Women helping women, from Agassiz to Mali

Agassiz-based Teryia group raising funds for shea butter makers in Mali

Six years ago, Earla Legault wouldn’t have been able to point to Mali on a world map. She was, however, familiar with the music of the African country.

But it wasn’t long before she and a few other locals became immersed in all things Malian, from the music to education and to the struggles that women there face. They called their group Teryia, which means friendship in Bambara — the native language of Mali. Its purpose was, and still is, to connect Malian women with Canadian women. And what began as a “twinning” project, Legault says, has evolved into a connection that is helping the Malian women thrive.

They communicate regularly, and the women’s progress in Mali is well documented.

And on Feb. 22, Teryia will host a Malian Music and More film night in an effort to further assist their friends across the world. The public is invited to come out and learn more about the project.

They will show the film The Road to Baleya, which was created by Toronto filmmaker Bay Weyman and follows Canadian musicians as they travel through Bali.

The film gives a brief glimpse of life in Mali, Legault says, and with knowledge comes understanding.

“One of the many hardships that came with the recent situation in northern Mali was the Islamist extremist’s banning of all music,” she says. “It was explained to us, that for Malians this was like taking away part of their soul.”

The musical portion of the evening will be introduced by Harrison Festival Society general manager Ed Stenson, who has considerable knowledge of Malian music and will be sharing that with the audience.

Guests will also learn about the shea butter project that sustains the women involved with Teryia in Mali.

Making shea butter is a livelihood of the Malian women in this commune. They would like to financially support their families and community, and this depends on their shea butter production. The women here in Agassiz use the funds donated to purchase nut grinders, making it more feasible for the Malian women to support their families. The Malian women are keen entrepreneurs, and fundraise for their grinders as well.

So far, Teryia has raised enough money to purchase three grinders, two of which are already in use.

To learn more about the project, visit teryia.wordpress.com, or attend the film night.

The film night is by donation, and will be held at Agassiz United Church.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the film starting at 7 p.m.

There will be Malian refreshments, drumming and a cultural display.

news@ahobserver.com

Just Posted

Kent-Harrison Foundation celebrates 25 years

The foundation started in 1994 on the promise of a two-for-one donation deal

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

Lagoon improvements, but no safety audit recommendations, coming to Harrison

The lagoon will see electrical upgrades, a new flag pole and fencing, but no life jackets or signs

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Most Read