Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Named after the great empire of Mali, the country is one of the poorest in the world. Formerly known as a great cultural centre, tourism was one of the country's flagship activities. Indeed, several tourist sites were popular with tourists from all over the world, such as the city of Timbuktu, the Dogon Plateau, and the Great Mosque of Djenné.

Country facts


19 658 031

Live in extreme poverty

Above 15 years of age cannot read or write

184 of 189
Human Development Index

More than 50 % of the population is below 18 years.

Our work

Worked here since

Women and girls

Below 18 years

8 Local partners

Selected results (2019):

500 Speed School Centres with 13,976 children aged 8-12 were opened.

2358 women started literacy training.

150 new savings and loans groups were established. 3998 women are now in these groups.

More about our work

In addition to being one of the poorest countries in the world, Mali has experienced instability and conflict since the 2012 military coup and the occupation of the northern regions by armed groups and terrorists. This situation makes the lives of the rural populations precarious.

Located in the heart of West Africa, Mali has an estimated population of 20 million people, more than half of whom are under 18. However, many girls and boys in Mali do not have the opportunity to realise their full potential because they do not have access to quality education.

Terrorism and violent extremism have taken a heavy toll on the country. One of the consequences has been the displacement of populations. During these displacements, women, girls, and children are the most vulnerable because they are vulnerable to many forms of abuse

The programmes of Strømme Foundation in West Africa focus on gender equality between girls and boys, and train women to be able to carry out income-generating activities to be self-sufficient. 

In Mali, we implement the following programmes:

Speed School – our main education programme. Designed in Mali in 2004, Speed Schools provide out-of-school children, at least half of them girls, aged 8 to 12 with a nine-month accelerated learning course that makes them eligible to enrol in 4th grade of formal primary school.

Our Speed School 2 for adolescents, vocational training, adult literacy and Saving for Change programmes provide out-of-school adolescents and illiterate women with new educational and economic opportunities.

Green Jobs – Together with numerous strategic partners including Returkraft, Norsk Gjenvinning, Norsk Geoteknisk Institutt, Engineers Without Borders, Zegeba etc., we are currently piloting a ‘Green Jobs’ programme in Mali. This pilot aims to create green jobs for women and youth by turning waste into value through the conversion of plastic into desks and chairs for our Speed Schools.


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