News from Mali

Photo © V. Krebs
Photo © V. Krebs
09 July 2007

The presence of ICVolunteers in Mali is not new; since 2002, a series of projects have been implemented. What is new today is that the team of ICVolunteers-Mali is embracing, bit by bit, the approach and philosophy of ICVolunteers to set up projects in Mali implemented by people from Mali. The key word here is: "empowerment" or "accompaniment" and not simply "transfer".

A two-day training seminar came together in mid-June 2007. These exchanges are one of the elements of a range of training modules planned this year with the team of ICVolontaires-Mali and its partners.

Our Malian office has its headquarters in Bamako, Mali's capital. Its board is composed of twelve people. The core team is composed of fifteen Malians, made up of several technical, linguistic and organizational profiles. The seminar was an opportunity to share information regarding the operations of ICVolunteers, its projects and modalities of financing. This session was also an opportunity to refine the different job descriptions of national offices.

The director and president of ICVolontaires-Mali, Cheick Oumar Coulibaly and Moussa Gorro, respectively, then took part in a meeting with representatives of the Association des Municipalités du Mali (AMM), for which several cyber-volunteers developed a website ( (project implemented in 2004).

This website is operational today but lacking substance. ICVolontaires-Mali will have the mission of enriching the site's contents. ICVolontaires-Mali is currently looking for a technician and an online editor/journalist. In addition, a training session provided by the site's current administrator and Vice President of ICVolunteers is also planned for August 2007 in Bamako.

During her last trip to Mali, ICV Executive Director Viola Krebs met the new coordinator of Campus Numérique de la Francophonie of Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie in Bamako. This was an opportunity to organize a video conference with Dakar, where the technicians responsible for West Africa are located. On the agenda: the continuation of the Africa@home project, the installation of a server in Bamako and/or Dakar, and training modules that could be developed using tools put in place. In addition, there was talk about the participation of AUF in the Africa@home seminar that is taking place in Muizenberg, South Africa, in July 2007.

As to the school project in Mali, exchanges and planning are underway on behalf of different partners, including the Desert School of the Ouladnagim Community (, the Malian desk for school libraries and international partners, such as the Earth Focus Foundation involved in educational projects in the field of sustainable development. The leitmotif is to create true partnerships between schools from different horizons. Thus, ICV strives to build projects holistically, creating active and reciprocal win-win situations and avoiding the traditional charity relationship of helper and helped.

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