Family Care International began work in Mali in 2002 with research  and advocacy to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health. A field office was opened in Bamako, the capital, in the following year. FCI established a satellite office in Mopti, northeast of the capital on the Niger River, in 2009. Both offices are led and staffed by health and advocacy professionals who are Malian nationals.

FCI has been registered in Mali as a non-governmental organization since 2003. FCI works closely with the Ministry of Health and the country offices of the major UN agencies, and was named as a national strategic partner of the United Nations Population Fund–UNFPA in 2012.

FCI's capabilities in Mali

►Download FCI-Mali's capabilities brochure (in French, X.X MB)

FCI-Mali is recognized nationally, and across Francophone West Africa, for its expertise in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. FCI works, in close partnership with youth-led and youth-serving civil society groups, to empower and educate young people to avoid unintended pregnancy and HIV infection, prevent gender-based violence, and embark on healthy, productive adult lives. FCI focuses on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly young women and men who have left school and entered the informal economy.

FCI-Mali collaborates closely with government, UN agency, and civil society partners at the national, regional, and local levels, engaging in constructive activism to strengthen reproductive and maternal health policies and programs, and providing technical support that strengthens local partners' capacity to design and implement effective projects. Our work focuses on:

  • Conducting constructive, evidence-based advocacy to support greater financial investment in adolescents' and women's reproductive health, to build political commitment, and to promote proven interventions
  • Convening national and local leaders, political and administrative authorities, civil society organizations, and religious and customary leaders to build consensus around policies and actions and encourage positive health behaviors
  • Strengthening the capacity of community-based and youth-serving organizations to strengthen policies; plan, develop, and implement programs; and create innovative tools
  • Mobilizing communities, civil society partners, and grassroots organizations to advocate for improved access to and quality of health services, and to educate women, men, and young people on issues of sexual and reproductive health
  • Building young people's life skills, and their understanding of sexual and reproductive health, through a range of approaches including peer education and theater forums
  • Developing culturally appropriate training, education and advocacy tools and technical publications relating to sexual and reproductive health

Projects and achievements

FCI-Mali is a leading player in national and regional efforts to  improve maternal and reproductive health. At the local level, FCI works in a many parts of the country; our work has had particular impact in Bamako, Mali's capital, and in urban and rural communities in and around the city of Mopti. The Mopti region has among the country's lowest coverage levels for key reproductive, maternal, and newborn health services: for example, only 16% of women there give birth with a skilled attendant, compared with 86% in Bamako. FCI's recent work has included:

  • Working closely with the Health and Youth ministries and with other government agencies in developing national strategies and roadmaps on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention, and related issues
  • Participating as a civil society representative in multi-national discussions on developing structures to ensure accountability for national commitments to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health and other international frameworks
  • Being selected by UN agencies and donors to develop and implement emergency reproductive health and gender-based violence prevention programs targeting populations displaced by civil conflict, in a context where they had suspended working directly with government after 2012 coup d'etat
  • Working with government and civil society partners to promote integration of reproductive, maternal, and child health programs with established HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis strategies
  • Developing groundbreaking programs to reach young people who have left school and joined the informal economy — as apprentices, domestic workers, truck drivers, sex workers, or market vendors — with critical information about avoiding HIV infection, preventing unintended pregnancy, reducing gender-based violence, and addressing female genital mutiliation, including:
    • Training hundreds of young peer educators to organize and lead sexual and reproductive health awareness discussions and workshops in the workplaces, community centers, and hangouts where young people congregate
    • Strengthening the capacity of youth-led organizations to advocate for better policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to essential information, and improved employment and training policies
    • Developing educational materials, including adaptations of FCI's You, Your Life, Your Dreams, to reach young people in their own languages, including Fulani,  Bambara, French, and Arabic
    • Working with young people to develop and broadcast radio programs that inform youth audiences about sexual and reproductive health topics, in language and style that appeal to adolescents' needs and interests
    • Exploring cultural approaches, including street theater and youth-led theater forums, to convey essential information about health and life skills
  • Engaging influential adults in the community, including Muslim and Christian religious leaders and employers, to increase their knowledge about the sexual and reproductive health challenges facing young workers; mobilize their support for efforts to reach marginalized youth with information and services; and promote better dialogues with young people
  • Developing and disseminating a curriculum — in Bambara, Arabic, and French — that equips parents with information and communication skills to talk with their children about sexual and reproductive health issues; and training counselors in use of the curriculum with parents in the community

 ►View a documentary video (in Spanish, with French subtitles, 7 minutes) on FCI's cultural programs to address adolescents' sexual and reproductive health in Mali and other countries:

For more information contact:

Sotuba ACI
Cité Mali Univers
Maison Porte D 15

Bamako, Mali
Tel/Fax: +(223) 20 24 29 15
Email: fcimali [@] fcimail [.] org

Family Care International
Francophone Africa Program

45 Broadway, Suite 320
New York, NY 10006
Tel : (212) 941-5300
Fax: (212) 941-5563
Email: fcifranco [@] fcimail [.] org









About Mali

Mali is a poor, land-locked West African nation of 16 million people. Much of the northern part of the country lies in the Saraha Desert; the capital, Bamako, is situated along the Niger River.

Mali ranks 182nd out of 187 countries listed on the United Nations' Human Development Index, as of 2012, with a gross per capita income of $853. Political instability, and armed conflict between the government and Islamist rebels in the northern part of the country, exacerbated Mali's health and development challenges during 2012.

Mali's maternal mortality ratio, according to  2010 UN interagency estimates, was 540 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which represents a 51% decrease in maternal mortality since 1990. This ratio is moderately higher than the overall maternal mortality ratio for sub-Saharan Africa, which was 500 per 100,000 in 2010, and indicates that Mali has been making progress toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) target of reducing maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015.

According to Countdown to 2015, 49% of births in Mali were attended by a skilled health worker as of 2006. This represents only a modest increase since 1995-96, when 4 in 10 births took place with a skilled attendant, and still left more than half of all women still giving birth without any skilled care. The total fertility rate in 2010 was 6.3 children per woman, and only 19% of adult women who wished to control their fertility had access to family planning (as of 2006).

More detailed data on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health in Burkina Faso are available from Countdown to 2015.

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New curriculum helps parents talk to teens about sexuality and health

FCI-Mali, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Mali, and with support from The World Bank and UNFPA Mali, has developed and published the Curriculum for Training Parents: Communicating with Children, Adolescents, and Young People about Sexual and Reproductive Health. This set of publications was created, after close study of community needs, to provide parents with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with their adolescent children about contraception, HIV, and other reproductive health issues, in a context where cultural factors often limit young people’s exposure to critical information on health and sexuality. The curriculum, available in French, Arabic, and Bambara (Bamanankan), Mali’s most common languages, can be downloaded from the FCI website.

FCI-Mali expands sexual health program for young people
In Mopti, a port city located along the Niger River in Mali, West Africa, many young people leave school at a young age, taking work in informal or casual jobs, as mechanics, salespeople, and maids. In November 2010, FCI staff trained 15 girls and 15 boys as peer educators. Since then, the impact of this program has grown steadily, including hundreds of group meetings, home visits, and counseling sessions that reached thousands of young people with accurate information about health and sexuality. An awareness campaign in remote rural villages along the Niger River reached thousands more, hundreds of whom took advantage of voluntary HIV testing. Read full story...

Arming young people in Mali with urgently-needed information

In Mali, where a majority of the population is under 25 years old, over 40% of all girls between 15 and 19 years old are pregnant or have already become mothers. Since 2010, FCI's National Director, Fatimata Kane, has been part of intensive, government-led effort to develop and test new curricula for training health care workers to provide comprehensive health services for young people, based on WHO’s global standards. Read full story...

FCI launches second French edition of You, Your Life, Your Dreams (Vous, votre vie, vos rêves)

You, Your Life, Your Dreams was developed by FCI to help young people stay healthy and make informed decisions about their sexual lives. This 2nd edition of Vous, votre vie, vos rêves, published in 2010,  provides young people in Francophone Africa with additional, updated information on issues including female genital mutilation, HIV and AIDS, access to emergency contraception, and gender equity. It was initially distributed in 120 middle schools in six regions of Senegal, and has since been used in Mali and across the region. An electronic version is also available for free download on the FCI website. Read full story...

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