Background and problem analysis
At this moment more then 50% of the Malian civilization is younger then 17 years and 75% younger then 25. 75% of the youth is unemployed. Mali is one of the most poorest countries in the world with a permanent crisis in it’s education. The average birth rate per woman is 7.1 children. A lot of youngsters think that they can find their escape in Europe. Miriyawalé finds this a very qualified case and thinks that it needs to be treated. The youth in Mali is threatened by many treats; poverty, AIDS, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, abuse, hopelessness and oppression. Miriyawalé is convinced that social cultural projects lead to development. With some finance, materials, lots of love and patience we can make a change.
Note: Out of respect , we do not feel comfortable to take pictures of the miserable living conditions. Instead, you can see pictures of our solution.
In the Center we use the slogan: “Youth for Youth”
The older kids who visit the Center are all volunteers and help the little ones. The volunteers are supervised by Janette Camara de Haas and the Malian coördinator . The Center is for and by the youth. We run the Center together. All of the visitors get a pass/entry ticket: “Ami(e) (friend of) Miriyawalé” and will be registered at one point. There is an educating program during weekdays with sports, games, cultural-experience, lessons, lecture, homework assistance, and clubs and a more relaxing program during the weekends with watching movies, drawing, crafts, dancing etc. There’s a special program for the different age groups during the holidays.
ONG Miriyawalé uses “A socio-cultural methodology, this is a way of thinking and acting that is based on reflection, experience, expertise and scientific knowledge. This methodology is used by various organizations by their volunteer and professional staff. They use it to connect to individuals and groups and to activate the participants of the projects in one or more dimensions of their existence and in their various living conditions. These dimensions of existence characterizes human beings as meaningful value seekers, as knowledge processors, as skilled actors and creative explorers, as creators of culture and social beings. The chief objectives are to develop an identity, promote social integration and social participation and the building of a democratic, sustainable and inclusive society. This conscious and thoughtful way of creation opens opportunities, encourages encounters and informal learning. There are processes of critical consciousness, reflexive accountability and personal education. This method stimulates the development of social, cultural and communicative skills and the formation of social networks and cultural symbols. In creating and exploiting these opportunities the individuals and groups are active ‘participants’ with whom the staff dialogues about the specific objectives and approaches.
Results and sustainability
Since the opening of the Sikasso center in 2008 we can tell that with a minimum of means, a maximum of results where reached. Visitors grab all the opportunity’s that they get offered at the Centerwith both hands. From the opening in september 2008 up to now, september 2018, hundreds of children, youngsters and women visited the center’s every week.
The sustainability of our work can be proved for example by the improving school results of our visitors. The results grew and the school dropout declined we heard from teachers. The parents gave us interesting feed-back also. Their children behave better, less agressive and more relaxed. This positive attitude from the visitors and volunteers of the center will help surely that they won’t become inactive and despondency in their grownup life, but able to make a meaningful contribution to the Malian society in any way whatsoever. This is of course difficult to prove. One can not simply prove what they prevented. To do extended research on this we think is wasted energy and money for us. Therefore in literature, enough sufficient evidence can be found on the efficacy of well-used social cultural methodology. Anyway, over the 10 years the Miriyawalé children and youth center is open in Mali more than 250 unemployed young men and women found a job after being a regular participant and volonteer of the center.