Helping 47 young people earn a certificate of professional competence and 20 young people earn a technician’s diploma

In Mali, the economic landscape is largely dominated by informal markets. This does not make it easy for young people to become professionally integrated or find decent jobs. What’s more, the training offered is not adapted to the needs of the local market. In order to overcome those challenges, a training programme was established following several studies conducted by Acting for Life and an initial project confirming the initial analyses and prospects for the sector.

The Stonework Training Programme aims to promote the professional integration of young people not enrolled in school by improving the training that is offered and adapting it to local needs and resources through an innovative “field-school” system. During an initial phase, 47 young people earned a certificate of professional competence in masonry and received introductory training in stone cutting and paving.

The full training programme for stonework created in this phase will be rolled out starting in September 2016 in the form of a field-school and practical hands-on training projects for 26 students selected to pursue a technician’s diploma, and for a new class of 50 students from modest backgrounds. Students not selected for the technician’s diploma will be monitored and receive help finding work. Artisans from a stone-extraction cooperative will also be strengthened through materials and management tools. During this new three-year project, the artisans of the Dogon plateau will be strengthened through the provision of equipment to a stone-extraction cooperative and the implementation of a social-protection system.


  • diversify the economic activities in the region;
  • make use of local materials (stone) and savoir-faire (cutting, laying) in the building sector  and training;
  • train instructors;
  • decentralise professional training by getting local authorities and professionals involved;
  • ensure social protection for artisans by promoting security and resilience.

Key figures and results

  • 50 young people from modest backgrounds obtain a certificate of professional competence in masonry with a double specialisation in stone cutting and street paving;
  • 26 young people obtain a technician’s diploma in masonry with a specialisation in sanitation;
  • 24 young people trained without a specialisation are monitored and receive help finding work;
  • At least 3 new training modules were created, and a training reference guide was recognised by the national authorities;
  • Diversification of the offer, and development of a new skill that is adapted to needs and existing resources (sandstone);
  • Reduction in the rural exodus of young people;
  • Some twenty families, and the town of Bandiagara, now enjoy a totally clean street;
  • Some one hundred artisan families (700 people) will benefit from the social-protection scheme.

Project's local partners :