The images for “Faces of Mali” were captured by Edgar Gomez-Palmieri and Yeah Samake during recent working visits for Sorenson Molecular Geneaological Foundation. Samake is Malian honorary consul in Utah, mayor of Ouelessebougou (way-lay-suh-boo-goo), a city in southwest Mali, and president of Mali Rising Foundation, a Sandy-based organization that built five village-owned and operated schools.
“The people of rural Mali have a culture that is rich in tradition and history and it is delightful that people all over Utah will be able to enjoy this photo essay,” said Samake. “Many Utahns already have a positive connection with Malians by helping us explore and record our ancestry, build schools and better educate our children.” For five years, SMGF has been collecting DNA and family history information from Malians in the process of creating the world’s largest repository of correlated genetic genealogical information. Sandy-based Mali Rising Foundation helps Mali villages develop clean water sources, improve sanitation and build schools.
Today’s Republic of Mali includes the legendary Saharan Desert of Timbuktu, a name once used as shorthand for remoteness of Western civilization, which was a crossroads for ancient commercial routes and is believed to have established one of the world’s first universities in the 14th century. Mali has a population of 13 million today and is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 174 of 175 in measures of wealth.
The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) is a non-profit research organization that has created the world’s largest repository of correlated genetic and genealogical information.
The Mali Rising Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to provide better access to education for millions of children in rural towns in Mali. The Foundation in partnership with Malian villages and the Malian Government, has built schools proudly owned and operated by villagers. The schools will provide educational opportunities for many generations.
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2013-2014 Traveling Schedule
August 27 – October 2 ~ SUU Library, Cedar City
October 8 – November 7 ~ North Sanpete High School
January 7 – February 5 ~ Hobble Creek Elementary, Mapleton
February 26 – March 26 ~ Granger Elementary, West Valley City