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A tale of hope from Timbuktu

Timbuktu in northern Mali is known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert, but in recent years it has become synonymous with instability and conflict.

Written by Tearfund | 24 Mar 2016

Timbuktu in northern Mali is known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert, but in recent years it has become synonymous with instability and conflict.

The church in this region is small, but has played an active and vital role in supporting the recovery of Timbuktu’s population after times of insecurity.

Mariama is a widow and mother of three who has received help from a Tearfund church-based partner.

She was forced to flee the area when militants took over. It was months before she was able to return, and when she did, she discovered her home had been effectively destroyed and her possessions looted.

Tears soon gave way to action. Mariama went from house to house seeking work and managed to earn enough to feed her family.

But a Tearfund partner project is enabling Mariama to thrive, not just survive.

Here’s how it is helping her regain hope, as well as a sense of direction: Mariama has used a loan from the project to buy a freezer and to pay for electricity to run it. This means she can make a good living from selling ice and chilled fruit juices.

Profit is being used to rebuild her home and pay off her loan: ‘As soon as I finish paying off the loan, I'll buy another freezer. My customers are increasingly numerous,’ said Mariama.

‘God, the judge and father of the widows and orphans, saw my desperation and he came to my rescue.

‘Today, I know that God does not abandon those who trust in him. May God bless you more for the way you wiped my tears away and those of women like me.’


  • Lift up the people of Timbuktu, who continue to face insecurity and hardship in this volatile region.
  • Pray for the safety of our partner’s staff as they share the love of Jesus and bring hope to those who feel abandoned.

Written by

Written by  Tearfund

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