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Mali: Training climbing instructors in the Mandé

The Mandé, "the cradle of Mali", is home to an exceptional natural heritage. The sandstone cliffs of the Manding Mountains are a popular climbing area. In 2005, young Malians from the village of Siby set up a climbing cooperative, called An Ka Yelen ("climb" in Bambara). With the support of the Calao association and funded by the Petzl Foundation, some of them have now become climbing instructors.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Climbing in the Mandé © Thérèse Touré / Collection Calao

  • Project partner:  Calao association, www.calaoasso.org
  • Country:  Mali, Africa
  • Project type: Risk management training
  • Budget: €10,500 in 2012 and 2013

As fully-qualified instructors, climbing has become their profession. Today, these young people of Siby guide foreign tourists, school groups and the inhabitants of Bamako, on the sandstone cliffs around their village. To further develop local income from this ecotourism, visitor accommodation was built between 2010 and 2012, with financial support from the Petzl Foundation.

However, political instability in Mali has worsened considerably and has led to unrest in many parts of the country . As a result, on-site training planned for five new instructors in 2013 had to be postponed. Instead, three mountain bike instructors from the An Ka Yelen cooperative were sent to Morocco where they received advanced training.

Also, in December 2013, several An Ka Yelen climbing instructors were given refresher training on safety and instructional techniques. This allowed them to bring their technical skills up to date, while checking and repairing equipped climbing routes.

At that time, the instructors also received the excellent news that an agreement had at last been signed betweeen the National Park of Bamako and the An Ka Yelen cooperative. This agreement covers the use, maintenance and repair of climbing installations in the Park. More importantly, it will facilitate access for school groups to the Park's installations. Two classes of Bamako school children have already been able to discover the joys of climbing.

School children discover the joys of climbing in the National Park of Bamako. © Thérèse Touré / Collection Calao
School children discover the joys of climbing in the National Park of Bamako. © Thérèse Touré / Collection Calao
School children discover the joys of climbing in the National Park of Bamako.

Photo : Thérèse Touré/Collection Calao

Uploaded in september 2014


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