“I’m 21 years old, I’m single and have no children. I live with my parents and I’m dependent on them for everything as now I have no money or income myself.” Haidara Fatoumata from Bamako is one of the young people who has joined the Value Chain Development and Youth Employment programme in Mali. She recently started her training as part of the programme. We talked to her to learn more about her life and her dreams.

After Haidara finished her studies she was not able to find a job after her graduation, so she has no source of income for herself. As result, she lives with her parents and is entirely dependent on them.

“Through the local branch of the Union of Young Muslims of Mali (Union des Jeunes Musulmans du Mali) I heard about this project, and I hoped that joining would give me a way to change my situation.” She hopes that the project will give her the skills that will allow her to start her own business. “The information I received before I joined the programme was of high quality, so I’m expecting good training and monitoring and continued support while I start my company.”

Haidara want to start a waste management company and clean up the city

But Haidara’s reasons for joining are bigger. “I want to live in a clean city with less unemployment. I want to acquire knowledge to help me set-up a company that will contribute to a clean city. This dream company will process plastic and will recycle waste into decorative objects, bins and other useful objects."

Finally, we ask Haidara whether she considered emigrating away from Mali to look for a better life like many of her fellow young people have done, instead of joining the programme. She tells us resolutely no. "I think that there are enough opportunities here in Mali, but people don’t explore them sufficiently. I think we can stay here and be wealthy, similar to the young people who leave the country and risk their lives.”