Mourikérou Coulibaly’s return to school

Mourikérou had lost all hope of ever joining her young classmates to continue her studies. Having lost her mother a few months ago, Mourikérou had suddenly disappeared from the village of Miéou during the school holidays, taken to another distant, locality by his father to live.

Such a decision, even if made by one parent, could not be accepted by the community of Miéou. Therefore, the school management committee, headed by a very dedicated Chairman, Issa Koni Diarra, demanded the return of the girl: “We are carrying out sensitization activities in favor of girls’ education and retention at school, with support from Enda/Mali who has provided children of poor parents with school supplies, set up a bridge school for the village school. Consequently, we will tolerate no pupil dropping out of school”.

Informed and sensitized by the members of the said Committee and fearing sanctions from the community, the girl’s father was understanding enough to bring back Mourikérou who, fortunately, passed into 6th Grade and even got high marks during the first quarter with an average of 6.56.

Mourikérou’s return was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of all stakeholders involved in the process of creating a Child Labour Free Zone (CLFZ) in the village of Miéou. The village has organizations such as the School Management Committee (SMC), the Village Child Protection Committee (CVPE), the Teachers’ Forum, and children’s Government (WDM) who work together to ensure not only the daily monitoring of children’s regular attendance, but also, and above all, to ensure that the village children’s rights are protected and promoted.