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Pensons à Demain - "Let's think about tomorrow"


Founded and led by the renowned Malian artist, Kader Keita, PAD works with vulnerable young people in Mali’s capital, Bamako, focussing on children living or working on the streets, many of whom have lost contact with their families and have little or no other source of support.

The project uses art, dance and drama to help the children recover  from their experiences and build their self-confidence and self-esteem. They learn to create Bogolan, which is the indigenous Malian art form of painting on cloth with natural ingredients, including mud from the river Niger and colourings and fixatives made from plants.

The project started with its signature intervention, working intensively with around 20 mainly teenage boys, over three months, many of whom are now accommodated at the project premises. They receive health care, meals and clothing, alongside some basic education and opportunities to develop various skills. The project team helps them to re-establish contact with their families and some return home to their villages of origin. Some are helped to attend school and others go on to make their own way, supporting themselves with the help of their new skills and know-how.

Several years ago PAD expanded its client group to include young mothers, in reponse to the many young girls who find themselves pregnant with few means of support. These young women can enrol in a year long course to learn sewing skills, followed by work experience with a practising tailor. They then leave with their own machine and the potential to support themselves and their child.

Most recently Kader has been working with young women in Bamako’s state detention centre, enabling them to participate in a weekly art class, develop their skills and see their work displayed in a public exhibition, thus giving their period of detention a whole new dimension.

PAD operates from rented premises in Bamako’s busy Commune IV, but the dream is to one day own its own premises so that the future is more secure. Improvements carried out to the building would then be an investment rather than risking an increase in the rent.

While MDG is Kader’s main funder, he is also supported by two groups in France and Mali-based state and international organisations.

You can find out more here:

2 boys creating bogolan art

Bogolan (mud cloth)

Bogolan is an age-old tradition in Malian culture. The dyeing process begins with the mashing and boiling, or soaking, of leaves from the n’gallama tree to create a dye bath. After soaking in the bath, the cotton cloth is dried in the sun and takes on a yellowish tint, which is more pronounced the stronger the sunlight. This dye bath is a crucial preparatory step in the process that readies the cloth for the application of pigment. Patterns are applied using a brush or stick dipped in a concoction of mud collected from riverbeds and this is carefully applied to the cloth to create the desired pattern or picture. After further drying in the sun the mud is removed to reveal the pattern left in the cloth. Kader and his team say that working with the mud has a calming effect on the young people they work with and the teaching process helps to create trust so that they can tell their stories and build relationships.

Back home to the village...

The PAD team makes a concerted effort to help young people re-establish contact with their families, which can involve accompanying them back to their village of  origin and supporting negociations to facilitate a return home or maintaining ongoing contact. Kader can be seen here with one such returnee and extended family and friends.

Kader as advocate...

Kader takes every opportuity to talk about the neglected needs of children and young people on the streets and to draw attention to the collective responsibility of adults to take care of them.

Young women in detention

PAD’s latest initiative, running weekly art workshops at Bamako’s female detention centre “Bolle Femme”. Young children stay in detention with their mothers and are also enjoying the sessions.

Group of boys with red tomato paste tins with man on unpaved, tree lined street

Children on the streets...

Kader out and about on his bike meeting youngsters on the streets. The red tomato paste tins are the recognised badge of children begging in Mali.

Young boy with hand on his heart standing in front of partner office sign board showing Mali and UK flags

Newly enrolled and happy...

A new arrival joining a three month training course, looking proud and happy outside the PAD building.

Smiling young woamn working at treadle sewing machine

Learning tailoring

One of the young women learning tailoring, working at one of the machines donated by MDG and below having just graduated and recieved her certificate and start up kit.

Smiling young woman sat with gifts on her lap and holding up a certificate of graduation
MDG visitors outside partner office with children and young women

MDG visits PAD

Various members of the MDG delegation that last visited Mali can be seen here outside the PAD building with Kader and members of his team and children and young women.

Young woman with baby tied on her back writing at a large blackboard with exercise book in her hand

Learning some literacy skills...

PAD offers an opportunity to learn and improve literacy skills adapted to the needs of those concerned. Below some young tailors are learning to keep records and record measurements.



2 young women writing in exercise books with a third in the background at a sewing machine