This report details the key accomplishments and highlights of the USAID Mali Out-of-School Youth Project (PAJE- Nièta). The project served 10,951 youth between 2010 and 2015 with the primary goal of enabling rural youth to become more educated, economically productive, and civically engaged. Participants were between the ages of 14 and 25 years and had never been to school or had dropped out in the early grades.
- 77 percent of youth showed improved reading skills as assessed by EDC’s Out-of-School Literacy Assessment (OLA).
- 82 percent of youth who completed technical training and received an income-generating activity starter kit were self-employed.
- Women outperformed men—87 percent of women were self-employed compared to 75 percent of men.
- The PAJE-Nièta volunteers were a strategic component of the program to ensure that the project was connecting with youth at the local level and that interventions remained grounded in their interests and needs.
- Survey evidence points strongly to increased economic confidence of and opportunities for participants, leading to reduced vulnerability to radical narratives and the lure of extremist recruitment.