ATEG's was asked to help with food insecurity within the Falhadie IDP Camp. The camp is in Bamako, Mali and is home to 1,000 IDPs, over half of them children. They fled terrorism in Central Mali and came to Bamako where they settled in a garbage dump and have been living under deplorable conditions. We felt the situation called for a broader intervention, including not only helping with food security but also child mentoring and providing skills training for the women.
The Falhadie Camp is on a garbage dump. The IDPs live there under inhumane conditions. The shelters are made of rubbish and are bunched tightly together. Rubbish is burned to create more space. The fires give off toxic fumes which cause respiratory issues among the community. The camp is next to the livestock market and the smell is unbearable. The population is suffering from food insecurity. They are also lacking in medical care, and the women lack the ability to earn an income.
The IDPs receive no formal food assistance. They are dependent on local generosity, and there is no timeline for distribution. ATEG provides a dependable schedule for food distribution. An ATEG focus groups the women asked for skills training in sewing. This project is providing training, distributing sewing machines, and instruction in making and marketing a product. The children will be taught traditional Malian dance and also receive mentoring following the UNICEF "Skills For Life" concept.
The women will have major roles in leadership and decision making. We will support the formation of a Women's Cooperative where they will have control in managing the distribution of their income and of food. The child mentoring program, coupled with the Malian dance training will help them develop psychosocial and interpersonal skills. These projects will improve nutritional status, provide a source of income, restore dignity and bring the children joy and life altering skills.