Sini Sanuman, Empowering Survivors of Armed Sexual Violence in Mali



Hoping for a healthy tomorrow: Survivors at the Bamako Center

Sini Sanuman (“Healthy Tomorrow”) was set up in 2002 to coordinate a campaign by Malian civil society against excision/Female Genital Mutilation. The initiative was led by Siaka Traore, an accountant by profession, and supported by a loyal group of American activists in Boston. UNICEF began partnering with Sini Sanuman in 2007 and has continued to raise funds for its excision program. To read more about this important campaign visit this website.

Sini Sanuman’s work on excision meant that the group was well placed to respond to the outbreak of sexual violence that overwhelmed women in the north after Tuareg rebelled against the Malian government in early 2012. The rebels were joined by Islamic fighters, and together they imposed a harsh regime on the areas they occupied. Over half a million Malians were displaced, and many of them fled south to Bamako.

With funding from UNICEF, Sini Sanuman began an emergency program for women, and between 2012 and 2013 the group referred 221 women for medical services in Bamako. At the time, AP was supporting the pioneering work of SOS Femmes en Danger on war rape in the eastern Congo, and the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict suggested that a similar approach might be welcomed in Mali. Sini Sanuman and AP met in Bamako, visited recent IDP arrivals from the north, and submitted a proposal to Zivik/IFA in Berlin.

The program described on these pages was launched in June 2014. Sini Sanuman began by opening two centers, in the northern town of Bourem and in Bamako, where survivors of SGBV can recover in each other’s company and learn skills – soap-making, clothes-making and embroidery – that will boost their confidence and help them to make a living. Sixty women participated in 2014, and another 150 are being enrolled in 2015. The services are only offered for three months to benefit as many women as possible, but all of the women can continue making and selling soap even after they leave.


Valwntin Wasilew, from Zivik in Berlin, during a visit to the Bamako Center in September 2015. Valentin was accompanied by Mohammed Sylla, the center director (foreground) and Siaka Traore, Sini Sanuman’s president.

Looking ahead, Sini Sanuman hopes to expand the number of beneficiaries, professionalize the training, and sell products that are made at the two centers. While the focus in 2016 will be more on income generation, the core vision remains protection. By investing in women, Sini Sanuman hopes to offer an alternative to the violence and cruelty of 2012 and help prevent a recurrence of conflict, particularly in the north.

AP has deployed two talented Peace Fellows to support this exciting program. Giorgia Nicatore from Georgetown University, worked at Sini Sanuman from June to December in 2014. She was replaced in 2015 by Refilwe Moahi, a national from Botswana and recent graduate of Brandeis University. AP’s Executive Director, Iain Guest, has made three extensive visits to Mali and AP promotes the program from the US by exhibiting the spectacular Alafia Mali (Peace in Mali) quilts, and through our website, media outreach, and events.

This project is funded by IFA (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) with resources provided by the German Federal Foreign Office. We are particularly grateful to Valentin Wasilew, our Zivik/IFA program officer, who visited Mali in September 2015 and made many helpful suggestions. Valentin is seen in the photo above.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

The Challenge of Armed Sexual Violence in Mali



Brutal past, uncertain future: thousands of women were raped, forced into marriage and publicly abused by rebels and jihadists in 2012

“Malian women lived through hell.” This was the way one survivor of sexual violence put it in 2013, during a meeting with Sini Sanuman and AP.

The crisis erupted in early 2012, when Tuareg rebels, who had long been restless with central rule from Bamako, rose in the north of the country. They were joined by Islamic fighters, many of whom had opposed the regime of Ghadaffi in Libya and were allied with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). At the same time, the Malian army mounted a coup in Bamako and ruthlessly suppressed a counter-revolt by soldiers loyal to the government. This ruled out any effective response by the Malian authorities in the north. 

The “occupation” of the north by Tuareg rebels and Islamists was particularly harsh on women. Women were publicly beaten for not wearing a veil, for smoking, for riding a motorcycle, or for bathing in the river. Hundreds were raped, in public or in front of their families and husbands. Thousands were driven from their homes after losing animals and crops.

Forced marriage served as a cover for rape. Five of the 30 survivors at the Bourem center were forced into marriage at a young age. In one case, a 14 year-old girl was “married” to nine Islamic fighters at the same time. (The fighters paid a dowry of 4.5 million francs to her father.)  Two of the Bourem survivors have divorced their husbands. The memories of these traumatic events have remained vivid and fresh, and they are reflected in the graphic images of the second Alafia Mali quilt. (Photo) 


Women at the barrel of a gun: This image from the first Alafia Mali quilt recalls the artist’s experience in 2012

In December 2012, French forces expelled Islamists from populated areas in the north and on July 1, 2013 the UN began deploying a large peacekeeping force (MINUSMA) to Mali. Malians went to the polls on July 28, 2013 and elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita with a large majority. Peace talks began in Algiers on July 16, 2014 between the Malian government and armed groups.

In spite of this, security worsened throughout the north in 2014 and 2015. Attacks against UN peacekeepers have escalated, and travel by internationals has been sharply curtailed. Many IDPs have yet to return home from Bamako in the south, but emergency aid to Mali has shrunk even as the emergency persists. Unable to monitor their projects in person and besieged by demands from the Middle East, Western donors seem unsure whether to invest in the north or abandon the region altogether. 

The burden of building peace and addressing the needs of Malians, particularly women, has fallen squarely on Malian civil society and organizations like Sini Sanuman. They have undergone a steep learning curve: Malians were unprepared for the widespread sexual violence that followed the 2012 crisis. In addition, Mali is a Muslim society and any public discussion of sexual issues, including rape, is taboo. Any program of assistance must show tact and sensitivity.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

Survivors and Beneficiaries



Fatima, right, was the first victim of rape in the north who met with AP in 2013. Animata Sissoko, left, is an animator from Sini Sanuman.

Fatima (photo) covered her face and sobbed as she recalled how she had been raped by Tuareg rebels in the northern town of Gao duing the 2012 crisis. She told her story to Sini Sanuman and AP in the small bare room in Bamako where she was living with her six children.

The act, as she described it, was brutal. When the rebels came to her house she told them she was menstruating and begged them to leave her alone. They laughed and took turns to rape her in front of her children. Her husband had disappeared and was presumed dead. She had no money, and no extended family to help her.

Fatima was the first victim of war rape met by AP in 2013, and her story was sadly typical. Sini Sanuman’s program targets three categories of survivor: women like Fatima, who were physically abused because of their gender; those who were traumatized by what they saw; and those who have been economically or socially marginalized. Sini Sanuman has also discreetly supported several women who were impregnated by their rapists and decided to keep the child – one of the most distressing features of war rape.

Twenty-three of the women who stayed at the Bamako center in 2014 were direct survivors, like Fatima. One 40-year old woman, Mariam, showed the scars she received in Gao when rebels from the north beat her and slashed her with a knife. They then took her and other women to the riverbank, where they raped the women. Two of Mariam’s nieces, aged 16, were raped and killed. Her husband was also killed. Mariam has one son, aged 5, but no family in Bamako and she washes clothes to feed herself and her son. Others collect and recycle plastic and glass.


Of the 30 women who sought shelter at the Bourem center in 2014, 17 were raped, five suffered another form of violence, five had forced to marry young, and two suffered from “emotional violence.” Sini Sanuman staff collected testimony from the 30 Bourem women, and their accounts illustrate the brutality, as well as the systematic nature, of rape during the occupation.

Indirect: Many of the Sini Sanuman beneficiaries were deeply traumatized by what they saw. One woman at an animation meeting in the Bamako suburb of Sotuba recalled seeing her 16 year-old neighbor walking with her husband, a soldier, when they were attacked by rebels. The rebels killed the soldier and kidnapped his wife. After raping her several times, they stoned her to death. Another woman remembered how Islamists had broken into the family store and beat her husband. She brought her paralyzed husband and six children to Bamako and now supports the entire family by recycling plastic bags.

Economic distress: Many of the IDPs in Bamako live in poverty and this makes them vulnerable to SGBV. The problem is acute because more and more IDPs are moving between communes in search of work and lack a support system once they leave familiar surroundings. This lead to violence, and Sini Sanuman animators have recorded a series of sexual attacks on girls, some as young as six months. 

In many cases, of course, the three categories merge. When Fatima met with Sini Sanuman and AP in Bamako in 2013 she was about to be expelled from the room where she lived with her six children. She was afflicted by poverty as much as by trauma. This shows that any response must address the economic crisis as well as the psychological and medical needs of these women. If they are to regain their confidence and re-enter society, they must earn a living and learn a skill.  

Resilience: At the same time, women like Fatima and Mariam showed great courage in resisting the “occupation” of 2012-2013. Mariam Sidda Maiga, pictured below, works as an embroidery trainer at the Bourem center. She said that many women simply stayed indoors rather than wear a burka. One of her relatives refused point-blank to marry an Islamist, and escaped unharmed. “Resistance” in such a context can also mean caring for family-members after an attack, organizing family members to move hundreds of miles to Bamako, moving into a temporary shelter with strangers, or seeking a job to make ends meet.


Mariam Sidda Maiga lived through the occupation of Bourem by jihadists in 2012. She says that many women resisted by going about their normal lives.

This gives reason for hope. It also means that Sini Sanuman’s main goal is to help survivors regain their confidence, exercise their talents and provide for their families. These survivors are hard-working, talented, and keen to take advantage of opportunities that come their way.

As of October 2015 the urgency of the crisis of 2012 has receded, but women who were attacked in 2012 continue to seek help from Sini Sanuman and other NGOs. Oxfam GB, which also runs program in Bourem, estimates that another 250 women may need treatment. The UN Population Fund received over 800 new cases of SGBV between March and September of 2015. And for the many women who try to suppress the memory of what happened, the trauma only grows worse. Sini Sanuman’s program will be needed for some years to come.

Women who were interviewed for these pages are not identified by their full name. Those who are pictured gave permission for their photos to be used.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

Reaching out to Women Through Animation


Sini Sanuman’s first goal is to meet women and identify those in need. This is done through animation (sensibilisation) sessions like the one shown in this photo. It took place in 2013


Animated audience: Sini Sanuman has helped thousands of women express themselves and learn about sexual violence at public meetings like this. Those deemed most vulnerable are offered a place at a Sini Sanuman center.

AP attended a second animation session in the Sotuba neighborhood in October 2014. Fifty-four women attended and they included 15 who had been expelled from the north. Animator Fanta Keita from Sini Sanuman began by outlining the theme of the meeting, which was sexual violence and invited comments. The women from the north were most vocal, but the rest listened attentively, and several brought up cases of girls being molested in Bamako. 

Ms Keita asked how such incidents could be avoided, and this provoked a lively discussion: “Girls should not be left alone by their mothers, at school, or in compounds which are shared by other families. Men and women should have separate toilets. Girls should not ask for money from strangers, or wear ‘sexy clothes’.” While much of this might seem obvious, it was refreshing that such ideas came from the women themselves.

Sessions like this serve many different purposes. First, they allow women to exercise their right to expression in front of a sympathetic audience. Second, they enable Sini Sanuman to provide essential information about SGBV. Everything at these meetings is is up for discussion – rape, early marriage, forced marriage, excision – and no distinctions are drawn between the emergency in the north and the grinding poverty that afflicts Malian women. Many sessions end on a lighter note with singing, but this does not disguise the deadly nature of the issues. Animators also use the meetings to identify exceptionally vulnerable women and refer them to one of Sini Sanuman’s two centers, where they will be checked in by a psychologist. The program also has funding to refer a small number of serious medical cases to hospital.


Animator Mariam Seck at a meeting in the neighborhood of Bancady in Bamako. Meetings are organized by local associations.

All of this was on display at another session in Bamako attended by AP in October 2015 (photo left). Mariam Seck the lead animator in Bamako, addressed 40 women in the neighborhood of Bancady. At first the women were nervous, but they grew more confident as Mariam skillfully drew them out. The discussion then yielded a shocking disclosure. One woman, recently arrived from the north, has just been reunited with her daughter. The girl was 16 when she was taken by rebels in 2012 and raped. She has just given birth to a baby. Mariam made a note to talk to the woman after the meeting.

Since the program began in June 2014, animators like Mariam have reached out to thousands of women in Bourem and Bamako. Each meeting is organized through a local association which may also serve as a cooperative. The Kalany Women’s Association in Bourem helps members to makes leather goods. The Benkady Association in Bamako produces soap.


Iain Guest from AP with animators Fatoumata Keita and Assetou Toure at a 2014 animation.

The animators are experienced and also dedicated. Mariam Seck worked in the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and for the NGO World Education before joining Sini Sanuman in 2009. Rodrigue Dembele was a reporter for a Malian newspaper and radio before he joined up as an animator in 2012. Fanta Keita worked at Italian Cooperation. Assetou Touré received her degree in social administration and worked for World Vision and other Malian NGOs before signing up in 2009.  Zaliha Maiga, one of the three animators in Bourem, worked in a department store in Bamako. 

The work is demanding, but they do not complain. Mariam Seck travels twenty kilometers on her motorcycle to work every day. In Bourem, Ms Maiga and the other animators live without running water or electricity. Food is expensive – the shops are empty of bread by 10 in the morning. The heat can be oppressive. Ms Maiga lived in Bamako before leaving for Bourem, and it took time to adjust. She has since become a master of improvisation.


Important ally: This community leader has received several trainings from Sini Sanuman and uses his influence to denounce SGBV

Legal aid: Women have the right to seek justice and Sini Sanuman is keen to offer them the chance. But the Malian justice system has spluttered since the 2012 crisis and no war rapist had been successfully prosecuted by September 2015. Added to which, it is notoriously difficult to identify the attackers, let alone arrest them. Sini Sanuman has taken up four cases of rape, but at considerable cost. After Sini Sanuman sought the prosecution of a man who assaulted his 4-year old niece, the girl’s furious father charged Sini Sanuman with libel. This does not exactly provide women with an incentive to denounce their attackers. 

But it may be changing. Helped by the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA), a group of six NGOs has collected evidence from 80 victims and submitted a class-action suit to the Bamako courts. The first hearing was due in early October. If a Sini Sanuman beneficiary seeks legal redress, she will likely be referred to the NGOs.

Working through local leaders: Animators also work through local section chiefs (chefs de quartier), their counselors, and religious leaders (marabous), all of whom wield great influence in communities. One counselor in the section of Djelibougou said that widows are most in need and praised Sini Sanuman (photo). One of his roles is to advise married couples, and sometimes he will see between 4 and 5 couples a month. This puts him in a strong position to argue for the protection of women.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

Recovery Through Training in Bamako and Bourem



The origins of shea butter soap: Women from the Ane Association in Cayo village harvest shea nuts and grind them down to oil, which is then sold to the Sini Sanuman center in Bamako

The program seeks to restore the confidence of its beneficiaries through training at the two centers in Bourem and Bamako. Sini Sanuman had not run a center or provided services prior to 2014, so the centers represented a new departure. They quickly became the glue that holds the program together – a place where women can acquire skills, take refuge from the pressures of daily life, find companionship with other women, and receive a nutritional meal. The program trains beneficiaries in soap-making, embroidery, and clothes-making.

Soap: Soap is easy to make and easy to sell. In addition, it promotes family hygiene. Given this, the program decided to base training around soap. The first year (2014) was an experiment. Working under their two trainers, Aissata Toure in Bamako and Fadimata Toure in Bourem, the women began by heating oil that was extracted from palm trees and the local shea nut also known as karite. The boiling oil was then mixed with water, caustic soda, and a small amount of soap powder. Perfume was added to provide fragrance. Once it acquired a thick consistency, the mixture was poured into a mould and set within minutes. The hardened blocks of soap were then smoothed with a knife. The trainees also produce bags of liquid general purpose cleaning soap. During the six months of the program, the two centers produced 780 bars of palm oil soap and shea butter (beurre de karite), and 75 liters of all-purpose liquid soap.


The Bamako center produces soap from palm oil and shea butter. They wear masks for protection against caustic soda fumes.

The work is not easy, and the women had to wear masks against the fumes of the caustic soda in the hot sun. (Photo) But they like working together and learning a skill.

More important, they earn money. After leaving the center all women receive a small reintegration fee of 10,000 CFA ($18). The 2014 trainees decided to pool their fees, so that they could continue to work and sell soap through the center after they left.  They delegated two members to open a bank account, bought soap material, returned to the center to make more soap and then headed out to market. Sabine, 34, one of the two treasurers, received 12 boxes of soap which she sold for 24,000 CFA – enough to cover her living costs for two months. The program also sold shea butter soap at the German embassy before Christmas. Click here to see shea soap being made at the Bamako center.


Proud producer: Shea butter soap is bagged and readied for sale

This first successful experiment provided Sini Sanuman with many exciting ideas for 2015/2016. First, the program will buy the raw material directly from village associations, thus expanding the network of beneficiaries and cutting out the middlemen. In October 2015, Sini Sanuman and AP visited the Ane Association in Kayo village and watched as several members produced karite oil from the karate nuts, as pictured at the top of this page. Click here to see shea butter oil being made. The two partner websites will explain the different stages of soap-making as part of a drive to promote and sell shea butter soap in the US. The program will also set production targets for the three types of soap produced at the centers.

Clothes: Working with sewing machines under the watchful eye of the trainers, Abi Konate in Bamako and Albakya Toure in Bourem, the women are taught how to use a sewing machine, cut cloth, make a design and produce an article of clothing.

This is an enjoyable activity but several mistakes were made in 2014. The wrong material was purchased. The budget was exhausted within a month. Sewing machines were broken. But all of this was a learning experience and by 2015, things were running more smoothly at the two centers. 


Training to be tailors: Both centers offer 3 months of training in how to make clothes. The program hopes to make school uniforms in 2016.

The biggest question mark is time. Three months is not long enough to train a tailor, and many women left the center with plenty of motivation but insufficient motivation. Sabine works for 3 days a week at a small clothes repair shop to gain more experience, but she does not earn a salary. As a result, the program is preparing to extend training for 6 months, which is about the minimum time needed to produce for sale. The trainers will also streamline their products and expand the number of beneficiaries by producing school uniforms for girl students from poor families or orphanages. “We can do it!” says Abi Konate, the dynamic and optimistic trainer.

Embroidering: Embroidering is not central to Malian culture, like cloth design, but when done collectively it can be therapeutic and satisfying, as well as offer women a way to express themselves. As a result, it was decided to offer embroidering as an experiment in 2014, and ask every beneficiary to produce a square for an advocacy quilt that would be assembled in the US. This would be a satisfying deliverable and also proof that the trainee has reached a level of competency. Peace Fellow Giorgia Nicatore was given the task of working with the two trainers in Bourem and Bamako to produce the squares.


Expression of anger: Women at the Bamako center seized the chance to describe their ordeal through embroidery

The first step was to train the women to sew. Mariam Sidda Maiga, the Bourem trainer, was taught by her mother, a trained seamstress. Working from her mother’s designs, Mrs Maiga taught 15 basic stitches. Things moved faster at the Bamako centre, where Oumou Toure, the trainer, purchased large amounts of bright cloth and encouraged her students to use their creativity. The result was striking, but unsuitable for a quilt.


Student artists helped the women translate their ideas into images

Both centers encountered problems with design. Asked to produce a design that “described their lives,” the women did not know where to start. Animators asked two art students, Ousmane Toure and Younouss Ouonogo, to help the women translate their ideas into designs. (Photo) This unleashed a flood of creativity and produced some shocking images. The psychologist was consulted and concluded that the designs were an authentic expression of what the women felt.

Within a day the designs had been outlined on cloth, using carbon paper, and the women were hard at work. Several wept as they explained their designs. One woman, Djingareye, depicted the armed Tuareg who had arrived on camels and burned down her house. The Bourem trainees, in contrast, opted for gentle scenes of village life. Giorgia Nicatore, who worked in Bamako for 7 months, brought the squares back to the US in December and they were assembled into two striking quilts in the spring by the PM Fiber Arts Guild in Bethesda. The two centers followed the same path in 2015, and produced a score of elegant camel designs for a new Camel quilt. The story of the quilts is told on this page.


Sellable product: These seat covers (napperons) sell well at events and could offer beneficiaries a source of revenue

By the Fall of 2015, the program had created a clear procedure at both centers and shown that embroidering could be a form of therapy. It was time to think of income-generation. The 2016 trainees will continue to make embroidered quilt squares, but with a view to sales rather than as a personal statement. AP will assemble the quilts and offer them for sale in the US. In Mali, trainees will be taught to decorate curtains and table-cloths, which can produce an income, and make seat covers (napperons).

Given this increasing focus on income, the program added a fourth training in 2015, on home economics. The goal was to help the women manage their money, open a bank account, keep accounts, retain receipts and plan budgets. Sini Sanuman helped 80 women open a bank account in 2011 and so has the experience to make this succeed.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

The Campaign Team


Sini Sanuman’s (Healthy Tomorrow) has grown since taking on the challenge of armed sexual violence in 2012. Eighteen staff members work in the capital, Bamako, and are pictured right. Ten staff work at the center in Bourem. The turn over of staff has been very small, testifying to their dedication and experience.

The program has been backed up by AP in Mali and the US. Peace Fellows, Giorgia Nicatore (2014) and Refilwe Moahi (2015) have served at Sini Sanuman. Iain Guest from AP has made several visits to advise, help with drafting reports and proposals, and produce web content. AP staff are pictured below.

sini sanuman team in Bamako

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Siaka Traore, President (Bamako)

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Alpha Boubeye, Coordinator (Bamako and Bourem)

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Mariam Seck, Coordinator of Outreach (Bamako)

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Awa Sangare, Program Assistant (Bamako)

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Sitan Konate, Finances (Bamako)

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Left: Mohamed Sylla, psychologist and center director (Bamako)

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Fatoumata Diabate, Director of the Bourem center

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Left: Assetou Toure, Animator (Bamako) with Valentin Wasilew

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Animata Sissoko, Animator (Bamako)

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Zaliha Maiga, Animator (Bourem)

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Aissata Toure, Soap trainer (Bamako)

Mariam Sidda Maiga, Bourem trainer

Mariam Sidda Maigo, Embroidery trainer (Bourem)

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Left: Massaran Traore, Embroidery trainer (Bamako)

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Abi Konate, Clothes-making trainer (Bamako)

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Djeneba Samake, Cook (Bamako)

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Left: Giorgia Nicatore, 2014 Peace Fellow with Aissata Toure

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Left: Refilwe Moahi, 2015 Peace Fellow with Awa Sangare

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Giorgia Nicatore and Iain Guest with trainers, shopping in Bamako for cloth

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

Visuals

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

Outreach in Mali, Europe and the US


The program has used several different ways to promote the mission and model since the launch in 2014. In Mali, Sini Sanuman has combined networking, advocacy and marketing.


Soap and seat covers sold best when Sini Sanuman promoted products from the Bamako center at the Germn embassy’s 2014 Christmas fair

After playing a leading role in the campaign against excision, Sini Sanuman has won the confidence of UN agencies and this has been used to win allies for the current campaign against SGBV. UNICEF funded activities at the Bourem center through an emergency grant in 2014, and Sini Sanuman has approached UN Women about a partnership. Sini Sanuman is also an active participant in the bi-weekly meetings for NGOs that work on SGBV, coordinated by the UN Population Fund.

Looking ahead, Sini Sanuman hopes to forge closer alliances with NGOs and civil society that have a different expertise but share similar goals. It is currently talking to Oxfam and GREFFA, which both work on SGBV in Bourem but do not provide professional training at a center.

in 2014 Sini Sanuman also brtanched into marketing products that were made at the Bamako center. The program was given a stall at the Christmas fair that is organized each year by the German Embassy in Bamako. Soap and seat covers proved particularly popular and the fair yielded over $1,000.


Katie Petitt from AP describes the second Mali quilt at an exhibition in Rockville Maryland, in September 2015

In the US and Europe, AP has used the two Mali quilts to spread the message. The story of how the quilts were assembled by the PM Fiber Arts Guild is told here. AP showed the quilts for the first time in New Jersey and again at a gallery near Washington in September. Voice of America filmed the exhibition and the program is expected to be shown before the end of 2015. AP also showed one of the quilts at a briefing at the World Bank in November 2015.

AP hopes to promote the program’s vision of recovery through training and conflict prevention with the US government and the UN Special Rapporteur on Armed Sexual Violence in 2016.

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

The Alafia Mali (Peace in Mali) Quilts


Read about the Alafia Mali quilts by clicking on the images below

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first mali quilt

Contact

Address:

BP:E 4829, Bamako, Mali Rue 84 porte 166, Immeuble MUTEC EX Djiguissèmè Badalabougou SEMA I (00223)

Phone:(+223)202254

Email: SiniSanuman@yahoo.fr

Website: www.StopExcision.net

AP on Flickr

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