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Mali - Strengthening local civil society organisations to better prevent the loss of parental care and promote children's rights

Project leader

SOS Villages d'Enfants Mali

Location mali Kita ; Sanankoroba
Dates 01/10/2017 01/10/2020
Intervention Area Access to decent work
Funding 250 000,00 €


In the UNDP Human Development Index, Mali is ranked 175th out of the 188 countries listed. As a result of difficulties in curbing underdevelopment, 2 million Malian children are deprived of adequate parental care.

In the areas of Kita (Kayes region) and Sanankoroba (Koulikoro region), the extreme poverty of families is one of the reasons for abandoning children and for non-compliance with children's rights. Children and young people who are deprived of a loving family environment, either occasionally or permanently, are exposed to risk factors that harm their social, psychological and physical development. They are gradually excluded from society and have little or no access to education, healthcare, employment or even an identity document. The consequences of this vicious circle affect the whole of society and include unemployment, health, marginalisation, violence...

This poverty is accompanied by a very high birth rate in the Kita and Sanankoroba areas (6.4 children per woman), and the mortality rate of children under five is one of the highest in the world.

Respect for children's rights is the responsibility of everyone: the State, parents, but also communities, elected officials and local leaders, as well as all citizens.  However, citizens are not sufficiently informed about children's rights.

Since 2005, SOS Children's Village Mali has been supporting families in highly vulnerable situations in order to avoid the breakdown of families and ensure that children's rights are respected. Today, the inhabitants of the districts and villages that are targeted by SOS Children's Village Mali are showing a willingness to say "no" definitively and collectively to the abandonment and neglect of children and in general to violations of children's rights. Their operational, organisational, institutional and financial capacities must be strengthened if they are to achieve their goals.

SOS Children's Village Mali acts to prevent abandonment through two Family Strengthening Programmes. It takes a multi-sectoral approach (economy, food security, health and education), implemented among extremely vulnerable families in response to their children's basic needs.

SDGs targeted: 1 (Elimination of poverty), 3 (Good health and well-being), 10 (Reduced inequality), 16 (Peace, justice and effective institutions).

Project owner 

SOS Children's Village Mali.

Overall objective

Help ensure that children's rights are respected in the areas of action.

Specific objectives 

  • Local children are better protected, their rights are known and promoted
  • The risk of losing family care is prevented;  children in the specific target group grow up in a protective and loving environment
  • Children in the specific target group and their guardians have access to food security, satisfactory living conditions and basic social services, through a stable and sustainable economic situation


Direct beneficiaries:

  • 905 children (42% girls and 58% boys) from 190 families, whose current situation puts them at risk of losing parental care, plus their guardians (289, of which 69% are women and 31% men)
  • 11 Community Based Organisations (CBOs) representing 456 members


Indirect beneficiaries

  • Children whose rights are not currently respected and citizens of childbearing age: 45,796 inhabitants in 11 localities

Anticipated outcomes

  • Citizens, young people and the community are aware of the importance of respecting children's rights
  • Citizens, young people, children and the community know who to contact to report violations of children's rights
  • Local guardians, especially those in the specific target group, know how to protect their children and promote their development
  • Tutors in the areas, as a priority those in the specific target group, have created a network that makes it possible to ensure some of their children's rights
  • Tutors in the specific target group have increased financial resources and allocate an increasing share to the respect of their  children's rights
  • The community has the capacity to assist children from poor families, so their rights are better respected
  • CBOs, alone or together, conduct activities that meet the needs of local child protection and children's rights