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. Ongoing strikes by teachers in government schools have left many children in Mali under educated and even illiterate. Goers will join other workers seeking to assist these youths in improving their basic education level by holding regular classes to improve their literacy in French, the regional trade language. Goers will assist with both one-on-one tutoring relationships and larger class sessions, and will also be able to get involved in other outreach activities according to their interests - English teaching, sports ministry, etc. - as his or her linguistic fluency and cultural knowledge increases.
- Certain level of fluency in French
- Comfortable with both reading and speaking
- Willingness to learn a local language
- 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