Bamako - sponsoring street children to attend life skills courses

The Mali Development Group which works with very disadvantaged children

Mali Development Group (MDG) is a registered charity which has been supporting development work in Mali, West Africa since 2000.  It is a volunteer led organisation, and relies exclusively on the skills and commitment of its members. Since its foundation MDG has raised £1.25 million. It has a number of members in Sudbury who have supported its activities through events, information sharing and fundraising.

MDG has two partners organisations in Mali, one of which ‘Pensons a Demain’ is supported by Sudbury Rotary Club.  ‘Pensons a Demain’ (Let’s think about tomorrow) is a small organisation in Bamako,  Mali’s capital city, which works with very disadvantaged children , most of them homeless and destitute. The founder is Kader Keita, himself disabled from childhood, but a highly regarded artist. His mission in life has been to provide a place for the children to stay and be rehabilitated. 

The special quality of the centre is that it uses art as a therapeutic medium, especially the classic Malian art form of Bogolan - making pictures on cotton cloth with the black mud from the Niger which flows through the city. The images are fixed with a mixture of natural herbs and the result can be stunning designs. The children learn about bogolan, but also take part in dance, drama and singing. In this way they grow into their own culture while also receiving health care, nourishment and re-entry to formal education. Over 100 children are helped each year and many other organisations come to learn about this highly child centred approach to the problem of street children - Kader does not like the term- he says streets don’t have children, only people!

Sudbury Rotary Club has been supporting PAD with funding for two places a year and this has made an important difference to this small project. Our involvement in this project has now finished, but over the three years it ran, it provided invaluable support for the youngsters.

Gill NortonContact Gill Norton about this page:

(ALL fields required)

(If you are a Rotarian, please name your club.)

Related pages...

East Meru Community School

more How we are helping youngsters at the school.

Some of the entrepreneurs that we have helped


more An outline of how 'Lend with Care' works

'End Polio Now' Polio Eradication Project


Some of the clothes donated by youngsters from Thomas Gainsborough School, Sudbury.

Home of Hope, Beirut

more Giving hope to children affected by the troubles in the Middle East

back to page above this...

The Mali Development Group which works with very disadvantaged children

Our International Work

back Several of our diverse on-going projects aim to make a difference to the less fortunate individuals and communities internationally.