Jon Snow
Caroline Lucas MP
Satish Kumar



Deborah Hutchinson (Chair)
Caroline Hart (Founder)
Melroy Mukwaya
Trudie Onyechi
Richard Savage

Advisory Panel


Andrew Gray
Dr Crispen Marunda

(Centre for International Forest Research)
Dr Polly Richards

Who We Are and What We Do

Joliba supports grassroots development work with farming and cattle-raising communities in Mali. Our focus is on projects to help women, and environmental work to sustain rural livelihoods.

A meeting to discuss the sharing of natural resources

We have worked with rural people in Mali since 1984 and established a fund which became the Joliba Trust in 1992. Our work is managed by local partners.

‘Joliba’ is the local name for the River Niger, and means ‘riches of life’.

A new well

Joliba funds self-help development work in over 200 villages.


Our projects include training in maternal health and nutrition; environmental work to sustain livelihoods and improve food security; tree planting, pasture regeneration, dune stabilisation, and the provision of wells and water.

Dune planting

Joliba’s work has very low administrative costs both in the UK and in Mali. Over 95% of our funds are spent directly on field projects.

A donkey-cart costs £145 and transforms the lives of rural women. It means women can collect firewood once a week instead of daily, and carry all the water they need for the family in one journey. It means they can bring in crops before they have spoilt or been eaten by birds, take manure to their fields, and reach new markets with their goods.

Where We Work

Mali is the largest country in West Africa (the size of France and Spain combined) and is made up mainly of arid plains bordering the Sahara desert.

Mali is known for its rich culture, the warmth and friendliness of its people, and for cities like Timbuktu, which has one of the earliest universities in the world.

A beautiful mosque

The thatched buildings in a Dogon village are granaries

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. Most people live from the land as farmers and cattle-herders. It has become much more difficult to make a living because of desertification and climate change.

Bringing in the harvested millet

Simon eating baobab fruit beside a cattle shelter

Whatever you give will make a big difference.