Réseau de Développement et d’Appui aux Initiatives Communautaires
(Network Development and Support Community Initiatives)
RDIC in a Non-Governmental Organisation in Mali, West Africa. I met Youchaou Traore and Kadi Tangara who generously give their money and time to change the lives of the poor. They have a record of success, and we are humbled to support them in their efforts to begin the long process of stamping out FGM.
A primary and secondary school for the Community
Youchaou Traore’s dream of giving quality education to the poor has become a reality. He now supports over 300 children in Kalabankoro, a fast growing community just outside Mali’s capital city, Bamako. Many families move from rural Mali to the city in search of employment and a ‘better life’. For the poor living in Kalabankoro, sending their children to school is a far-off dream. Schools fees are impossibly high especially when they’re already struggling to find food. Also, the only public school in Kalabankoro is too far away for people without any means of affordable transportation.
The vision of the primary and secondary school “Ecole Privee Youchaou” was the dream of the Kalabankoro community leader Youchaou Traore. Many families in Kalabankoro would approach Youchaou and plead for a school that was accessible for them to send their children. In response to this, Youchaou taught those most in need in Kalabankoro in a rented, crumbling building for two years. The rooms had little ventilation and were too small. Youchaou saved money to purchase land hoping that one day he could build a proper school for these children.
With the support of many proactive and generous people in Australia, money was raised to build classrooms for grades 1 to 6. The school officially opened in 2005.
With the welcome news of a new school in Kalabankoro spreading through the community, the demand for student places increased. Following this success, fundraising efforts in Australia through the Reach Foundation continued. In 2006, the second storey was completed, not only providing classrooms for grades 7 to 9, but also a library and an additional three classrooms.
Niamana Village Project
- Niamana is a rural village of 800 people, part of the Niamana Commune in the Segou Region of Mali. The climate is Sahelian, characterized by very low and irregular rainfalls. The main activity of the area is agriculture which is highly dependent on rainfalls. A few farmers have cattle and some people run small businesses by selling goods in weekly markets. After the rainy season and harvest, most youths migrate to big cities in order to make a living, as income-generating activities in the village itself are very limited.
Mali Initiative and RDIC have achieved:
Four concrete classrooms, 2 of which were funded by German fundraising efforts
Demolition of the original 2 mud classrooms that were falling down and endangering lives
Grown the willingness of the community to work together to achieve change
Purchase and assembly of 90 tables and benches for the classrooms
Donation of some supplies including stationary, locks for the classrooms, dictionaries and student blackboards
Children are being provided with nourishing food as the first crop from the market garden has been harvested
Kalabankoro Community Health Care Centre
With an average of 4500 curative consultations a year since opening in January 2008, the Kalabankoro Kulaba healthcare centre is a major success story born from the community’s vision for quality healthcare.
Healthcare is desperately lacking in Mali. 20% of children die before reaching the age of 5 years. The health of the general population is so poor that the average life expectancy is only 49 years (UN Human Development Report). Sadly, healthcare in Mali is generally only accessible for those who can afford it, leaving the poorest of the poor to go without.
RDIC has been the instrumental driving force behind this clinic.
The community also have access to a water pump for healthy drinking and for watering gardens.