Réseau de Développement et d’Appui aux Initiatives Communautaires
(Network Development and Support Community Initiatives)
RDIC in a Non Government Organisation in Mali, West Africa. I met Youchaou Traore and Kadi Tangara who give generously of their money and their time to change the lives of the poorest 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, and we’re doing it one goat, one girl at a time.
A primary and secondary school for the Community
Youchaou Traore’s dream of giving quality education to the poor is now a reality, supporting over 300 children in Kalabankoro which is 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. School fees are impossibly high when it is already a struggle to find food to feed the family, and the one public school in Kalabankoro is too far away for people without any means of affordable transport.
The vision of the primary and secondary school “Ecole Privee Youchaou” was the dream of 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, for two years Youchaou taught the poorest of the poor in Kalabankoro in a rented degenerating building. The rooms had little ventilation and were too small.
Youchaou saved his money to purchase land in the hope 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 was officially opened in 2005.
With the welcome news of a new school in Kalabankoro spreading throughout the community, the demand for student places increased. Encouraged by this, 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. Niamana Village is 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 some 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 there are very limited income-generating activities in the village itself.
Mali Initiative and RDIC have achieved:
Already 4 concrete classrooms, 2 of which were funded by German fundraising efforts.
Demolition of original 2 mud classrooms that were falling down endangering lives
Willingness of the community to partner to achieve.
Purchase and assembly of 90 tables/ benches for the classrooms.
Some supplies have been donated 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 for everyone.
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 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 the garden