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SOS sponsored child in Mali
People in Mali face recurrent droughts and food shortages. The situation in Mali has been exacerbated by political violence which has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. SOS Children's Villages works in three locations across the country, and has recently launched emergency relief in Mali to protect families affected by the fighting. … more about our charity work in Mali

Educating girls in Mali

Girls in Mali face discrimination and often don't attend school
Girls in Mali face discrimination and often don't attend school

The West African country of Mali has some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Only 33% of the population are literate and only 39% of young women, between the ages of 15-24 can read or write. SOS Children’s Villages is working to educate the most vulnerable and impoverished children, helping them achieve their potential and be able to contribute positively to their society.

Getting a good education is a dream for the majority of Malians, but the reality is very different – particularly for women. Discrimination against women persists in many areas and educational and professional opportunities for women are very limited.

The situation in Sanankoroba

Sanankoroba is a rural region in Southern Mali. The community is largely cut-off from the nearest towns and the capital, Bamako. Access to education, medical care, clean water and good sanitation facilities is limited. As a result, daily life for many families in Sanankoroba is a struggle. The poverty rate is very high and malnutrition, infant mortality and child abandonment are all too frequent. Recognising the difficulties the region faces, we chose Sanankoroba as the location for our first Children’s Village in Mali.

Amina’s story

Portrait of Amina, young person from SOS Sanankoroba
Amina is now studying to be a midwife at University
Amina, now a confident and bright 19-year-old, grew up in one of the SOS families in the Village. With a very sick wife to look after, Amina’s father could no longer able to feed his young family, so Amina found a new home at the Children’s Village.

Her childhood was filled with fun and laughter, but perhaps most importantly, it was filled with learning. Living in SOS Children’s Village Sanankoroba meant that Amina was able to attend school every day. An intelligent girl, she passed all her exams with flying colours and won a place at University.

Life in the capital, Bamako, is a sharp contrast from rural life at the Children’s Village, but Amina has not lost sight of her dream - to become a midwife at the hospital. “I could help lots of women give life,” she says. “That is important to me as I was given a second life when I came to live in my SOS family.”

A dedicated student, Amina is well-known for her kindness and willingness to help others. She is also a passionate advocate for the young people of Mali, particularly when it comes to girls’ education.

Amina is proud of her achievements – she knows her life could have been very different. “SOS changed my life in every way. It is thanks to SOS that I could go to school. They made me what I am today!”

“I’m determined to continue my studies and to succeed,” she says seriously. “I want to make the best of what SOS Children have given me.”

Since 1987, we have been providing support and love to Malian children like Amina in our four Children's Villages across Mali. Find out how you can help.