In 1985 as a response to the devastating drought and famine that had hit sub-Saharan Africa, 7 Utahns traveled to Mali, West Africa to locate a specific African community with which they form a long-term partnership to help the people overcome the extreme starvation, death, and poverty that afflicts their country. Ouelessebougou, Mali was located as the community where the group would begin its work, and soon thereafter the Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance was founded.
The Alliance now works in partnership with citizens of 25 rural villages to deliver sustainable development projects in the areas of health, education and economic development. Our underlying premise is that the village citizens will become self-reliant as they identify the most crucial needs and locally viable and sustainable solutions to overcome the challenges of extreme poverty.
The Ouelessebougou Alliance is committed to assist the people of Mali, West Africa, through a long-term development relationship. The Alliance’s purpose is two-fold:
1) To work in partnership with village citizens to achieve their community development objectives.
2) 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.