Sanankoroba is a small town situated 30 km south of the Malian capital of Bamako. It is a rural area where many villages are hard to reach on unsafe roads. People live off agriculture - some grow cotton to sell, but in most cases, families struggle to produce enough food to feed themselves. Droughts occur regularly and water is a scarcity: families living here have limited access to water-gathering points. It is often difficult to get medical treatment and education for the younger generation.
Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Sanankoroba.
Malnourishment in Mali is a major challenge. Severe drought has affected the growing season, leading to food insecurity in many families. The country has one of the highest stunting levels in the world: 26% of children are stunted or too short for their age.
When children do not receive the nutrition they need to grow up healthily, they are at higher risk of dying from common diseases. Stunting also affects brain function and the immune system, causing many children to perform poorly at school.
Even though vaccines are free in Mali, many children do not receive the recommended doses. Because only 45% of children are fully vaccinated, one in ten children dies from common childhood illnesses before the age of 5. A low rate of immunization leads to childhood diseases such as measles and polio.
Health facilities are often out of reach for families. Slowly, however, innovative approaches are being implemented: vaccinations are offered in places where people gather, digital registers of children vaccinated are used, and people are urged to get vaccinations through communication campaigns.