Czech Soldiers in Mali Helped a Local Orphanage
The Czech protection unit organized a charity sports day for the EUTM Mali headquarters. The soldiers used the proceeds to purchase food and hygiene supplies for the local orphanage, by which they helped with the operation of it for at least a few months.
Maintaining good relations with local people is an integral pillar of any mission. The idea to organize a charity project with a quick impact, which would also have a sports undertone, was born in the Czech protection unit, part of which is also an expert for civil-military cooperation (CIMIC).
Basic food and a small surprise for the children for the collected money
Several international teams took part in the competition and a respectable amount of money was collected from the soldiers. During the sports day, a group of Czech soldiers went to a local shop and used the raised money to purchase more than three hundred kilos of rice, twenty cans of powdered milk, pasta, canned meat, other durable food and hygiene items. And there was also at least one lollipop for each child.
At the end of the day, when the results of the charity sports event were announced, the soldiers at the base, together with the mission commander General Ridzak, handed over the entire purchase to the director of the local orphanage, Maly Sangho, called Bibi. “This sports event had a dual purpose, to boost morale and also to deepen the ties with the locals. Many thanks to all of you for that. I’m proud of you!” said General Ridzak.
Alone with nine children
“When I was five, our dad died. Our mother was left alone with nine children without resources. But she was brave, she was able to take care of us and over time she started to take care of other abandoned children from the area. When I was nineteen, I wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps, so I founded an orphanage,” Bibi explains, adding: “You are angels, thank you very much. I’m so happy to meet you.” Mrs. Sangho is taking care of several dozen orphans today at the age of sixty. In 2009, she was also awarded the Knighthood by the President of Mali for her lifelong care of abandoned children.