• Visit us on Facebook
  • Visit us on Twitter
  • Visit us on Google+

Mali Conflict: Children in the crossfire


Nine-year-old Ahmed In the middle of an overcrowded compound, nine year old Ahmed, is adjusting to yet another new life. In less than a year, he has had to move twice from his home in Timbuktu, in northern Mali, first to Mopti further South and now to Ségou in central Mali.

As the news of an immediate attack against Mopti spread across Mali, Ahmed and his father knew they had to run for their lives yet again. They boarded the first bus from Mopti and made the six hour journey to Ségou.

“On the way I could hear gunshots. I didn’t see the troops or what was happening but I was so scared. I am glad we made it to a safer place,” says Ahmed.

Emergency support

In the last couple of weeks, clashes between armed insurgents, the national army and international forces around the Mopti region have forced thousands to flee. Many have come to Ségou, where there are now more than 30,000 displaced people – mostly women and children.

Ahmed’s mother is still in Timbuktu – about 1,000km away. The city has been under the control of armed insurgents since April 2012. He misses her and his siblings who are still with her. “When I was still in Timbuktu, I used to play a lot with my brothers, my cousins and my friends. We played football all the time. That was really fun. I miss them all now”.

Ahmed was parted from the rest of his family in October 2012, when his father took him to Mopti so that he could continue school. His parents felt they had no choice because the armed insurgents in Timbuktu closed all schools.

Girls attending catch-up classesAs part of our education in emergencies work, Plan has been distributing school kits to children in Ségou and running weekly catch-up classes to help displaced girls and boys keep up with their school work.

The emotional welfare of displaced children like Ahmed is a major concern. Aid work which has been hampered by insecurity and restricted movements is set to resume.  Plan is scaling up its humanitarian operation in seven locations in the Ségou Region, including Diabaly. Subject to security clearance Plan will also expand its operation further north. Assistance is already being provided in neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso where there are almost 100,000 refugees in camps along the borders. The focus is on education, child protection, water, sanitation, hygiene and other life-saving needs.

Find out more about our work in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

You may also like...

The plan

sponsor a child today and make a unique connection


  • Where
  • What
  • Impact
    1 sponsor: 1 child and their community building a better future
Sponsor a child
Latest News
  • Six girls from six countries speak out about their experiences of sexual violence in school.
  • Ebola has devastated Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia over the past one and a half years. The epidemic, so far, has claimed over 11,000 lives and has left 18,000 children in West Africa without one or both parents. But thanks to your generous donations, the lives of those affected by the Ebola are slowly starting to look forward.
Latest Blogs
  • Steve Williams has just returned from a visit to the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. Here he shares stories from the camps and explains the biggest difficulties facing refugees stuck inside the camps.
  • Fear of going to school is an undoubtedly common global scenario, but in many countries they pale in comparison with a rather more brutal reality – that of violence in school. For millions of children, school is a place of threat and terror rather than refuge and play. In a recent baseline survey, we sought to understand what factors affect girls’ and boys’ ability to access a quality education.

Registered Charity no.276035

0300 777 9777