Friday Party: Bien Manger au Mali. And see you Saturday!

First off, we share the world’s concern about the news that the first Ebola case has been confirmed in Mali. The first confirmed patient is a 2-year old-girl in Kayes whose mother died of Ebola in Guinea and was brought back to Mali by relatives. Our thoughts and prayers are with this little girl, her family, and her community.

Keeping with our tradition of Friday party here at Dokotoro, we’ve been thinking a lot about la cuisine (or gwǎ in Bambara–go ahead and pronounce that long a with a falling and rising tone). I just learned about Mariam Diallo, a Malian who stars in her own TV cooking show and has written, with Awa Diarra, a gorgeous cookbook of Malian food. It’s only available in French, but you can download it here, on the Slow Food Foundation’s website (PDF, 4 MB).


See you Saturday, when we will bien manger at our Fall Fundraiser. We’ve got a small army of friends, volunteers, and tanties cooking up tigadegena, dabileni, lenmuruji, nsaame, dolo, and more!

Fall Fundraiser Update

We’ve been busily preparing for our biggest event of the year. If you are anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area, please join us!
Dr. Yacine Badian Kouyaté

Saturday, October 25, 2014
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington Ave
Albany, CA 94706

RSVP online or to Lyle Hansen at

Featuring live music from two bands! The fantastic Josh Austin Quartet will play jazz standards, and Dr. Yacine Badian Kouyaté and Friends will play traditional and modern Malian songs. Dr. Kouyaté is from Mali and is a talented musician and music educator. Wear your dancing shoes!

We’ve also planned a great lineup of dishes from across West Africa, including poulet yassa, award-winning sauce arachide, and nsaamɛ. Plus tasty beverages! Come hungry and have your dinner there.

Ebola factsheets in French and Bambara

Available for Immediate Distribution – Ebola  Factsheets for Health Workers

Download now:

Français fra_Ebola.docx (0.4 MB) fra_Ebola.pdf (0.4 MB)
Bamanankan bam_Ebola.docx (0.6 MB) bam_Ebola.pdf (0.8 MB)

We have worked together with the Mali Health Organizing Project to create one-page factsheets about the Ebola virus for use in Mali and neighboring countries. The factsheets are available in French and Bambara, as MS Word files and as PDF documents. Please share this information with anyone who can use it.

As of September 27, 2014, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Mali. However, according to Mali’s Health Minister Ousmane Koné, there have been 25 reports of suspected Ebola, but so far all of these turned out to be negative. The country is on high alert. As we have seen in the areas hardest hit by the epidemic, rumors and misinformation spread quickly, hinder prevention efforts, and cause unnecessary deaths.

For more information about these factsheets, please contact the Mali Health Organizing Project‘s staff in Boston or Bamako.

We encourage you to support organizations that are helping to fight the Ebola epidemic, such as Doctors without Borders, Catholic Relief Services, Samaritan’s Purse, PSI, or others.

Fall Fundraiser on October 25!

Please join us for our Annual Fall Fundraiser!

Saturday, October 25, 2014
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington Ave
Albany, CA 94706

Anyone who has attended our annual Fall Fundraiser will tell you: it is a lot of fun and it’s for a great cause. Live bands, African food, delicious drinks, and great company! This event is free and open to the public. A donation request will be made. Please join us!

RSVP online or to Lyle Hansen at


Draft First Aid chapter published

We are delighted to announce that we have published online the newly-translated chapter on First Aid, from the forthcoming Bambara-language edition of Where There is No Doctor. Download the file now on the Downloads page.

This is a big milestone, as it is one of the longest chapters in the entire book. The translation corresponds to the new Advance First Aid Chapter from the NEW Where There Is No Doctor, which you can download or read online at the Hesperian Health Guides website.

Page from the First Aid chapter

Page from the First Aid chapter

Subscribe to email updates!

Subscribing to email updates is the best way to stay in touch with us and find out about upcoming events. There’s a link to subscribe over in the sidebar on the right, or way down at the bottom if you’re on a mobile device.

Facebook just isn’t a reliable way to keep tabs on us anymore. The updates we post only reach a few percent of our followers unless we pay to “promote” the post. Some articles suggest that only 3% of followers will ever see a post. So if you want to find out about news and events, please subscribe by email! (Or, you can subscribe to the site with an RSS feed reader like Feedly.)

Friday Party: An ka wuli

Here is some fantastic singing and playing of traditional instruments by late Malian griot Fodé Kouyaté (1958-1997). The title of the clip is “An ka wili,” or “Let’s stand up.” It’s an exhortation to work hard for the betterment of your community and your country. It also shows you how much variation there is in Bambara pronunciation and spelling; most dictionaries show “wuli” rather than “wili.”

Join us for dinner at Bissap Baobab Oakland on Sept 23!

Come celebrate Malian Independence Day with us!

Our favorite West African restaurant, Bissap Baobab in Oakland CA, is hosting a teranga for the Dokotoro Project on Tuesday September 23 (the day after Malian Independence Day). In Wolof, teranga means “hospitality,” and 20 percent of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the Dokotoro Project!

Just call the restaurant at (510) 817-4722 or visit them online to make a reservation. Either way, make sure to mention “Dokotoro teranga.” It’s an easy and delicious way to support health in West Africa. Please spread the word — and see you there!


Dokotoro Project Update, August 2014

Our Steering Committee held its monthly meeting on August 3, and there are a lot of things happening right now. Here is a quick project update.

Layout – We had a lot of discussions about software. We had a strong interest in using free and open source software for layout, since we are thinking about our partners in Mali who will one day take over responsibility for the book, keeping it up to date, and publishing new editions. They may even like to translate it into other African languages. The program Scribus looked promising, but one commenter said that it is not good at handling large numbers of images. Since Where There is No Doctor has over 1,000 images, that pretty much rules it out.

We’ve decided to go with the conventional, industry-leading software, Adobe InDesign. There is a new plugin available called Wordsflow that a lot of designers are excited about. It lets you maintain a “live link” to MS Word documents. We hope that this will help solve the “chicken and egg” dilemma with design: You don’t want to do the design until your content is finalized. But we need to show the book to health workers in Mali to collect feedback before we publish the final edition. And how can we show it to them if it hasn’t been layed out properly?

Continue reading

Reception in Rochester, NY on July 24

Please share with any friends or colleagues in Rochester!

You are invited to a presentation and discussion with two of the founders of the Dokotoro Project about health and development in Mali, West Africa. We are working to have the book “Where There is No Doctor” translated into Bambara, the main language spoken in the country.

Dokotoro Project Reception
Thursday, July 24, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Rochester Central Library Auditorium
15 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604

We will have plenty of time for socializing, and we will serve West African food and beverages. Short program begins at 6:00 pm.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations to benefit the translation project are welcome. Please join us! RSVP (optional) to