Coming to and raising your voice
The story of AMPA in Mali
“I dream…. of a world where people with different needs will be the leaders of their own lives…”
From Mon rêve….. My dream….., a poetry slam written by Aminata Traore, President of AMPA
Most of our Voices for Change are about individuals feeling empowered and found and expressed their voice. It is time we also feature the empowerment of an emerging organisation! After all, they also form an important part of Voice in line with our long-term outcome.
If there is one example of a rightsholder group-led grantee within Voice that has shown empowerment leading to influence par excellence, it is the Association Malienne pour la Protection des Albinos (AMPA). Voice is their first donor and the small empowerment grant has already resulted in a strong work ethic and planning skills. In their own words:
“We first determine our objectives, then elaborate a calendar of activities with deadlines. We then agree on the internal rules and regulations we have to adhere to after which we identify the needs to be addressed and the tasks to be divided according to the talents and abilities of each one of us, working in a pleasant environment with good moods.”
However, the good mood was shaken to the core, when little Ramata Diarra, a 5-year old albino girl was murdered in May 2018, shortly before the presidential elections took place in Mali. She was killed due to the local belief that the body parts of people with albinism bring potential powers to political leaders -also a problem elsewhere in Africa. AMPA was able to mobilise the (albino) community as well as local authorities to offer support to the grief-stricken family. Through the Voice linking and learning component, AMPA mobilised all local grantees to demand justice from the Minister of Human Rights during a personal meeting. Last year, the story of little Ramata has been written up.
AMPA is becoming known for its creative ways to raise awareness on the issue of albinism in Mali. In October 2018, during Mali’s solidarity month they organised the Ms. and Mr. Albino Contest to bring to life the hashtag #beautybeyondtheskin which drew a huge crowd, including from the Advisory Board of Voice. All of this has had an empowering impact on the members of AMPA but especially its leader, Aminata Traore.
Co-written by Voice, Aminata wrote a case study on AMPA for the 2018 flagship OECD Development Co-operation Report titled Leave No One Behind, published in December 2018. And during the last Inclusion Innovation Indaba, Aminata and Djouma from AMPA co-led the discussions on busting the myths around albinism.
And thanks to the collaboration between AMPA and Agoratoire another empowerment grantee that focuses on creativity, Aminata became a poetry Slammer herself!
Grantee highlight from Voice annual report 2018