing our children suffer like this. They are our future.”
Things changed when Action Against Hunger and the innocent foundation launched a project that empowering community health workers to diagnose and treat malnourished children at home. Instead of walking 40km to the nearest clinic for treatment, parents can now seek treatment locally.
“When Farmakan came to set up the local health post, things improved. Our suffering came to an end,” says Kabo, whilst holding the hand of his youngest son, Sumita.
“Look at him! He’s healthy and playful and this is because of Famakan and his team. Sumita fell ill a few months ago. He was undernourished. We went to see Famakan and he received treatment for free. Farmakan kept checking up on my son until he regained his health. Look how healthy he is now!”
“And that’s not all. Farmakan looks after all the children in our village so they can play and attend school in good health.”
“As a parent, you want nothing more than for your children to grow up healthily. Our children are our future. They should be healthy; they should be able to learn. All children should receive the urgent treatment they need. All children should be able to survive. And all parents should see their children survive.”
Together with the innocent foundation, we will continue to revolutionise the way malnourished children are diagnosed and treated, paving the way for health workers in Mali to reach all malnourished children, no matter where they live.
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