Our charity was started in 2001 by a group of people in the Oxford area after a visit by Sue Upton, an English development worker attached to the Malian agency Jeunesse et Développement. She suggested that a small group of people in the UK could provide practical help, moral support and friendship links with J and D.
J and D is a young organisation set up in 1991 by 2 Malian graduates, strongly committed to development work in their country but unable to find work in existing agencies. Since its foundation J and D has become an accredited and well respected Malian NGO. Among its achievements are a leading role in the introduction of the ‘Reflect’ literacy programme pioneered by Action Aid, an ongoing integrated development programme in Manankoro, in the far rural south of Mali and work with street children in Bamako. In recent times J and D has extended its work into a Peer Educator Reproductive Health programme in Bamako, and its work with disadvantaged children has developed through support from Comic Relief into a range of initiatives not only in Bamako, but Burkina Faso and Togo, as well.
As well as raising funds for vital development work, our group intended from the beginning to build a partnership with J and D which could
enable members of both organisations to learn about each other’s cultures. From the beginning educational visits in both directions have been an important feature of the relationship, and the two organisations have worked together on providing work experience for a number of young volunteers. www.malidg.org.uk