Restoring Youth’s Hope by Improving Job Skills and Entrepreneurship in the Douentza District

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Niangaly in the Sewing Shop

Ibrahim Niangaly and Sidaty Adiawiakoye are two young Malian living in the Douentza District.  Although, coming from different cultures, they worked together to create a joint venture in a very difficult context.  Douentza, in the center of Mali, is a region characterized by a multitude of shocks including conflict, insecurity and drought.  The conflict in this part of the country has impacted especially on youth who started getting enrolled to radical or armed groups.  Others migrated to the south to look for jobs.  

Sidaty, formerly a Koranic school student, left his village in 2012 to escape from the call of radical armed groups.  Niangaly, a native of Koro District, lives in Douentza with his family members.  He was an apprentice tailor and became self-sufficient thanks to the Harande Program’s support.  Before their collaboration with Harande, these youth were in a precarious work situation.  They lacked materials and equipment, knowledge and resources in order to undertake the challenge of entrepreneurship.  It seemed impossible for them to take off.  Niangaly testifies, "Personally, I did not have any money, I could not buy clothes and I was always nervous because of poverty and the way people treated me".

In 2018, the Harande Program’s youth entrepreneurship component started supporting the two youth, as well as others in that area.  Overall, the program brings support to 354 young people aged 18-35 involved in masonry, carpentry, mechanics, tailoring and hairdressing.  Sidaty and Niangaly were entrusted to a master apprentice trainer in tailoring for one full year.  Both of them received training on financial literacy, accounting and management tools.  They came together to create a joint-venture in order to reduce the fixed charges of the shop.  Harande provided them with the sewing machines and other equipment, which enabled them to open their own tailoring shop and permanently cut the thread of despair and believe in a better future.  Now, they work for themselves and regularly receive customers who appreciate the quality of their work.  Additionally, they have decided to train others and have recruited two new young apprentices.

Today, Niangaly and Sidaty are not only financially autonomous, but also socially fulfilled and respected.  In the near future, they plan to open a bigger sewing workshop, pay for more machines, recruit and train other youth and help support them in setting up their own shops. “It's really the Harande Program that has transformed our lives in a positive way and now I have taken a rental home that I can afford.  I got engaged.  Moreover, I put a little saving aside and can afford my own food”, proudly explains Sidaty.

Harande is a five-year, $45 million Food for Peace project which started in 2015.  It aims at improving food, nutrition and income of vulnerable communities, especially women and youth in 290 villages of Mopti

Last updated: May 27, 2020

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