York-based International Service charity resumes work in Mali

Life in Mali

Life in Mali

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A YORK-BASED international charity which was forced to pull its workers out of a west African country following a coup is resuming its work.

Mali became a “no-go zone” for International Service, based in Rougier Street, after the military coup in July 2012. The charity decided it was not safe for its workers to operate there any more.

But a spokeswoman said the country had now stabilised, making it safe to resume operations next month.

She said the charity had been working in Mali for more than 30 years, concentrating its resources on supporting civil society organisations that worked with people living with disability.

“Following democratic elections last year and a prolonged period of stability, International Service will be recommencing its work in the country, reopening its office in early April,” she said.

“The charity commissioned extensive research before recommencing operations, and has since published a report that will inform their work as they re-establish their work.”

International programmes pirector Martin Keat said: “International Service has always remained committed to the people of Mali, and we’ve been offering support as best we can from our office in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

“Over the last year, Mali has dropped seven places in the Human Development Index, and we’re anxious to restart operations in the country, as we feel our work is needed now more than ever.”

The spokeswoman said International Service’s main achievements in Mali included supporting the Malian government to develop a child protection policy that had been rolled out across the country.

The charity was now planning a Back To Mali event at its offices at 6pm on Thursday April 3, to celebrate its return to Mali, with the public invited to attend.

International Service operates in a number of countries across the world by recruiting experienced professionals to work with local organisations helping the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

• For more information, go to www.internationalservice.org.uk

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