Outreach tourism, a novel alternative to development

For the inhabitants of Sirabougou, a village in Mali, development could be helped by tourism. This, at least, is the project of the Voyage en solidaire association.

Social and Employment

Sirabougou, Mali

Brigitte Allard

20,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/04/03

  Project leader Voyage en solidaire

«  As a member of the association, I'm convinced that outreach tourism is one of the most effective means today to assist the local development of this region, which is cruelly lacking in resources. It seems to me crucial to provide the villagers with activity that produces jobs and income, to enable them ultimately to be completely self-sufficient.  »

Marc Brunero

Located 20 km from Djénné, the Malian village of Sirabougou lies in the heart of the Dogon country, one of the principal tourist attractions of Mali. Yet for the time being, its 5000 inhabitants do not benefit from the "financial bounty" which tourism may represent and they live in extremely modest conditions.

The Voyage en solidaire association, founded in 2003, is convinced that support for development can include the creation of an alternative tourism ultimately capable of securing economic self-sufficiency for the villagers.

A village encampment

By creating a village encampment at Sirabougou, the association wants to help the villagers set up the means for significantly improving their living conditions. By itself, this initiative will help to create jobs; besides, it will foster the development of income producing activities: sale of local arts and crafts, small scale catering, etc.

In a second phase, Voyage en solidaire clearly hopes to help the villagers to build various facilities with the profits earned on these activities. Several projects are already planned: drilling of a well to supply water to the campsite, part of the population and the school, the installation of a solar powered water pump, and solar panels and battery charging stations for electric power supply.

The villagers, meeting in a management committee, will progressively be encouraged to take charge of these future arrangements.