Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. The UN Human Development Index ranked the arid, landlocked country 175th out of 188 countries. Of the 42.7% of the population living in extreme poverty, 90% live in the south of the country, particularly in rural areas.
Mali’s struggles have been exacerbated by both natural and manmade tragedies, including ongoing conflict and drought, both of which exacerbate the effects of the other. Climate change is a major contributor, driving desertification, and increasing the frequency and severity of drought in the region.
To succeed, Mali needs a lot of help from international disaster relief and development organizations, both to stave off current crises and to build education and infrastructure for a more prosperous future. Humanity First USA has been helping Mali, providing free help with water infrastructure and healthcare, along with schools for Mali’s children and training centers for adults.
Healthcare Charity Work in Mali
In 2013, Humanity First established a healthcare center in Bamako, Mali. Open around the clock, it is the only healthcare center in the area where patients can obtain care from qualified medical staff, whenever they need it. The center served more than 45,000 patients between 2016-2018 alone, providing everything from routine checkups to surgery, including 1,500 free cataract surgeries.
Infrastructure and Disaster Relief in Mali
Because regional water resources are so scarce, Humanity First has made providing clean water a priority, both by digging water wells in Africa and helping to refurbish and improve water infrastructure. In 2017, we provided clean drinking water to over 75,000 people in Mali and Burkina Faso by refurbishing 75 hand pumps as part of our Water for Life initiative. In January 2019, a new project was launched in collaboration with IAAAE to refurbish 100 hand pumps across Mali. The project will provide clean drinking water to more than 80 villages and tens of thousands of people.
We’ve also provided disaster relief to the drought-stricken Northern Mali. Our team provided 14,000 pounds of rice in Timbuktu, and another 2,500 pounds to displaced people in the Segou region — enough rice for 168,000 meals.
Humanity First Schools for Mali
Beginning in 2012, Humanity First USA began an ambitious education project in Mali, building schools in underserved communities. By the end of 2017, we had built 6 schools in Mali, and have continued to expand our education program. In 2018 we started construction of our seventh school which will finish in mid 2019. Our eighth school project is also expected to start in Fall 2019 in the city of Koulikoro. Currently, our schools teach almost 1,500 students, many in remote areas that have historically lacked educational access. Before our Bilal Primary School was established in 2012, for example, the village of Soruntiguila had only one person with a 6th grade education. The Bilal Primary School transformed the village into a center of education, and was ranked second by the regional education department out of nearly 50 schools in the region.
We have also built educational facilities for youths and adults, including three sewing centers and a language academy. These centers train over 1,000 students each year, providing invaluable job skills for Mali youths.
As a poor country with severe and growing water needs, Mali still remains extremely vulnerable. Get involved to help Humanity First USA provide Malians the drought relief, water infrastructure, education and medical care they need.
Opening our first school in Mali was a major milestone for Humanity First USA. But for the children of Soruntiguila and the surrounding villages, Bilal Primary School was much more….