ECOVA MALI hires local experts to provide "hands-on" agricultural training, as well as instruction on business planning, basic accounting, and marketing to Malian farmers. ECOVA MALI also provides start-up capital in the form of micro-loans and mini-grants for the creation and development of worker-owned and managed, sustainable agriculture enterprises based on principles of environmental and social responsibility. We believe in increasing food security, stimulating economic development, and fostering environmental stewardship through sustainable "agripreneurship" (agriculture + entrepreneurship).
ECOVA MALI coordinates training sessions in response to specific requests from partner communities. Training activities take place primarily at our our permanent Training Center, which is 35 km west of Bamako, on the road to Siby. There we can accommodate groups of up to 16 participants. In 2012 we will also coordinate workshops at the community level in other regions of Mali.
ECOVA MALI was founded in 2007 by Gregory Flatt and Cynthia Hellmann as a grassroots alternative to the predominant top-down approach to development. Having both formerly served as Corps Volunteers in Mali, Greg and Cynthia have fostered and maintained close ties to Mali since the late 1990's and have returned numerous times in various roles. They have seen that local experts can train fellow Malians far more effectively and at a much lower cost than western expats. They have also witnessed how relatively small amounts of money can work wonders in the hands of rural agricultural entrepreneurs. So they decided to create an organization founded upon the lessons learned from their observations and experience.
In 2009, the organization was granted tax-exempt 501c(3) status by the IRS.
Also in 2009, we received a generous grant from LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics through their Charity Pot program, which allowed us to purchase about 7 acres of land and build the infrastructure for a permanent traning center and field office.
Beginning in 2007, we have provided a number of micro-loans to entrepreneurial farmers. We are proud to report that the loan recipients were able to put these funds to productive use and we have experienced a 100% pay-back rate!
Since the creation of our training center in 2009 we have been able to host over a dozen workshops focusing on a variety of agricultural topics including, ameliorated poultry raising techniques, how to make natural pesticides from local ingredients, composting, improved shea butter production methods, and inter-cropping. Our dedicated Malian staff model a variety of appropriate technologies and production techniques at the site for visitors to see.
Learn More About: Who We Are
ECOVA MALI is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As such, your financial contribution to ECOVA MALI is tax-deductible as a "charitable donation" when you file your annual tax return! You can either send us a check directly (made out to ECOVA MALI) to the address below, or you can make a secure online donation using Google Checkout.
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69 Cherry St.
Swampscott, MA 01907