More than 30 per cent of girls in Mali will never go to school. Basic education is often lost with other fundamental rights as armed conflict increases in the north and central regions of the country.

Girls in conflict-affected areas are more than two times as likely to be out of school compared to boys. So to create impact, programming must meet the specific needs of girls in this volatile environment. Without it, they face a future without an alternative to the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability.

Alinea is responding to this need by creating new routes to education in Mali with a focus on girls, but also addressing boys. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Défi education des filles au Mali (DÉFI) project reduces barriers through innovative strategies, such as interactive radio programming, and provides direct support to vulnerable families and communities affected by conflict.

Working with Farm Radio International, Catholic Relief Services and Éducation internationale, this project addresses harmful social norms and other gender-related barriers, as well as public sector performance in providing equitable, gender-sensitive and evidence-based education services – aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

According to the United Nations, nearly 1 in 4 girls worldwide between 15 and 19 years old is not employed, in education or training compared to 1 in 10 boys in the same age group. On October 11, 2020 Alinea joins the world in marking International Day of the Girl Child and continuing the important work of creating a brighter future for the 1.1 billion girls worldwide.