Inclusive, equitable and quality education for girls living in conflict-affected areas in Mali


Inclusive, equitable and quality education for girls living in conflict-affected areas in Mali

The context

Education has suffered enormously in Mali since the coup d’etat in 2012, ensuing military intervention in the north and regular uprisings by rebel and extremist groups throughout the country. Despite increasing stability, the Malian education system is still far from meeting the needs of children and their teachers. Mass displacement of people and the closure or destruction of schools as a result of conflict and climate change means that many children are unable to go to school. More than 2 million school-aged children were not enrolled in school before the coronavirus, and more than half of Mali’s youth ages 15 to 24 are not literate. With children vulnerable to violence and recruitment into armed groups, they need opportunities for education and strong support systems within their families and communities.

Our approach

In keeping with our expanding portfolio on educational projects, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the Défi project aims to reduce barriers to girls’ education through interactive radio programming, digital innovation, vocational training, remedial classes for girls with learning difficulties as well as providing direct support to vulnerable families and communities affected by conflict. In a partnership led Alinea, alongside Catholic Relief Services and Education 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. 

In particular, Farm Radio will be training women and men broadcasters at eight radio stations to deliver gender-sensitive and interactive programming. We will also produce and distribute broadcaster resources including radio scripts on some of the harmful social norms that prevent girls from accessing their right to education, such as gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, household responsibilities and early forced marriage. 

Results so far



Radio stations


Increase in school attendance in Gouzoureye (from 15 to 22%)


Mobile interactions so far



  • Alinea
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Education Internationale

Project snapshot

  • Duration: 5 years, 2019-2023
  • Budget: $4.9M CAD
  • Radio stations: 61
  • Languages: Twi, Bambara, French
Exploring the Potential for Interactive Radio to Improve Accountability and Responsiveness to Small-scale Farmers in Tanzania

“The advice made me reflect deeply. I immediately talked with my wife to explain the mistake that we would make by giving away our daughter in marriage. In the end, we decided that she should finish her studies.”

Paul Yaya Traoré,
Father, Lenekuy, Mali

Project goals

Ultimate goal: Inclusive, equitable and quality education for vulnerable girls and the reduction of barriers to education such as harmful social norms in conflict-affected areas in the regions of Ségou, Mopti, Gao and Timbuktu, Mali

Immediate goal

  • Reducing harmful social norms and other gender-related barriers affecting girls' education in conflict-affected areas through interactive radio programs

Intermediate goal

  • Improved commitment and attitudes of local authorities, community and religious leaders and families in favor of girls' education in conflict-affected zones
  • Improved opportunities and capacity of women and girls in conflict-affected areas to claim their right to education and have their voices heard in decision-making processes 
  • Increased equitable access and retention of vulnerable girls and out-of-school children and youth enrolled in education
  • Increase and improvement of formal and non-formal gender-sensitive, safe and quality educational pathways for out-of-school children in conflict zones