To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. This week we’re in Mali.
Mali is one of the largest nations on earth; it’s also one of the poorest – poverty is widespread and persistent.
Its tumultuous recent history has made this poverty much worse. Over the last decade Mali has been hit by a series of crises, including a drought in 2011 and an armed conflict in the north of the country in 2012. Many people have lost their livelihoods after being displaced from their homes. The agricultural land has been badly ravaged by the fighting and the nation is also being hit hard by climate change.
A faction of the army overthrew the government in 2012. The international community responded in 2013 with a military intervention, trying to keep the people of Mali safe. However, armed groups still pose a huge threat.
In the midst of all this, Tearfund continues to work in Mali, as it has done for more than 20 years. Our current vision for the country is for 600,000 people to be released from spiritual and material poverty by 2022, through a network of local churches and partners.
Ending the silence
One of the crucial issues that our local church partners in Mali are dealing with is the long-standing practice of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C). Our partners have been providing support and access to healthcare for women and girls who have experienced FGM/C. Churches are also working to educate their communities, in order to prevent further cases.
Tearfund partner Association Protestante pour la Santé au Mali (APSM) is running workshops so that people know the facts about FGM/C, and inspiring them to join the fight against it. Mariam* attended one of these workshops – this is her story in her own words.