Tribal Language Acquisition

Like an exquisite sandcastle formed in a harsh desert landscape, Mali is blessed by an extraordinary amount of beauty, wonders, talents and knowledge. Most of the country lies in the southern Sahara Desert, which produces an extremely hot, dust-laden environment, making Mali one of the hottest countries in the inhabited earth. It is mostly flat, rising to rolling northern plains covered by sand. It is the eighth largest country in Africa in terms of area, and it possesses a population of 14.5 million people, 90% of whom are Muslim.

Amidst this population is a beautiful tribal people who have lived for centuries in rural villages in the region around the Senegal River, known as the Soninke. Comprising nearly 2 million people, there are less than 100 known followers of Jesus amidst the Soninke, and all of them are scattered throughout the region. Therefore, most Soninke have not yet heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Goers will join a team that is incarnating Jesus amongst the Soninke, learning the language and culture, and working alongside others for Bible translation, literacy work and literature distribution. The Goer would work on language and cultural adaptation as their main task, learning the heart language of the local people, but would also be able to get involved in outreach activities according to their interests - literacy classes, English teaching, sports ministry, etc. - as his or her linguistic fluency and cultural knowledge increases.


Willingness to learn languages (a local language and maybe French)

Practical skills (eg DIY) helpful, not essential

Openness to meeting new people, and being a team player

Ideas and self-motivation

Understanding that this is real Africa - not a tourist version

Placement Details

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