A mother embraces her daughter in Mali
Mali, in comparison with other least-developed nations in Africa, has been remarkably politically stable since its first democratic elections in 1992. Nonetheless, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, and 29 percent of the population suffers from undernutrition. Right now, Mali is suffering from its worst drought in 26 years – devastating animals, crops, and the subsistence lifestyles of its inhabitants.
While Mali has made some strides toward development, it is in urgent need of assistance from WFP. Impressively, the overall literacy rate in Mali rose from 22.8 percent in 2001-2002 to 26.3 percent in 2004-2005 – meaning that in just three years, nearly half a million Malians learned to read. Unfortunately, the benefits were reaped only for the male population, as huge gender disparities continue to exist in Malian education: the proportion of literate women actually decreased over that same period, from 16.7 to 15.9 percent.
In Mali, WFP is working hard to promote gender parity, especially in education. The women’s center in Nebkit will increase literacy among the female population, and improve the skills needed for self-sustainability. In addition, the income generated from selling their handicrafts will allow women to be more economically independent, and thus decrease their reliance on children’s help to complete household duties (children, then, will have a greater opportunity to enroll in and attend school).
As you can see, the women’s center will be tremendously beneficial to the Nebkit community; but, in order for it to be implemented fully, WFP needs your help. With generous donors like you, the women of Nebkit will be able to educate themselves, and to improve the livelihoods of their families and the status of the village as a whole. Thank you for your support!