Turning away from the common ways of the Orientation Trip, today’s programme turned out to be absolutely fascinating and inspiring for the entire group. Unlike previous days, which were based on exchange with Malian cultural workers and artists, today was all about learning and receiving.
We started with the visit to the educational complex Ndomo. The centre was created in 1988 and has been developing since, as a traditional enterprise devoted to natural textile dyeing techniques in Mali. It was envisaged as a social initiative created to address the unemployment problem of the young Malian people who have not had the opportunity to go to school, so Ndomo assists them in life by training with local knowledge. It also tries to experiment with a new form of business by changing the traditional system of employer and employee and functioning more as an African family in which all the members act individually and collectively. This concept of Ndomo will be extended to other fields, such as agriculture, and more information about this can be found on their website www.ndomo.net.
The name of the programme Ndomo is actually a Bambara word for “fishing for knowledge” (“la peche du savoir”) and it is symbolised by a masque, which is traditionally inherited through the generations of the centre. The masque has five horns representing five fingers of a hand but also masculine and feminine sex. Continue reading