Lend a Helping Hand While Experiencing Mali’s Cultural Riches

Anna Taft, founder of the Tandana Foundation

The Tandana Foundation (a non-profit organization that offers cross-cultural volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and funding for small community projects in highland Ecuador and Mali’s Dogon Country) is offering a way for traveler’s to be guests instead of tourists while simultaneously leanding a much needed helping hand.

The Tandana Foundation is extending the season of giving into January by organizing a Volunteer Vacation to Mali from January 8th to the 23rd.

Participants will share their time and lend a helping hand to people half a world away. Volunteers will have the opportunity to spend the entire trip enjoying the rich culture of Mali’s Dogon Country. This region is located near Mali’s eastern border and is a UN world heritage site.

The primary focus of this trip will be helping the villagers of Kansongho improve community life by working side-by-side with them on several projects such as constructing a cotton bank and anti-erosion dikes. They will stay in the village for six days and, after each hard day’s at work, will relax and enjoy the culture of their generous hosts.

Before and after their stay in Kansongho, participants will tour Mali’s rich countryside and see  the country’s landmarks. The tour will include a visit to the city of Djenne.

In Yarou Plateau, the group will work with local children in their school garden. The trip will be capped off with an overnight pinasse trip up the Niger River. Throughout the entire tour the group will meet a wide variety of fascinating people including nomads, fishermen, textile producers and wood carvers.

The trip costs $2600. This does not include airfare to Mali but does include all in-country lodging, food, transportation and activities.

Visit The Tandana Foundation’s website to learn more about the Volunteer Vacation and register for the trip as well as find more information about other Tandana volunteer opportunities.

Read up on additional Mali articles at GoNOMAD here.