The staff policy of Miriyawalé was very simple. We only worked with volunteers.
Youngsters can become volunteers from 16 years up till 30. We have a simple set of rules for everybody to obey. For the rest everybody is as free as a bird to experiment, invent, propose and execute activities using the goods of Miriyawalé. Being a volunteer has benifts. Volunteers have free computer lessons, access to the internet, train the trainer workshops, help in case of illness etc. Sometimes Miriyawalé needs for certain activity’s the help of a professional Malian adult. He or she will get some recompensation for the task.
Much has changed since the start of the political crisis in 2013 in Mali. There was already an economic crisis. But on top of that came the misery of civil war, attacks, corruption and an unreliable government focused on its own interests. This of course also has consequences for the management of Miriyawalé. There are no more international volunteers because of the danger. The pressure on the population is large and young people are having a harder time. Their future is dark and they are bleak.
For the center we have had a full-time paid Malian coordinator since 2016. A good local professional is necessary alongside Janette de Haas to keep things going during these difficult times.