Centralia College proudly welcomes 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Mariam Sidibé Dembélé for a guest lecture at 6 p.m. Monday, May 9, in the Walton Science Center, Room 121. Admission is free and open to everyone. Donations will be accepted for Muso Dambe, a life skills center for orphaned and handicapped girls in Mali, West Africa.
Dembélé is the founder and director of Muso Dambe. The mother of six children (four sons and two daughters), she always had a desire to help those less fortunate than her. Early on, she saw the need to provide trade skills to orphaned and handicapped girls because of the difficulties they face in Malian society. Although Mali is a poor country, some trades, such as cloth dyeing, tailoring, and cooking, can bring in good money. Dembélé, a consummate cook and creative artist, began her center in 1998 to teach orphaned and handicapped girls to cook, design and sew clothing, make soap and learn French. The center produces beautiful, high quality cloths ranging from rich bazin to colorful batik to traditional mud cloth and indigo.
Dembélé was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She has spoken internationally on economic independence for women and the value of education and job training. Her oldest son, Fily, attended Centralia College from 2010-13, and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Brandman University. Two other sons, Sandiakou and Ibrahim, are current students. Dembélé has also referred other students from Mali to Centralia College.