Our History

Our charity was started in 2001 by a group of people in the Oxford area after a visit by Sue Upton, an English development worker attached to the Malian agency Jeunesse et Developpement – ‘Youth and Development’ (J&D). She suggested that a small group of people in the UK could provide practical help, moral support and friendship links with J&D.

Nearly 15 years later J&D remains our principal partner in Mali. The group was set up in 1991 by 2 Malian graduates – Mamadou Kone and Mahamadou Cheick Diarra - strongly committed to development work in their country. Since its foundation J&D has become an accredited and well respected Malian NGO.

In addition to J&D, we are lucky to be able to support an extraordinary project with homeless street children in Bamako. Called Pensons a Demain – ‘Let’s Think about Tomorrow’ (PAD). It is led by a well-known and -respected Malian artist called Kader Keita.

You can read more about J&D and PAD on our Partnerships and Projects pages.

We have also aimed to promote Mali and Malians in the UK. We have convened meetings of development agencies working in Mali, held a national conference on the issues facing the country, and run an email network connecting people. We have set up the Mali Interest Group and the Mali Interest Hub and maintain good working links and relations with the Malian Community Council and the Honorary Malian Consul to the UK, who represent Malians living here.