Since 2015, Switzerland has supported the Peace Circles project in Mali run by the organisation 'Women in Law and Development in Africa' (WILDAF). The aim of the project is to encourage and enable women to play an active role in the country's peace and reconciliation process, after many years of armed conflict.
The project started out by setting up 'peace circles', where women from all over the country – irrespective of status, origin, religion or politics – come together to discuss the future of Mali. They also receive training in mediation and reconciliation, for which they earn a recognised certificate.
The women are now also involved in spreading awareness and understanding of the peace agreement among the general public. As part of their work, they go out and visit communities throughout the country and explain the content of the agreement. They discuss it with the communities using a summarised version that has been translated into several of Mali's languages. Here they make direct use of the knowledge acquired in the project to work towards national reconciliation and social cohesion.