Download Sinsibere Cooperative brochure (in French - 2.2 MB)



Sinsibere project

Sinsibere Musow ka Koperatifu - a womens cooperative:

The Sinsibere project has recently supported the women of Bougoula municipality to create a cooperative which will carry out income generating activities for its members. This will include shea nut butter production, soap production, market gardening, and peanut production. The cooperative buildings have been built using the woodless construction using earth bricks. This is a construction style which is very ecological, has excellent natural cooling in summer and warmth in winter, and uses no wood so protects the environment. It has karite pressing installations, crop sun-drying facilities, offices and a confernece room for meetings and training. It is a major step forward for the women who are participants and have been working over the last years in the frame of the Sinsibere project.


Sinsibere in action

`Sinsibere has helped us a lot. Most of all it gave us courage.´, says Djeneba Diara from Tafele. In her village, just like many villages around Mali’s capital Bamako, wood chopping is one of the main economic activities for women. It is dangerous and hard work and a cause of environmental degradation, but for these women chopping wood is a necessary source of income so they don’t have much choice.

Since some years now in some villages the situation is changing. Because of the Sinsibere project the women can get a micro-credit to set up a different economic activity, like poultry, gardening or soap-making. They can get a small amount of money to invest and training to improve their skills. From each village at least three women are learning how to read and write, so they are less dependent and able to manage their own businesses. Sinsibere is a Bambara word, meaning the support that someone needs to start something new.

The Sinsibere project was launched in 2001. The project originates from the Local Environmental Plan that was made for the rural communes Sanankoroba, Dialakoroba and Bougoula. In these communes the problem of wood cutting is most severe, because of their easy accessibility from Bamako. Extensive commercial wood cutting is taking place in about two third of the villages.The plan was made according to the recommendations of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification).

The goal of the Sinsibere project is to reduce if not end wood cutting in the project area by generating alternative livelihoods for women. In all 60 villages of the project area environmental education has been given and in 8 pilot villages a micro-credit system has been set up in cooperation with local women's associations. Alphabetisation and organisational training are also part of the project, since a big part of the population is illiterate. To improve the women's practical skills in different income generating activities, trainings in pottery, soap-making, gardening and poultry have been given.

The Sinsibere-project is a co-operation between MFC and Dodo, a Finnish NGO. The project is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be running until the end of 2006.

Follow the links below for more information on the various project activities:

Shea butter production

Soap making



Poultry breeding

Literacy training

Improved stoves

Planting of local tree species