Ki La Di, an interactive pilot-project for youth in the region of Kayes

News | Published at: July 20 2022

Original article written by the International Health Unit of the University of Montreal (USI)

This initiative of the Yellen Project will use information technologies to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights in four public high schools in the region of Kayes.

Ki La Di, meaning "to give you advice" in Bambara, is an initiative created by the Yellen Project team working in the Kayes region of Mali. This pilot project aims to provide adolescents and youth in the Kayes region with content designed to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights through digital platforms. WhatsApp groups, a Facebook page and an Android application provide young people the opportunity to learn and interact with each other and with experts on issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and gender-based violence.

The Ki La Di project is specifically designed to reach out to young people and address, among other things, the issues that come with puberty. It is supported in four public high schools in the Kayes region through awareness-raising activities and communication campaigns. The objective of the Ki La Di project is to prevent situations that could have adverse effects on the physical or mental health of adolescents and to strengthen their understanding of their rights in order to improve access to health services and advocacy efforts.

To better understand the impact of this pilot project and the opportunities that it will provide, baseline surveys are currently being completed in the four high schools targeted by the project. These surveys will assess the students' understanding of the topics that the Ki La Di project will address. The platforms will be launched and the Ki La Di project activities will begin at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. At the end of the three-year project, there will be a new series of surveys to evaluate the improvement of the target group's knowledge and to assess the real impact of the project.

In conclusion, the Ki La Di pilot project is an innovative attempt to evaluate how information and communication technologies can be used to complement more traditional methods to mobilize and sensitize youth. Within the framework of this project, the capitalization of the process is as important an objective as the final result.

A few words about the Yellen project:

The Yellen project "Rights and innovation in sexual and reproductive health in the region of Kayes in Mali" is a bilateral cooperation project implemented by the governments of Mali and Canada. It is carried out by a Canadian consortium made up of the International Health Unit of the Hospital Center of the University of Montreal (USI - CHUM) and the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI).

The aim of this project is to contribute to the transformation of unequal gender relations in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and adolescent girls in seven health districts of the Kayes region (Bafoulabé, Diéma, Nioro, Oussoubidiagna, Sagabari, Séféto and Yélimané). The project builds on the assumption that increasing the decision-making power of women and adolescent girls to better control their health will increase the demand for quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, as well as for gender-based violence (GBV) and family planning (FP)..

The project features an innovative model of collaboration that aims to harmonize the work of actors from health services, civil society (particularly women's groups), and decentralized communities.

The Yellen project is financially supported by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.