"We were allowed brilliant views into aspects of life in Kansongho. Welcomed by the entire community, we were also embraced as individuals and ushered into better understanding as the people of Kansongho share their own personal stories, shared their comforts, worked with us side by side, taught us their songs, celebrated great joys, and spoke of sorrow and hardships. I can only hope that both the differences and similarities of our cultures enhanced each other. We are indeed one people sharing far more than I ever imagined."
The Tandana Foundation is looking for a small group of dedicated and open-minded people to join an excursion to Mali, where we will spend time working with a village on a project that the village in assembly has designated a priority. We are looking for volunteers willing to come get dirty with us, live in local villages, and be amazed at the generosity and hospitality of new friends. Before and after our work, we will be rewarded with a tour of Mali’s spectacular and diverse countryside, meeting all kinds of people along the way, from fishermen to nomads, wood carvers to textile producers. This trip is an excellent opportunity to visit a remote, magnificent region, and simultaneously to give back by supporting local efforts.
What you may do on this trip:
Help a village build a grain bank
Participate in daily life alongside villagers
Travel by pinasse on the Niger River and sleep under the stars
See the mosque at Djenne, the world's largest mud-brick structure
Learn about and experience local arts such as mudcloths (bogolan) and dance
Cost: $2600, does not include airfare to Bamako, Mali but includes all in-country transportation, food, lodging, and activities.
Sample Itinerary for Mali Volunteer Venture
Arrive in Bamako on an evening flight.
Sleep in, orientation, drive to Segou.
Drive to Djenne, see the market.
See Djenne's famous mosque, visit artisans, and make our own mudcloths, drive to Sevare.
Drive to the village of Sal-Dimi, meet our hosts, and celebrate being together.
Work with villagers on the construction project. After work, relax with villagers, drink Malian tea, and learn about local culture.
Travel to the village of Kansongho, meet our friends there, and celebrate being together.
In Kansongho, help the women build a latrine for their cotton bank. Visit past Tandana projects. Water the fruit trees in the orchard.
Bid farewell to friends in Kansongho, drive to Sevare, and enjoy a nice dinner.
Visit the Mopti port and board a pinasse on the Niger River, travel upriver and sleep under the stars.
Continue the pinasse trip to Diafarabe, drive to Segou.
Drive to Bamako, final dinner, depart on late flight.
We're on hold due to concern for the security of foreigners traveling in Mali at this time. Our local staff in Mali are native to the area, so thankfully they are safe and well, as are all the villagers we work with.
When will the volunteer trips resume?
You are not the only ones asking! Our friends in Mali frequently ask when the next volunteer group will visit and are anxious to host us again. Be sure that we will schedule the next Mali Volunteer Venture as soon as the State Department lifts the travel warning for US citizens in Mali. As much as we are all itching to resume, safety is vital.
What's happening with the projects started by previous volunteers?
Our projects are carrying on with great success thanks to the leadership of our local staff. We are in close contact with them and continue to support many important initiatives there. You can visit our "What We Do" page to see our current and past activities. But never fear, there will be plenty more to do when you get there.
Les habitants du Cercle de Bandiagara ne manquent jamais de fournir un accueil chaleureux et unique à la Fondation Tandana. Avec un effort communautaire enthousiaste, les villageois saluent leurs nouveaux amis avec des expositions de fusil, tambours, chantant, dansant, des sketches et des discours-et dès le premier "Bonjour, " Tandana bénévoles se sentent à la maison.
Située à proximité de la frontière orientale du Mali, le Cercle de Bandiagara, désignée site du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO, abrite environ 350 000 personnes Dogon, ainsi qu'un grand nombre de Peuls et de Bambara. L'agriculture du peuple Dogon est principalement l'agriculture de subsistance, avec une focalisation sur le millet, le sorgho et les arachides. Les oignons sont également cultivés là où l'eau est disponible et ensuite vendus sur les marchés. En dépit des fortes influences de l'Islam, de la colonisation français et du christianisme, le peuple Dogon conserve un grand nombre de ses modes de vie traditionnels et de son patrimoine culturel commun, y compris des objets tels que des masques, des sculptures et des teintures, faits à la fois à l'indigo et à la boue techniques, ainsi que de nombreux festivals et danses anciennes. La vie quotidienne du peuple Dogon est l'un des travaux acharnés : marcher des milles pour le bois de chauffage, tirer l'eau des puits profonds à la main et briser les pierres du substratum rocheux pour les projets de construction. Leur lutte pour répondre à leurs besoins dans cette terre aride motive les villageois à entreprendre des projets pour améliorer leur situation et semble approfondir leur joie en célébrant leurs accomplissements et leurs nouvelles amitiés.