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Foundation Jean-François Peterbroeck
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Support for women’s solidarity groups

South-South exchange between India & Mali

2018 till 2019
Kayes, Mali

Context

In 2005, Camide started to research and test models of solidarity groups. In 2010, a model was developed that aimed to create stronger groups by engaging women in solving socio-economic and environmental problems. This resulted in the creation of the Aliniha network, a network of women’s organisations around Kayes, Mali. However, weak leadership, limited management capacity, lack of internal capital and low trust of women in their group showed that much assistance and support was needed to make the model work.
In 2016, to help address these issues, a group of Aliniha women and Camide’s technical support staff went on an exchange trip to northwest India to learn best practices from a solidarity group. In Dholpur (Eastern Rajasthan), in a region facing environmental and socio-economic problems remarkably similar to their own Sahel region, they were inspired by the Manjari Foundation’s solidarity group network. Manjari’s methodology is particularly interesting as it addresses the main challenges of the Aliniha model mentioned above. At the beginning of 2018, 50 solidarity groups (“YƐRƐDƐMƐ”) had been set up using Manjari’s methodology and were being monitored by the Camide team.

Beneficiaries

In 2018, the direct participants in the exchange mission to India were 7 Malian women, members of the village organisations of the Aliniha network, and 5 CAMIDE technicians.
As of April 2019, there were a total of 1,500 women who were direct beneficiaries of the support, grouped in 106 YƐRƐDƐMƐ groups.
More globally, all the communities in the villages of Logo, Mali benefit from this enriching exchange of experiences.

Objective

As an innovative south-south exchange dynamic (Mali/India), the study mission organised will enable the various Malian actors to look more closely at other economic models and other experiences in order to draw inspiration from them and adapt them to the context of their locality (Kayes/Mali).
This intervention falls outside the Foundation’s reference framework, which is that of children in distress. However, due to its innovative nature and its link with other interventions supported by the Foundation in the field of economic recovery of local communities, it appeared interesting to mobilise ourselves alongside CAMIDE (local implementation partner) and the Fondation Marie & Alain Philippson to enable its realisation and learn from its implementation.

Results

The 2018 mission was a success and allowed a group of 18 Malians to meet their counterparts within the Manjari Foundation.
Following the study trip, new economic sectors are being developed in Logo, Mali, including poultry and onion farming. An action-research methodology should make it possible to validate models developed by the stakeholders themselves, influenced by the Indian experiences.
In early 2019, a first replication of YƐRƐDƐMƐ groups was conducted, resulting in the creation of 56 new groups in 6 villages of the same municipality.

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