Mali: Health, Gender, and Community Empowerment
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Short field excursions in and around Bamako typically include visiting the following places:
Muso Kunda (Women's Museum)
This museum exhibits historical customs and traditions of Malian women. During the visit, students will learn about the struggle for women's emancipation.
Center Aoua Keita
This center serves as a women's training and learning center where women can develop important skills related to finding employment. Many women in the center receive training to become tailors, nurses, small business managers, and teachers. They might also receive training on how to form microfinance credit associations and cooperatives.
While visiting this NGO, students learn about programs established to address current health issues and help fight diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Students will have an opportunity to visit Pivot/Sante field offices outside Bamako and to participate in projects of their choice, for example projects focused on HIV/AIDS or the empowerment of villagers.
Sikasso is the urban location for the Senufo and Minianka people and was at one time surrounded by the Tata, the great wall which protected the city during periods of conflict. While in Sikasso, students participate in a day trip to Missirikoro to visit a cave in which past inhabitants used to hide during times of war. This cave has been used by Muslims, Christians, and those practicing traditional religions, and it’s divided into three parts to accommodate these different religious groups. Students also visit 'Les Chutes de Farako', a set of waterfalls located approximately 40 km from the city center.
Students also visit Teryabugou, a well-known Bambara village located on the Niger River known for being a successful example of strong local community organization. It is a site for the experimentation of renewable energies, including solar power and biofuels. Students have the opportunity to participate in the process of clay pot making with local female artisans or witness the wide range of bird species present in the community.
Students have a direct encounter with Mali’s history in this riverside town where the Sosso king, Soumangourou Kante, lost a decisive final battle against Soundiata Keita, the Mande king. Today, Koulikoro is home to a rural polytechnic institute where agro-technology is being used to produce new varieties of potatoes, and plants are being developed to help kill worms that damage vegetables and other plants.
Selengue is a rural hydro-electric village where students learn about the economic impact of a large dam. Students consider how the dam has led to an increase in women’s gardening, the cultivation of rice fields, fishing, and transportation on the river.
Woroni is a rustic village with amazing waterfalls, a pleasant climate, and verdant hills. Students appreciate the contrast between this area and other parts of Mali.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Mali, Bamako
Language Study: French
Prerequisites: 3 semesters French Read more...
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