A young man named Dicko works on a solar panel in Mali

Installing solar panels for a brighter future

With Humanity & Inclusion’s support, Dicko installs and repairs solar panels to support his family.

Finding paid work is difficult as a young adult in Mali, where the youth unemployment rate is as high as 32% in certain regions.

The challenge of entering the workforce is only exacerbated by unrest in the country. Mali is under threat from a rise in crime, the use of improvised explosive devices and the presence of armed groups that use extreme violence. Such dangerous variables have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. On top of that, a climate crisis causing intense flooding and droughts. As a result, almost 7 million people need humanitarian assistance.

In 2018, Humanity & Inclusion began working with young people, helping them obtain the qualifications and financial support needed to earn a living. Dicko is one of them.

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A young father and experienced electrician, Dicko is realizing his ambitions with the help Humanity & Inclusion. Like many young entrepreneurs in Mali, Dicko is launching businesses that will have a positive environmental impact.

“I wanted to grow my business, but I wasn’t able to take on larger jobs because I couldn’t finance all the (startup) materials needed,” Dicko explains. “After presenting my business plan to Humanity & Inclusion, I received training in how to install and repair solar panels as well as a grant to buy equipment.”

Humanity & Inclusion has already helped 50 young Malians find employment in the solar energy sector. By the end of 2021, 3,000 young people like Dicko will have accessed the training and resources they need to work toward a stable and sustainable future.

“Specializing in solar energy means I have unique skills,” Dicko says. “I want to help market solar energy materials and equipment in Mali and convince people to invest in solar products. My dream would be to employ others in my business to help fight unemployment in my region.”

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Image: A young man named Dicko squats beside a solar panel on a rooftop in Mali. He is holding a roll of tape and there are tools beside him. Copyright: HI