Young Mothers in Distress in Mali - BICE - ONG de protection des droits de l'enfant
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Young Mothers in Distress in Mali

In Mali, many young girls leave their villages to work in the capital, Bamako. Their goal is to earn enough money to get married, and to send money to their families. With no work experience, and often illiterate, they find poorly-paid work as domestic servants. They are naive and inexperienced and are often victims of sexual abuse and other forms of violence. They frequently fall pregnant, and end up on the street, exposed to the worst dangers.  

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Helping young girls in distress to become good mothers

Since 1996, BICE and its partner, BNCE Mali have worked for the protection of young mothers in distress.

The aim of their project is to offer these young girls alternatives to the street. Given shelter at the « Un toit, une vie » Centre, open since 2004, these girls can bring their pregnancy to term under safe conditions, and learn how to take care of a newborn. In some cases, the girls are taken back to their families.

More and more awareness and prevention campaigns are being held with families, employers and young people, to fight against this growing phenomenon.

Activities held with young mothers in distress

  • Shelter and care for young girls, before and after the birth of their baby : accomodation, medical attention for the mother and child, maternity coaching…
  • Paternity search and birth registration
  • Literacy classes and vocational training for young girls
  • Follow-up visits to the newborns, their families and communities

Young mothers in distress: key figures per year

  • 100 young mothers under 18 years old can be given shelter at the ‘Un toit, une vie’ Centre
  • 100 girls receive vocational training
  • Over 3 years, 1000 to 1500 adults (police, social workers, teachers, parents, village heads and members of Local Protection Committees for children’s rights) have been mobilised via this project

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