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The Inaugural Festival for Little People

Written By DIA Kadidia Tangara, Communications Officer, Accountability Lab,  Linking and Learning Facilitator, Mali 

Organised by Malian NGO, the Groupement pour les Actions de Développement Communautaire or GADEC, an Innovate and Learn grantee, the first edition of the Festival for Little People took place in Segou, the fourth largest region in Mali between 1-6 February 2019.

The key objective was to empower this marginalised group of little people, and the event registered little people from all over the region.

As enshrined in the Voice principles, GADEC organises and amplifies their activities to fight against the marginalisation of the group they work with. It is in with this background that the festival of little people was organised in the region’s capital of Balanzan.

Various personalities, like for example, the Governor of Ségou and other local authorities graced the event.

It was a giant concert given by the orchestra made up of little people that set the tone for the festivities on the first day. Other activities such as a debate helped make the audience aware of GADEC’s efforts and activities.  In particular, the attention focused on their income-generating activities such as sewing, hairdressing, amongst others.

The festival of Little People, or TPP in French, was also an opportunity to create more awareness among the general public about dwarfism and the challenges they face in their daily lives. One of the key activities of the festival was the miss election, to magnify the beauty of little people and also to serve as an electro-shock to society.

The Miss election, not only increased their confidence in themselves but also encourages the community to break down any existing prejudice to them. Beyond breaking down prejudices, it is also essential to take steps to facilitate their full integration into Malian society.  Mademoiselle Maimouna Daou was the winner of the Miss Little People or PPT 2019.

A football match 
Sport is a way to promote social cohesion and hence was also used to raise awareness of the problems of little people. Hence a football match was organised. The public of Ségou supported the initiative through their massive participation.

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