Increasing incomes through cooperatives

The project aims to help 120 women from six experienced savings groups to launch small business cooperatives, enabling them to earn additional income to pay for basic services for themselves and their children. To achieve this, the project will increase their vocational and small business management skills, with the aim of increasing their incomes by the end of the project. In the longer term, the women should be able to pay for their children’s school fees. The project builds on a Mali Health Savings for Health programme that helps women in poor, peri-urban communities to set up savings groups and to save and lend money to pay the high fees for basic primary and preventive healthcare.


The NGO: Mali Health is an American NGO founded in 2007. It aims to improve maternal and child health and survival in poor, peri-urban communities in Bamako, Mali, by helping mothers and children access high-quality primary care and preventative healthcare.



Health / Community Development / Education


January 2018 – December 2019


Bamako / Mali

With whom

Mali Health



18.5 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 770/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
41% (2009)

Literacy rate
33% (2016)

Human Development Index
182nd out of 189 countries (2018)

Mali has experienced conflict on a regular basis since its independence in 1960. The military coup in March 2012 triggered a political and security crisis and although peace negotiations were concluded in 2015, the situation remains volatile, preventing large-scale return of those who fled the country or are internally displaced. Fragile security in the northern regions is hampering economic recovery. The crisis has worsened the human development outlook; chronic food insecurity is affecting 25% of families. One in three children under-five suffers from stunting. Drought and conflict have increased the extreme poverty rate, rising from 48% in 2011 to 50% in 2013.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.