Rural Science Education Centre – Mali

Sponsored by Adama Diarra, developer (Le Haillan, France)

Theme : Digital education

Project location : Samako, Mali

Organisation : Association Solidarité Développement Samako

Winner 2016


The project consists in building a science centre to provide the village children a space where they can learn science and maths.

The centre, to be managed by a group of teachers, will have three separate areas: a lab for hands-on tutorials, a computer room with several computers and maths software, and an interactive learning area with digital whiteboard. A webcam will be available for science competitions with partnering schools in France.

This teaching approach aims to make learning more fun and to improve school attendance and literacy rates, particularly among the young girls of the village. School attendance will become more stable and longer-term.

The centre will be built by the villagers themselves, using environmentally friendly, lower-cost materials to ensure durability and safety. The building will run autonomously on solar energy, given the lack of electricity in the village.


470 children and teenagers, plus 12 teachers, from the rural village of Samako, located 60 km from the capital, Bamako.


The non-profit organisation ASDS (Association Solidarité Développement Samako) contributes to sustainable development in the Malian village of Samako. The association’s community engagement can be seen in multiple areas (healthcare, agriculture, technical assistance, education, social work, handicrafts, training, cultural events), where it provides various forms of assistance and runs environmental protection awareness campaigns. The association could eventually expand its involvement to additional villages and towns worldwide. In 2013, ASDS received funding from France’s foreign ministry and from the Forum des Organisations de Solidarité Internationale issues des Migrations to bring electricity to the maternity clinic in the village of Samako.


“I want to contribute to achieving the Thales Foundation’s humanitarian and educational objectives throughout the world. This directly relates to my duties as an active member and as webmaster of the ASDS association, which works to promote social and economic development in remote villages in the south of Mali.”

Adama Diarra, développeur (Le Haillan, France)