CRWRF, in conjunction with World Renew and AMAFEP (Protestant Church Women’s Association of Mali - Association Malienne des Femmes des Eglises Protestantes) have found that there are many cultural beliefs and practices in Mali, Africa that cause problems in families. There is a high prevalence of rape, incest, and harassment in Malian churches. The Bible can provide much encouragement in these situations. These organizations have worked together to provide programs for:
Children & Youth
Problems of pedophilia and harassment of young girls are a reality in Mali. Through these programs, children aged 5 to 17 are encouraged to speak out about their experiences in a safe environment and are educated on how to recognize a good touch vs. a bad touch, say “no” to sexual harassment, and understand the changes in one’s body during puberty. Older children and youth learn how to respond to harassment and resist sexual temptation, learn about reproductive health, the consequences of abortion, HIV and AIDS, and also about hygiene. As a result of the training, children and youth are less afraid to talk to their parents and are better able to ask about taboo subjects.
Work is being done to improve the relationships between husband and wife (e.g. by better communication, respect for one other, addressing domestic violence, understanding the roles and responsibilities of husband and wife, and managing finances) and between parents and their children (e.g. discipline, open communication). Some of these training events have even been televised. The results have been that men are more open with their wives and have even started praying with them. Parents are becoming more patient with each other and their children.
A special event is held every year on Malian Independence Day for mothers and daughters to gather together to share.
This program focuses not only on the complex consequences of child abuse, but also on the importance of communicating with children about these issues. After the training, the women know how to establish an environment that is conducive to child safety; teach children to protect themselves and to expose abuse; and talk about sexuality.
Orphans Support Group
Orphans (usually girls) sometimes suffer from bullying by their stepmothers. This program provides support for those coping with the loss of their mothers and their fathers’ remarriages.
Training for Trainers
Every quarter World Renew organizes continuing education sessions for the trainers, bringing in doctors, Christian therapists, and other specialists.
The programs have not only had immediate impact on the participants, but have impacted the broader community as well. Many have reported that they have talked to their non-Christian friends and neighbors about what they learned in the training. Many people have invited non-Christian friends to the training.
CRWRF Contribution: $51,434