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The Ouelessebougou Alliance was founded in 1985 by a group of Utah’s community leaders who were concerned about the devastating drought in North Africa during the 1980s. The Ouelessebougou Alliance was structured to give people the opportunity to serve a specific African community–knowing that their assistance was going directly to the people for whom it was intended.
Initially, volunteers worked with Africare in Washington D.C. to determine the areas of greatest need in Africa. Africare helped the Alliance to realize the overwhelming needs in Mali, West Africa. Mali was facing the same drought and famine as Ethiopia and the Sudan, but receiving much less international assistance.
The Ouelessebougou Alliance is committed to assist the people of Mali, West Africa, through a long-term development relationship. The Alliance’s purpose is to work in partnership with village citizens to achieve their community development objectives and to provide the opportunity for cultures to learn from the other’s family and social relationships.
The premise underlying the Alliance’s purpose is that the citizens of Ouelessebougou will themselves identify the most crucial needs and locally viable and sustainable solutions, and then, when possible, provide the human and physical resources to satisfy those needs in an ecologically responsible manner. The Alliance expects to remain in the region until the villages are well on their way to becoming self-sustaining.