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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.

Addressing the long-standing practice of black Touaregs enslaved to white Touaregs, Ibrahim ag Idbaltanat offers an alternative social system based on fraternity and shared heritage to bring the Touareg communities in northern Mali together as one. Stigma and discrimination linked to slave caste identity, coupled with the issues isolation, have made both civil society and the government slow to react. Ibrahim is filling the void at a grassroots level, and assisting communities to reconsider and recreate what it means to be a Touareg.

About Project

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

To address widespread denial of the slave system—including by slaves themselves—Ibrahim had to get Touaregs to acknowledge that slavery existed and was a problem. Ibrahim brought black Touaregs together for discussion and reflection, and eventually invited the entire community to participate. In both private and public meetings, public events such as trainings, forums and cultural events, he encourages dialogue within the community to acknowledge the system and its harm to both individuals and the Touaregs' community. This approach brings slavery into the public domain for critique and advances Ibrahim's vision for a new type of Touareg community: A community that embraces all its members, regardless of skin color. Once the abolition of slavery gained root in Touareg groups, Ibrahim approached citizen organizations (COs) to establish the need for action, especially within professional circles. The slave movement within Touareg communities in the north resulted in the founding of Temedt (meaning "belly-button" in the Touareg language of Tamacheq): The association of the Malian Black Tamacheq people. Thriving membership brought enthusiastic volunteers to set up field offices throughout the country to advocate in new venues. Ibrahim and Temedt connected with organizations whose missions could encompass an anti-slavery focus, and this allowed them to tap into existing resources and networks to promote their cause. By building a network of partners and supporters to compliment a growing grassroots base, Ibrahim ensured the growing institutionalization of the problem. With enough community support and visibility, Ibrahim has appealed to the government for support. With the administration and other civil society representatives, Ibrahim is working towards the first law in Mali to criminalize slavery. After achieving institutional and legislative support, Ibrahim's movement will incorporate legal advocacy for slaves, economic development for black Touareg communities, and awareness raising within the education system.