[skip to content]

Providing school materials to children in Mali

Children living in Mopti refugee camp

After losing everything, Oumou and her friend can now enjoy school with their new materials

14 May, 2012: There are more than 1,000 primary school pupils scattered in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) across the region of Mopti in Mali. These children, along with their parents, fled the recent violence in northern Mali and came to Mopti for safety but many have had their education interrupted.

In the small school of Atetebougou, Oumou, aged 13, is fortunate to squeeze into a seat in a fifth grade classroom. Already crowded with 103 children from the neighbourhood, the classroom isn’t that big and can’t fit everybody in.

Oumou doesn’t let this dampen her enthusiasm. Although nervous, she enjoys going to school and taking part in classes. She and her two brothers, and 24 other newcomers in the classroom, are worried about what others will think and how they will cope with lessons without notebooks and school materials.

“We all came with no luggage, no clothes and without our notebooks. Without books, how will we remember our lessons?” explains Oumou.

With Plan’s support, Oumou and thousands of other pupils in IDP camps in Mopti are now one small step closer to a normal life and education. Last week Plan Mali, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, distributed 1,000 school kits  containing notebooks, pens, a school bag, clothes and blankets to children in Mopti and other camps.

“This donation only puts a band aid on the need. So many children left their homes with nothing in search of safety,” according to Michelet William, Plan Mali’s acting director. “Education is so important for displaced children because children in school are fed and protected against exploitation.”

Read more about Plan's work in Mali