Sahel Eco (ecology, economy and écoute (listen)) was founded in April 2004, born out of SOS Sahel International UK’s country Programme in Mali. SOS Sahel UK had been working in Mali since 1989 with communities in the Tominian and Bankass districts to increase food security and wellbeing through better management of their forests, farms and water resources.
Since becoming independent in 2004, Sahel Eco’s mission has been to promote inclusive socio-economic development which is respectful of the environment and meets the needs of present and future generations in the Sahel. It’s work focuses on promoting agro-ecological farming techniques, supporting women’s organisations that are active in agricultural value chains, facilitating access to financing through self-managed savings and credit groups, forestry management, and building rural infrastructure. It has worked with a broad range of partners to reach and benefit 832,000 people across over 400 villages in the districts of Sikasso, Ségou and Mopti regions. Sahel Eco has enabled them to become more resilient to climate hazards and other shocks and to sustainably manage the natural resources that their livelihoods depend on, while at the same time developing and diversifying the rural economy. Read more on their website: http://saheleco.org/
CRAC-GRN is another independent NGO that was once SOS Sahel UK’s country Programme in Niger. SOS Sahel UK’s first project in Niger was in 1990, and it became independent in 2003. Its acronym stands for ‘Cellule du Recherche-Action Concertée au Gestion des Ressources Naturelles’ (Concerted Action Research Unit for Natural Resources Management).
CRAC-GRN helps communities to actively manage the natural resources on which they depend in a rational, representative and equitable way so they can achieve greater livelihood security and combat poverty. It promotes decentralised natural resource management as one of the most effective methods of facilitating genuine, long-term development.
Unlike our other partners, SOS Sahel South Sudan was uniquely not part of SOS Sahel UK. Instead, it emerged during the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. In the midst of opportunities and challenges that followed, SOS Sahel South Sudan has worked with farmers and pastoralists as well as traditional community leaders, local government departments, women and youth, to reduce resource-based conflict through better management of natural resources, and by strengthening livelihoods and civil society. Unfortunately, the organisation is no longer active, struggling to stay on its feet after the civil war that began in December 2013.