JOLIBA TRUST UPDATE
You may remember that earlier in the year The Joliba Trust was the lead charity supported in 2015 by St Marys. Since then you will have seen on the news reports of a terrorist attack in the capital, Bamako, and may be wondering whether this has affected the work of the Trust. Thankfully the villages helped by the Joliba Trust are in the south of the country and so they have not been personally affected, though of course they have been indirectly because of a slowing down of inward investment into Mali. The Trust was extremely grateful for our help, as you will see from the update from Caroline Hart, the Secretary of the Trust:
I am writing to thank you for all your kind support of Joliba’s work. Thanks to your help, we have achieved more than ever before, and it has been a truly amazing year. The communities we work with have managed to triple their work on dune stabilisation. With only a modest budget, community volunteers have planted even more trees than the Woodland Trust has in the whole of Britain. This is restoring biodiversity, improving soil, climate and crop yields and providing the resources everyone needs to survive and to maintain their livelihoods.
We have continued our work on income-generation for women, and have supplemented this with a new ‘saving for change’ scheme, which gives women full control of their funds. It is also exciting that so much revenue is beginning to be generated from tree products, and that within a couple of years, with increasing planting, this is likely to be multiplied a hundredfold.
Thank you for your wonderfully generous support for water in villages which so desperately need it. We have built 13 wells this year and this has transformed everyone’s lives in these villages. Our work to improve cattle health and livestock-raising livelihoods is also going extremely well, and is having a big impact.
Communities in Mali need your help now more than ever. In addition to the problems of land impoverishment and climate change, people’s livelihoods are also being severely affected by fragile political stability, poor market prices, the loss of aid and tourism. In many areas people are now finding it difficult to make ends meet, and are being forced to leave their homes to survive.
We would like to thank you for your support, which goes such a long way, and is so greatly appreciated. On behalf of all our staff and everyone we work with in Mali, we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ and wish you a happy Christmas and New Year.