An official website of the United States government

Country of the Week: Mali
August 10, 2017

Mali’s capital city, Bamako, is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa, and the country’s total population is expected to double by 2035.

The nation’s unique and culturally diverse history contributes to a dynamic population, and during this exciting period of expansion, Malians hold steadfast to shared goals of strengthening democracy and reducing poverty through economic growth.

Thanks to young, positive Malians like you, this sustained growth and progress can be seen in many areas, such as health and education, and because of your hard work and dedication, we’ve named Mali this week’s #CountryoftheWeek!

Keep reading for three inspiring stories of YALI Network members who are encouraging ecological citizenship, promoting the benefits of social media, and fighting climate

Group of people standing, holding a sign reading "Projet <<Eco-citoyen>>
Group of people standing, holding a sign reading “Projet <>

change throughout Mali.
[vc_text_separator title=”Encouraging ecological citizenship” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”]

Hoping to better her world, Aissa Traore from #CountryoftheWeek Mali spreads awareness about climate change to young students.

Aissa works with an environmental organization called Association des Jeunes pour la Citoyenneté Active et la Démocratie (AJCAD), leading the “Eco-citoyens” project. She helps young students develop communication techniques to discuss issues related to climate change and ecological matters. “This project allows young school participants to know about the challenges of climate change, for a better world,” she says.

As part of her climate change training, Aissa encourages students to spread awareness among their peers, in addition to the general population. “This project has brought about a very practical change of behavior in the lives of beneficiaries,” she notes. “[It] has helped raise awareness of the issue of climate change and the ecological citizenship.”

Man teaching a group of teens about social media
Man teaching a group of teens about social media

Thanks to her efforts, Aissa’s students began hosting speaking engagements about the benefits of nature preservation.

[vc_text_separator title=”Promoting the benefits of social media” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”]

Abdoulaye Sangho doesn’t just share the benefits of social media with his students, he also stresses the incumbent responsibilities of contributing to public conversations on the internet and various platforms.

After launching ASEET+30 with several friends, Abdoulaye provides guidance to Malian youth on a variety of topics from social media to health and reproduction to education. His work teaching students about the benefits of social media has been a great success in developing leadership skills and confidence.

“We want through this project to make sure that students master how to utilize Internet and social medias in [order] to benefit them … [and] to warn about consequences,” Abdoulaye explains. In addition to this project, he also hosts regular debates and meetings where he teaches the YALI Network Online Courses. “I have completed 4 courses and all are usually involved in our association projects to make sure we are making other lives better.”

[vc_text_separator title=”Fighting climate change ” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”]

Inspired by the YALI Network Online Course Understanding Climate Change, Hamidou Moro hosted a #YALILearns event with several peers to spread awareness about protecting the environment. “Together we … organized … a serie[s] of training[s] about climate change, after [which] we planted trees in [a] public place to close the event,” he says.

Hamidou happily notes that while the event took place in the past, the trees he and his community planted continue to benefit Mali. He also appreciates that being an active Network member has allowed him to meet many other impressive, positive individuals who invest their time towards a better future for Africa.

Hoping to apply his leadership skills, Hamidou wants to create a program on “ ‘climate change Education in the community’ to educate, prevent, guide, and support people about climate change.”

If you’re interested in getting involved in your community, like the YALI Network Facebook page and access free online trainings, virtual events, and more by visiting the Be Involved page on the YALI Network website.

Man kneeling to plant a tree and looking up
Man kneeling to plant a tree and looking up