AJA – Association Jeunesse Action Mali

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AJA – Association Jeunesse Action Mali

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Souleymane Sarr seeks to create what he calls "the new generation" of artisans in Mali. He's training artisans, unemployed school graduates and street youth, to create and produce consumer goods services in clear market demand. In the process he's revolutionizing the traditional creativity stifling apprenticeship system.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Souleymane's new approach to training artisans involves pairing unemployed university graduates, "who think they know everything," as Souleymane says, with unemployed street youth, "who think they know nothing". The result is teams of young people capable of launching their own micro-enterprises.Souleymane provides each group with a six-month training he describes as, "not what traditional artisans do, and not what universities do, but a bit between the two". In addition, Souleymane provides six months of follow up and support to the groups during the early stages of their enterprises. He says a "natural complementarily" will arise between some groups, which will work together, each specializing on one aspect of production, to form "mini-factories in the street."Souleymane explains that this next generation of artisans will be entirely self-sufficient. Souleymane's system will also help overcome deep-seated colonial values: "The colonial system told us that the way was to go to school, to wear a starched shirt. We need to understand that there are other ways to do it. However, we need to also understand that the starched shirts are not the enemy."