Created in 1992, l’Association pour la Promotion de la Femme et de l’Enfant au Mali (the Association for the Promotion of Women and Children in Mali) aims at promoting the socio-cultural, political and economic position of women and children in Mali. APROFEM’s team focuses primarily on providing services to improve and strengthen the living conditions of Mali’s most vulnerable groups. Since its creation and through numerous projects, APROFEM has contributed to the production of goods and the access to services that have enabled women to emancipate themselves economically. Our NGO intervenes in three main areas: economic development, the promotion of governance and participation, and the socio-cultural promotion of women.
Today, APROFEM carries out its actions in the regions of Sikasso, Segou, Koulikoro and Bamako.
Determination: through its strong, vigorous, energetic commitment, APROFEM always offers its beneficiaries and partners services that are adapted to their needs.
Professionalism: APROFEM’s team has the expertise, skills and knowledge required to successfully attain its goals and objectives.
Innovation: APROFEM undertakes and capitalizes on new actions and approaches, continuously evaluates and improves ongoing projects, thus enabling constant progress.
Solidarity: family spirit, respect and tolerance are at the heart of APROFEM’s actions with its partners and beneficiaries.
One of APROFEM’s main qualities lies in its capacity to intervene, which not only enables it to directly support the most vulnerable population in the field but to successfully influence public policies on a national level.
Regarding economic promotion, APROFEM provides women and girls with the skills and tools needed to increase their productive activities.
APROFEM helps women access credit in order to finance their activities, facilitates access to infrastructure and equipment to secure their productions, and improves the marketing of their products. APROFEM also provides them with information and advice on opportunities for profitable economic activities, helps them to strengthen their management capacities to gain a better return on income-generating activities (IGA) and to establish business relations within the framework of organized exchanges. Through its multiple and diverse activities, APROFEM pushes for an institutional and legal framework favorable to the realization of women’s economic activities. These projects not only enable women to develop new skills, they also have positive impacts on the daily lives of both women and children.
The savings credit systems developed through APROFEM’s projects have facilitated the financing of income-generating activities, and secured women’s income, maintaining their ability to refinance.
With their income, 90% of the beneficiaries participate in paying school fees and covering health and clothing costs for their children.
Women have also improved the availability of food in their households as they contribute to the production of cereals and vegetables.
Promotion of governance and participation
The economic promotion of women has thus facilitated a form of emancipation: women are now more autonomous. Such emancipation also translates into a certain freedom of speech and action, allowing them to contribute to decision making within their families and communities. APROFEM’s efforts are aimed at increasing the number of women in nominative and elective positions at all levels. It is through this primary objective that APROFEM helps women create formal and well-structured associations to achieve common goals. Today these women and youth associations have the capacities and tools needed to effectively influence decisions in all aspects of the public and political sphere.
Local authorities are increasingly consulting women and youth community organizations for local development planning.
Women participate in decision-making in local communities.
More natural resources are allocated to women for the development of their income-generating activities.
More responsibilities concerning the management of natural resources are entrusted to women by municipal authorities.
The targeted “communes” have understood the importance of “gender” integration in their objectives, approaches, strategies and activities.
There has also been more consideration given to the need to strengthen the roles of women and young people in decision-making bodies and in the management of public affairs.
APROFEM has conducted several campaigns and advocacy actions on the rights of women and children in various communities, in order to promote and strengthen the role and place of women in Malian society.
The objectives of these actions are:
To give a more positive image of women, promoting their respect and enhancing their self-esteem.
To ensure women’s access to health services and their ability to control their reproductive health.
To ensure compliance with national laws and regional and international conventions regarding women and children’s rights ratified by Mali.
Some of our projects
In collaboration with nine partners, including APROFEM, the “Mali Justice Project”, funded by USAID has set up a pilot project called “Hakew Sabatili” (Access to Justice). This project aims at identifying the obstacles faced by women, young people, people with disabilities and all those in precarious situations, in order to engage in advocacy campaigns to improve their access to justice. In this context, APROFEM focuses on the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) through the establishment of centres that listen, guide and orientate victims of GBV towards the appropriate services.
The objectives of this project are:
To increase and facilitate the access to health, psychosocial and legal services for the victims of GBV in Bamako.
To reduce the obstacles to health and psychological services, as well as to legal services, for the victims of GBV and other vulnerable groups in Bamako.
Strengthening women's leadership to improve their participation and political representation
In collaboration with a variety of women’s associations, APROFEM has set up a project, which aims at strengthening women’s leadership and increasing their participation and political representation in Bamako and the San and Sikasso regions. Following a series of training sessions on civic education and gender-related issues, the project was successful in increasing the participation of women and girls in the 2013 elections.
The objectives of this project were:
To increase the political representation of women by ensuring that the lists of alternate candidacies were mandatory.
To increase the participation of women in electoral processes through greater mobilization and visibility of women’s organizations.
To do so APROFEM developed various strategies based on:
Communication to challenge mindsets and attitudes.
Educational actors’ interventions were reinforced by radio broadcasts.
Advocacy to raise awareness and inform
An advocacy campaign was organized highlighting the importance of taking specific gender-related measures during elections.
Partnership for effective implementation
Through its impressive network, APROFEM has partnered with women’s associations and other key actors in the electoral process.
Strengthening women's leadership and organizations regarding monitoring, citizen control and the management of resources
In Mali, the population suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure, which is often inadequate and poorly managed. The lack of water, the poor quality of healthcare, the number of overloaded classrooms, the poor quality of teaching and the rise in food prices have all increased since the beginning of the crisis in 2012. The Réseau National pour la Gouvernance et la Citoyenneté (RENAGEC – the national network for governance and citizenship) intervened and set up monitoring and control mechanisms for the management of basic social services. APROFEM’s activities offer the opportunity to strengthen these monitoring and control mechanisms through the inclusion of women. As such, it is through meetings, cooperation, advocacy, capacity building, consultation and education, that APROFEM is able to consolidate the actions of RENAGEC.
The objectives of this project are:
To strengthen the skills and competencies of women and traditional leaders, in terms of dialogue, policy analysis, advocacy, citizen control and internal governance within communities.
To reinforce the understanding of the population, especially women and heads of households, regarding the roles and responsibilities of each actor and the difficulties encountered delivering public services during the crisis.
To promote the participation of women’s organizations in the decision-making process and in the implementation of quality actions regarding the established monitoring and control mechanisms.
Reforesting 1000 hectares in the Office du Niger area
In collaboration with two other NGOs, APROFEM participates in the reforestation of 1000 ha in the region of Ségou, in Niono and Macina. This project aims at contributing to the availability of fuelwood needed by the communities as well as promoting the local workforce and especially women.
Among other activities, APROFEM participates in the production of fuelwood, the establishment of material means and equipment for the management of plantations, the creation of village management committees, and the training of actors and beneficiaries regarding planting and management techniques.
The objective of this project is twofold:
Protect the irrigated areas of the Office du Niger unsuitable for rice-growing by planting trees.
Improve the income situation of vulnerable groups (young people, women, anyone affected by the food crisis) and villages using the reforestation project.