PAD was quick to react to the arrival of COVID in the spring of 2020, explaining the risks to their young people, putting in place hand washing stations and getting their trainee seamstresses to make masks for everyone. Workers noticed an increase in youngsters with nowhere to go at night especially during the period of curfew that the Malian government instigated in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. At the same time PAD had to decrease the number of boys who could be accommodated, as a social distancing measure.
Once this was in place activities continued much as usual, the two major areas being bogolan making and basic education for 20 boys living on the streets and the sewing and tailoring course for 15 teenage mothers that is sponsored by aBama, a French organisation based in Angers. PAD also trained 58 other children from other local organisations: Sindjiyaton – 31 children; Caritas – 18 children and the Kanuya centre – 09 children. Donations were received from local partners and from Maliance (Dourdan, France) and Julie, an American who volunteered with PAD and is now living in Paris. The Mali Development Group continues to fund basic running costs for the centre.
Activities for 2021 are underway and in the long-term PAD hopes to find a way to own its own premises and expand to be able to help more young people.