Mali is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with half the population living on less than $1 per day. Poverty and starvation are inevitable as most families depend on the insecurity of subsistence farming. This means that droughts and poor harvests make food worryingly scarce. Food insecurity is compounded by political violence, which since early 2012 has caused tens of thousands to flee the north, seeking refuge in the south and neighbouring countries.
Children in Mali
Children in Mali lead precarious lives. Infant mortality and malnutrition is high and 1 in 3 children suffers from stunting. Extreme poverty leads to child labour, and children are often trafficked to the Ivory Coast or recruited for religious indoctrination by fundamentalists. 92% of women have been subjected to female genital mutilation, and this is often carried out before the age of 5, leading to severe psychological and medical consequences.
Our Children's Villages n Mali
SOS Children has been active in Mali since 1987 in order to protect and support vulnerable children and their families. We have been running SOS family strengthening programmes in order to support children who are at risk of losing the care of their family. At present, SOS Children is supporting children and young people in four permanent locations by providing day-care, education and medical assistance.
As a result of food shortages and drought, SOS Children's Villages opened its first Malian Children's Village in Sanankoroba.
Kita has one of the highest incidences of malnutrition in Mali, and now more than ever, children need the support and care we can offer.
The recent violence in northern Mali meant that children from our Village in Socoura near Mopti were evacuated south. The situation has become a lot more stable in recent months, and in July 2013, the children were able to return home to Mopti.
Our most recent Children's Village in Mali opened in the south-western town of Kayes, in a commune called Khouloum. We began work here in 2011 due to the huge scale of need.
Emergency Relief Programmes
We are currently running an emergency relief programme from Mopti and we aim to help 10,000 of the internally displaced people who have settled here.
In Khouloum we also began emergency work following a devastating food crisis which left many families across the region in danger of starvation. Today, we provide a home for the area’s most vulnerable children, and help local farmers ensure they maintain sustainable food supplies which will last during times of scarcity.
SOS Children in Mali
Association des Villages d’Enfants SOS du Mali
Tel: +223/20 28 57 60, +223/20 28 96 63
Fax: +223/20 28 32 88