My name is Kyle Rehn and I was an intern alongside Liz Jessop in Bamako, Mali for Yeah Samake’s 2012 Presidential Campaign. While working in Bamako, the primary responsibilities of my internship were to assist with the development of his wikipedia page, website and edit the newsletter. While there, I also traveled on the campaign trail with Liz, Marissa, Dramane, Sibiri and Yeah routinely around Mali. I can still vividly remember sitting in each and every one of those campaign trips and feeling the warmth of the people and energy in the air. What a breathtaking experience. Unfortunately, the fascinating experience that I was having in Mali was cut short due to the military coup. But, while that shortened my trip, I still had the time of my life as I got to be able to see Mali, Africa from a completely different angle.
Additionally, I am also grateful to have the incredible opportunity to meet Yeah and work alongside him. Yeah Samake is a man with true charisma, patience, discipline and a relentless attitude to serve for the betterment of others. For example, in Ouelessebougou he has build much needed water pumps for the city and has built numerous schools for the area too. Considering the obstacles that were in front of Yeah to achieve this, it is an incredible feat to say the least. In large part what makes these projects even more remarkable is that he did this projects by garnering the cities trust. In just a matter of a couple years as mayor, the cities tax revenue skyrocketed from 10% to 86%. That is a remarkable feat and one that shows truly how much the people believe in him. He didn’t disappointing either. By building projects such as water pumps and schools for the area, he met and exceeded the calls of the peoples essential needs.
With a country that is also in need of a stronger education foundation, and a government that the people can trust, I couldn’t think of a more well experienced and passionate leader to build this educational foundation that the Malian citizens are rightfully deserving of. Mali needs a renewed spirit. One that is relentless, committed, and passionate about its peoples opportunities and future. Yeah Samake is without a doubt the only man that is suitable for such a job.