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Building schools for the future

Plan International’s cash-for-work project is providing poor mothers in rural Mali with the income they need to ensure their children’s right to a quality education is met.

Fadimoutou, 40, is a mother of 5 children living in Timbuktu region in Mali. Over the years, she’s been witness to various crises that have occurred in the region.

Fadimoutou, 40, is a mother of 5 children living in Timbuktu region in Mali. Over the years, she’s been witness to various crises that have occurred in the region.

Fadimoutou makes mats to sell at the local market. With the limited support she receives from her husband - who is often travelling - she can barely meet her family's needs.

She lost her cattle when conflict broke out in 2012 and has been searching for a decent livelihood ever since.

Fadimoutou sends her 3 daughters to the village school in the hope that they will have a better future. But over the years, she has watched helplessly as the school buildings crumble due to lack of maintenance.

Rebuilding schools

Schools in the area are in a poor state of repair and have few supplies and so it was with great enthusiasm that Plan International’s cash-for-work project to renovate the school was welcomed by the whole community.

This project has really helped give a new face to our school. The state of our school was so bad that some children would not come.

"When I learnt that I had been selected by the village committee to benefit from this project, I was happy. First, because my children will now learn in better conditions but also because I can secure some funds for my household needs. I took part in the dredging work. I also carried water and bricks to workers. With the money I received, I was able to buy some rice and save some money for my children’s needs,” said Fadimoutou.

The project connects community members with short-term employment so they can earn an income, provide for their children and participate in the development of their communities.

Getting children back to school

"This project has really helped give a new face to our school. The state of our school was so bad that some children would not come. The walls were falling down, the fence was almost nonexistent.

Some children were not coming to school due to lack of school supplies. Others had started well early in the year but dropped towards the end. Now with the distribution of school kits, almost all the children who had dropped out came back,” explains Agoumour Aguissa, Headmaster at the school.

The cash-for-work project was implemented by Plan International Mali with the support of Irish Aid in Goudam and Gourma Rharous areas. Through the project, 932 parents were able to earn money while supporting their children’s education 1,390 school kits were also distributed in ten schools across the region as part of the project.