Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. Unemployment is widespread, especially in rural areas. Helvetas has been active in Mali since 1977. In the past, tens of thousands of farming families improved their lives through a large-scale fair trade program in organic cotton, sesame and peanuts. We are still active in Mali’s agricultural sector and support young people in making a decent livelihood with ecologically sustainable and climate resilient farming methods.
To facilitate the integration of rural youths into the job market and thereby curb the rural exodus, Helvetas seeks to create vocational training opportunities in the countryside. The training is designed to promote economic development and self-employment. We concentrate our efforts on young people who have not completed secondary school and are consequently ineligible for formal vocational training programs. We run an innovative training program in agriculture as the sector holds a vast potential for creating jobs.
Even if enrolment figures have gone up in Mali, only half the children in the southern provinces regularly attend school. Girls in particular often leave school after just a few years. Helvetas works closely together with local authorities, private-sector establishments, parents’ associations and teaching staff to improve the quality of primary and vocational education for both sexes. We focus specifically on integrating or reintegrating children and young people who never went to school or left it early.
More than one-third of the Malian population have no access to clean drinking water and latrines – with all the health problems that entails. Municipalities often lack sanitation expertise and the necessary resources to deal with these public health problems. Helvetas supports selected local administrations in their efforts to acquire the know-how and generate the funds to improve the water supply and sanitation in the long term. We promote innovative and cost-effective solutions, such as solar-powered water pumps.
Visit the website of Helvetas Mali.
If you would like to know more about our work in Mali, click on each project for details.