A YEAR IN
MALI SUMMARY REPORT
GOOD REASONS why Plan works in Mali
• 20% of children die before their fifth birthday
WESTERN SAHARA (OCCUPIED BY MOROCCO)
• A third of under-fives are malnourished LIBYA
Children at an Early Childhood centre in Kalake
• Only half of children attend primary school, and only one in four adults can read ALGERIA
• In rural areas, 64% of people have no clean drinking water
Our priorities in Mali
• Ensuring that children grow up in a healthy environment with clean drinking water and sanitation facilities
Oti Country Office Programme Unit BENIN
e enu Garoua
December is the rainy season. During this time, flooding of the Niger River is common.
.3 million ,
Climate: The country’s climate ranges from subtropical in the south to arid in the north. Most of the country receives negligible rainfall; droughts are frequent. Late June to early
Economy: Mali’s key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country’s largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and the Ivory Coast. In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Bertoua Ka Dja
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE
Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to 80% of Mali’s exports. Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture while 15% work in the service sector. However, seasonal variations lead to regular temporary unemployment of agricultural workers.
Language: French, ther
• Supporting communities affected by natural disasters and conflict Bamenda m Douala Biteng
North B • Promoting children’s rights and child protection issues like birth registration, female genital Vcutting and child traffickingo ina
ri k ou and find new ways of making a living • Helping families Maroua to increase their income rA Lo
• Making nursery education more widely available, supporting primary schools and providing literacy classes and vocational training for adults
Kita ia mb Ga
• Improving mother and child health
A hygiene seminar in Moabougou
DEM REPUBLIC OF CONGO
“Plan aims to promote community solidarity and strengthen the ways that institutions respond to the needs and rights of vulnerable groups.” – Supriyanto, Plan’s Country Director
A YEAR IN
MALI SUMMARY REPORT
FOCUS ON: BETTER EDUCATION Plan concentrates on nursery schooling, primary education and evening classes for adults. Nursery education is extremely limited, so we support communities to develop new nurseries. Primary school enrolment and completion rates are low, especially for girls, and Plan aims to improve the quality of education and help children stay in school. We build and equip classrooms and libraries, supply teaching materials, and train teachers and school management committees. We also provide vocational and skills training for young people who have missed out on their education, and literacy classes for adults.
HELPING CHILDREN TO GET A BETTER START IN LIFE Participants at a Nutritional Feeding class.
The Bigger Picture
Plan is working with children, families and whole communities to address the problems that Mali faces. This report can only tell a small part of that story. As a further insight, last year we also: • Provided 28,000 people with safe drinking water and trained 32 village committees to promote good hygiene and sanitation • Supported families affected by flooding in Baroueli in September 2007 by providing 56 tons of cereal and 500 mosquito nets, and reconstructing 200 latrines • Helped 3,588 women from 64 villages start small businesses and increase their incomes through community-based credit and savings schemes. Your support as a sponsor is crucial to achieving these positive results. So on behalf of the communities, partner organisations, and most of all the children we work with – thank you!
“Plan helps communities to set up and manage nurseries where children can be cared for and educated in a healthy, hygienic, safe environment.” To learn more about Plan’s work in Mali visit www.plan.org.au/ourwork/westafrica/mali
Produced for Mali by the Australian National Office.
hildren who go to nursery get a head start in life. They develop social skills and independence, and find the transition to primary school easier than those who have not attended nursery, making them less likely to drop out or repeat years. Nurseries also help families improve their economic situation, as mothers can work while their children are being looked after.
However, despite these benefits, only 4% of Malian children attend nurseries. Many communities are unaware of the benefits of nursery education, and there is a lack of infrastructure, qualified staff, and community and local government resources.
registered, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation such as child marriage and child labour. So the mayor’s office provides birth certificates for children who need them. Thirty-four-year-old mum Karia is enthusiastic about the difference that Kalake nursery has made to her three-year-old daughter Awa. “It was the first time something like this had happened in the village, so I was a bit hesitant. I didn’t know exactly what she would do at nursery, and I wasn’t sure that somebody else could look after her better than I do myself. New interests and new friends
So Plan helps communities to set up and manage nurseries where children can be cared for and educated in a healthy, hygienic, safe environment. In October 2007, we set up 27 new nurseries, working with the Ministry of Education, local organisations, and communities themselves.
“But after she had been going for a month or two, I began to notice that Awa herself was taking a real interest. Awa is always telling me about her friends at nursery. She recites stories and poems, sings little local songs. That made me really curious and I went round to the nursery to see for myself. I found it was even more interesting than I expected.
One of these communities was the village of Kalake, central Mali. Parents’ farming and other work was making it difficult for them to look after their children properly, and small children were often left at home alone, so they asked Plan for help.
“Now Awa insists that I wash her hands before each meal, and that I pay her nursery contributions. Nursery interests her so much so that even if she’s sick, she still wants to go.”
Working together Plan provided construction materials, equipment and toys, and community members built the nursery. Mothers were trained as educators, and the nursery is managed by a committee including the mayor and the village chief. Each family pays a monthly contribution of 250 francs (about 30p) per child. The nursery provides other services as well as childcare. Children get monthly medical examinations, and mothers learn about nutrition. Only 34% of children in rural Mali have their birth
“Awa is always telling me about her friends at nursery. She recites stories and poems, sings little local songs.”
When Awa is at nursery, Karia works to improve her families’ financial situation. “I can get on with my housework and work in my vegetable garden to increase my income, because I’m sure that Awa is in a secure place. I really want to thank Plan for helping us to open this nursery.” Souleymane Mangane, President of Kalake Nursery, is delighted with how things are going. “At the start in October 2007, we had 65 children, and by March 2008 we had 113, which really shows how keen the community is,” he says. “Thanks to this project, parents have fewer worries about their children’s health. Now parents can work knowing their children are secure.” Some names have been changed for child protection and privacy purposes.
A summary report on Plan International programs in Mali for the year ending 30 June 2008