Narratives

Interviews with Malian returnees carried out in Mali in April 2013, with the collaboration of SOS Migrants (Bamako).

Please note that the videos are available in French only.

 

Malian migrant returning to Mali owing to conflicts in Côte d’Ivoire: Coordinator of a return migrants’ association.

The return to Mali of this Malian migrant was forced due to the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. He is the coordinator of an association created in Côte d’Ivoire in the aftermath of the Ivorian’s conflict at the end of 90s. The association comprises Malian returnees, mostly from the region of Dogon (Pays Dogon); it is mainly aimed at supporting the socio-professional reintegration of return migrants as well as fostering the region’s development. “We succeeded in mobilising many persons in a campaign against poverty in the Dogon region. The main challenge was the lack of access to cereals. In 2009, 150 of us met the President of the Republic of Mali and the President of a foundation, who offered us cattle and economic means to support our activity. We also received support for accessing land for housing. When you are abroad, indeed, and you plan to return back home, the first thing you should think about is having a house. We built houses and delivered water in some villages of the Dogon region. Other villages in the region could benefit from such intervention. The association was created without external support, however. The main financial resource comes from membership – the monthly subscription is 500 Francs CFA. I consider my return to Mali as permanent since the situation in Côte d’Ivoire has not improved. Many Malians had returned due to the conflicts in that country. We have contacted and organized them. There are thousands of them who were forced to return.”

 

Migrant returning to Mali after having experienced several migrations in various African countries.

This return migrant Histoire de vie n.2 owns a small business. He has been in the trade sector since he was very young. He had several experiences in different African countries but mainly in Congo where he lived for nine years. Since he decided to return to Mali in 2005 he started a trade business. He received a loan from a savings bank to start his enterprise, but he considers the interest rate to be too high. Thanks to his migration experience, he acquired knowledge that he could use in Mali after return: “This is the most positive aspect of my migration experience. If I had had the possibility of training in Mali and obtaining financial support I would not have emigrated.”

 

Malian returnee: Health professional and entrepreneur.

This return migrant was born in Mali in 1980. He emigrated mainly to study but also with the intention of helping his family due to lack of prospects in Mali. He left Mali in 2001 for Algeria where he lived for five years. He received a scholarship. At the end of his studies in 2006, he decided to return to Mali. He got married after returning. Since 2009, he has worked in the health sector, with a permanent contract. He has also invested around 1400 Euros in three small projects – in livestock and poultry. “The local market is favourable and the business is going well. My project is to create a company to raise and sell cattle, for example for butchers. For now I rely on my own financial resources. There are small grants that we can access but it is not enough, I am afraid. Having a degree has helped me get access to financing. I have a regular job that allows me to support my family, but if I can start a proper business I can create job opportunities and young people no longer have to emigrate to find a job. Today I employ two persons in the cattle activity.” He lives with his wife and children.

 

Women return migrants hoping to set up their own business.

This woman returned to Mali from Côte d’Ivoire due to the conflict. While abroad, she faced several difficulties but she also experienced the solidarity of friends and neighbours. She was a small trader in Côte d’Ivoire; she worked a lot with other women of different ethnic backgrounds. Since she returned to Mali, she experienced problems in reintegrating and she did not receive any help from public institutions. She then turned to a savings bank for a loan in order to start her own business. She was able to pay back her debts, but with great difficulty due to the high interest rates. She had many experiences in Côte d’Ivoire. As a member of an association and through the collaboration with other women, she learned how to process coconut and transform it into soap. All these experiences turned to be useful for her after the return, but she still lacks the financial means to put them into practice. She then decided to engage in an association with other women return migrants. They have feasible projects in mind and the mayor is willing to provide them with a space in the village to set up a commercial activity. Unfortunately they do not have the financial means to purchase the necessary raw materials.