The EJOM project (funded by the EU) organised trainings in five cohorts in 2018. As part of the push-match-pull methodology, participants are trained on basic skills during a ten day workshop before they continue with vocational training and are matched with employment opportunities. In the last training cohort, 378 young people participated (218 men and 160 women). We attended the basic training taking place in Diéma, Nioro du sahel and Yélimani, the Kayes region.

In the districts we visited, nearly one third of young Malians have left, looking for employment elsewhere. We talked to some programme participants to ask about their plans and their experiences with migration.

Founè Sissoko (32 years) from Diéma

Mahamadou Traoré (34 years) from Diéma

Founè (32 years) lives in Diéma. She has completed secondary school and has chosen to work in the craft industry with support from the EJOM project. "Thanks to the training I feel more fulfilled. I am convinced that I can undertake an activity that could be a source of income for me. The EJOM project will allow us women to be financially independent, less dependent on our husbands. All this contributes to maintaining a certain balance within our homes.”

Mahamadou Traoré (34 years) from Diéma completed primary school. With support from the EJOM project he is pursuing a career in horticulture. "Here in Diéma only migrants are the owners of the large buildings. We who have stayed have been constantly looking for opportunities to follow in their footsteps. With EJOM, mentalities are changing. We are now aware that we can be the builders of our destiny"

Amadou Fofana (38 years) from Nioro du Sahel

Mahamadou Gassama (23 years old) from Diéma

Amadou Fofana is 38 years old and lives in Nioro du Sahel. He choose to pursue employment in the horticulture sector with support from the project. "Money is everything, you just have to be able to seize the opportunities that are available to you, one of these opportunities for young people in Nioro du Sahel is the EJOM project. As a result of this training, each young person must be able to find their way even on a hill."

Mahamadou Gassama (23 years old) lives in Diéma. He has completed secondary school. After completed the training component of the EJOM programme, he intends to pursue a career in the crafts industries. "I lost five of my childhood friends on the migration path and others without any news. Despite these tragedies, I remain permanently motivated by the desire to try my luck in Europe. The EJOM project remains today my only source of motivation to stay here in Mali".