Local Development
Project Description

We first would like to underline that the Festival in the Desert has clear economic impacts not only for local artists who can find a platform to make themselves known to the outside world: artisans, car rental companies, hotels, restaurants and small traders are also fully involved since they have to manage all of the tourists crossing the country from Bamako to Timbuktu.

In addition to these impacts on local populations, the Festival in the Desert has always been sensitive to the issue of the development of the nomadic communities that are scattered in the north of Mali, particularly in the region of Timbuktu.

In recent years, various formulas have been tested to raise money to use for the development of those nomadic communities, either in the form of taxes to travel agencies or directly to the festival-goers.

Although the actions of the festival on the local population did not live up to expectations, it is important to note here that there has been every year the shares. These actions have never been advertised and are misunderstood by most people, but they were carried out...

Among other actions, in the past we did:

  • Renovation of 3 room-classes in the Tissikorey school, (Municipality of Essakane)
  • Supply of books and exercise-books to the Essakane school
  • Coverage of full board for nomadic students in Bamako
  • Coverage of expenditures for students in Algeria and Tunisia
  • Deepening of two wells to find water in north of Essakane
  • Sends drugs against malaria in nomad camps
  • Payment of the salary of a teacher during a school year in Tissikorey school (Municipality of Essakane)

This year we decided to change our approach.

Among the various possible areas of intervention (education, water, health and fight against poverty) we decided to focus on education, as enrollment rate in our region is one of the lowest in the world.

Our goal is to enroll 1000 nomadic children of the region of Timbuktu in a time-span of 5 years.

In the North, we have primary schools, but none has adequate learning environment.  Because of the extreme poverty of parents and especially their mobility, children don't receive adequate food at school. Families on site can not manage all of the students.

Furthermore, due to the lack of resources, school management committees are unable to recruit enough teachers (only one teacher for three classes).  Even teachers who are recruited very often have low education skills since they never received sufficient training. Thus the student success rate is quite low!

It is in this context of extreme poverty that these schools were created with the objective to increase enrollment rate.

They were born as community schools and they targeted nomadic children around nearby water points and grazing.  For a population of 5000 inhabitants and an opportunity to recruit 200 children a year, we record now less than 10% of enrollment.

To achieve our goal, we initiated this year to participate in the management of two schools in the area of ​​the festival.  One school in Tissikorey (Essakane) and one in Amagach (Aicha Tin).

The project is to make available to the school management committees, technical and financial resources to enable them to achieve their development plans.

Education is one of the universal rights!
Help us to make the education of nomadic children a reality!

We foresee two different approaches to help us achieve our goal:

  • Donation
  • Lottery


You can participate in our education project  by making a donation through the PayPal system.

Money donations will be given to the managers of the local school management committees on Saturday night January 14, 2012, during a small cerimony to be held on the main stage just before the start of the final evening. A document with the names and nationality of all donors will be also given. A copy of the document will be posted on the website of the festival.

Each donor will automatically receive a personalized Certificate of Solidarity Contribution .

Money donations are managed by the Association  "Amici di Moussa" who is a partner of the festival for many years.

Deadline for donations: December 31, 2011


This year we offer to all festival-goers the possibility to participate in a lottery associated to the camel race which is scheduled for the morning of the third day. It is a possibility, but we really hope that all festival-goers will feel the obligation to participate by buying at least one ticket!

We have planned three lots for the winners of the lottery.

The money from the sale of lottery tickets will be fully devolved to the managers of local school management committees on Saturday night January 14, 2012, during a small cerimony to be held on the main stage just before the start of the last evening of the festival.