Mali: Improving the Status, Education and Future Opportunities of Girls in Rural Regions


Project region: Ségou and Koulikoro

Duration: March 1, 2015 - February 29, 2018

Local partner: GRADEM (Groupe Recherche Action des Droits de l'Enfant au Mali)



In the Malian regions Ségou and Koulikoro, nearly 50% of the children do not attend school. There are no primary schools in 16 of the 58 villages participating in our project. The distance from home to school can be up to 12 km for some children, neither school busses nor school meals exist. The proportion of girls among all primary students is just about 46,5%. Yet, more than 4% of them stop attending school before receiving any school certificates.

Children, and especially girls without basic school education have few future prospects in the rural regions of Mali. Hence, many of them migrate to bigger cities at a young age and look for jobs in the informal sector as unskilled workers. In 30 of the 58 involved villages, the rate of rural exodus is over 50%, whereas more than 70% of the migrating girls are younger than 15 years old. These girls are unprepared for the life in the cities and often experience economic and sexual violence and exploitation.
This project aims at lowering the rate of rural exodus for girls and at upgrading rural regions by strengthening local education and income opportunities.

Project Objectives


The project aims at the improvement of educational opportunities for 1,000 children as well as of chances for an apprenticeship and regular income for 1,900 girls in rural regions. In particular, the project aims at

  • the improvement of the access to primary education in 5 communities.
  • the active support of the population in 58 villages for the improvement of the social status of girls and their living conditions as well as their support in fighting rural exodus.
  • the improvement of the opportunities for apprenticeships and regular income for 1,900 girls in 59 villages.

Involved Groups


  • children at primary school age (about 600 girls and 400 boys) from 5 rural communities
  • 1,900 young girls (13-18 years old), who are willing to leave their hometown
  • their families and social communities
  • 45 school groups (one in each of the 45 involved primary schools)
  • 45 associations of parents and teachers as well as school committees
  • 58 traditional village executives and other local authorities
  • 4 local radio stations (2 per region)
  • central and decentralized departments of the Ministry for Basic Education and academies for primary education
  • the Ministry for Family, Women and Children as well as its regional technical departments

Project Activities


  • Support 1,000 children to gain access to primary education
  • Support the village Oussébougou for constructing a local school
  • Further training for members of associations of parents, teachers and the school/community responsibles
  • Awareness-raising campaigns for the respect of children’s rights and about the importance of basic education, especially for girls
  • Support 1,000 girls from 30 villages with attaining an occupation with regular income
  • Support self-help-initiatives of girls in rural regions



Project costs: 399,360 €


Financial Partners:

  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Familie-Haas-Stiftung
  • Kinderrechte Afrika e. V. (donations)

Cover photo: A girl in a village proudly reports her success in farming. Within the project, she received a jump start for the purchase of chicken and goats. These farming activities secured her income as she let them reproduce and then sold them. Children have the right to an appropriate standard of living, Art. 27 UN-CRC.

© Horst Buchmann / Kinderrechte Afrika e.V.


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