Just days before the coup, Mr. Shindouk, leader of the Oulad Najim tribe and one of the field connectors of the E-TIC program, detailed the progress of local activities and results in north of Mali. âThe E-TIC program and the AgriGuide bring not only much to the population but also to the environment,â he explained. As a nomad, his knowledge of the area granted the team precious insight and access to towns, locations and information while carrying out research for the program.
A local awareness campaign developed for the past two years was aimed at local families in order to spread information, share experiences and demonstrate the best methods of agriculture, herding and fishing. Information sessions were carried out. The plan was also to show videos and work with various illustrators to explain in simple and visual ways things that are otherwise being overcomplicated, and leaflets translated to the local languages will be distributed.
While activities have been put on standby due to the unstable circumstances in Mali, the work continues, with the development of the AgriGuide, which as says Shindouk, "brings not only much to the population but also to the environment.â Consequently, he persistently continues to fuel the project with the help of his wife Miranda, who is a skilled illustrator. Both of them are currently in Canada.
Miranda and other artists from Africa and Europe will continue to work on the awareness campaign by illustrating a series of booklets and posters depicting positive agricultural methods. From manufacturing environmentally friendly fertilizers to demonstrating how pesticides affect water sources, the artists, whose techniques range from pencil sketching to graphic design, will eventually see their art used in poster and booklet formats, among others, throughout Senegal and Mali.
Shindouk shared his plans to establish three working groups, which he hopes to coordinate upon his return to Mali, once the situation has been settled. âIt begins with awareness and consciousness that the abundance of fertilizers and pesticides is not good for the environment. It is a shared vision that goes through awareness, but also through sharing of good practice and useful information.â Through the use of the AgriGuide, Miranda, will carry out workshops for children and families, while Shindouk will spread knowledge and assist the needs of others in his community.