Since 2006, the Orange Foundation Mali has worked with the Malian authorities and other public and private partners to help the most vulnerable. Our work is happening against a very difficult backdrop, with social division, insecurity, terrorism in certain areas, and the displacement of people.
Alongside Orange Mali, we provide health and education programmes which improve living conditions in the short term and equally prepare for a brighter future. Our delegate general Françoise Cosson and general secretary of the Orange Foundation Mali Hawa Diallo went out into the field where projects were getting started.
16,000 pupils gain access to school programmes
For a few years now, Digital Schools have helped to provide children with access to school programmes in places where schools often have neither books nor teaching materials.
The programme is based around the distribution of digital kits consisting of a server, tablets and a projector.
These kits allow both teachers and pupils to get access to free educational resources without the need of an internet connection.
Today, 33 schools already have got kits with training for pupils and teachers provided as support. The programme is being expanded and there will soon be 50 public establishments in the suburb of Bamako and the surrounding regions who will benefit from the programme, making for a total of 16,000 beneficiaries.
"I really enjoy using the tablet. We can do sums, geography and history lessons. I’m happy; the tablet is very easy to use and it’s fun. I wish that all pupils will be able to have a tablet in Mali one day."
Aissa, school pupil
For teachers, it’s a real time saver. The pupils can progress together, work at their own pace, learn by themselves, and additionally become familiar with digital tools almost like how other children across the world are.
Aoua Keita, teacher at the Adeken School, tells us:
"Getting these tools has made management a lot more enjoyable, and makes pupil learning and assessment of each of the topics of our programmes easier. My pupils are satisfied. The tablets are tools for working that improve our teaching method for total education success and guarantee a better academic future!"
A sixth Orange Village in Kantila, for access to essentials
In Kantila, a remote area of Bamako, a sixth Orange Village has been launched. Here there are 3 essential components - drinkable water, a health centre and a school - plus a training activity for women.
Now Kantila has a health centre, equipped and with electricity, a school of 3 classes equipped with a digital room, and a source of drinkable water. This infrastructure is essential and necessary in the daily life of the 3395 inhabitants.
A one-hectare plot has been converted to help women be economically independent.
Three years after the start of the Orange Village programme in Mali, there are nearly 19,000 people who have benefited from the infrastructures of the six villages.
A seventh Orange Village will be launched soon in the village of Dioubéba in the west of the country.
"I am full of immense happiness over this new school which can now welcome our children in a wholesome environment. I have been here a year but the conditions were very difficult. I have a class of 52 pupils. Lessons took place under gazebos and we didn’t have shelter from both bad weather and the sun. We didn’t have any school furniture and there was the risk that everything would collapse at any moment.""
Veronique, teacher at the school in Katila
More independence for vulnerable women in Bamako
Two Women’s Digital Centres have been set up in Bamako within the women and children’s centres. 50 disadvantaged girls and women will be trained there to integrate professionally and to become financially independent/
In time, ten Digital Centres will be created to train more than 500 deprived women.
The programme was piloted in partnership with the Malian Ministry for the Advancement of Women, Children and the Family.
"It’s great to get to learn with digital tools in the Digital Centres. I would love to start fish-farming afterwards. With training modules, I’ve learnt a lot and this will help me to really get my project off the ground and how to launch other projects as well. The Digital Centres have helped me enormously, particularly regarding management and new ideas. I have become an instructor and am very satisfied.""
Coumba, Digital Centre participant