Baguineda Football for Hope Centre

The Baguineda Football for Hope Centre empowers young women with football training, health education, and safe spaces.

Baguineda Football For Hope center

News: Centre opened!

The centre was officially opened on September 2010. Thank you to everyone involved in the project especially Mr Youssouf Berthe the local architect who was of great help on site. We are really pleased that the centre is up and running.

“Right now, it is the prettiest Football for Hope centre – congratulations to the architects and to the contractor” AMPJF, July 2010

Host Organization:

  • Association Mallienne pour la Jeune Fille et de la Femme (AMPJF)
  • Football based programs since 2000, Network member since 2007


To provide education for women and young girls, to create a positive environment for the well being and the development of the women and young girls, to help women and young girls to be fully active in their community.

About the Centre Host:

AMPJF, which stands for the Malian Association for the Promotion of Youths and Women creates platforms for socio-cultural discussions bridging both generations and cultures through sport and art. Furthermore, a health programme and a rural economic development programme are offered.

Within AMPJF, football is used to create a platform for intercultural and intergenerational discussion and to create strong and self confident women with social awareness. The project is specifically targeted towards women. Through football, AMPJF tries to improvethe social status of women in Malian society. The founder of the organisation, Souadou Diabaté Koné, was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2002 in recognition of her efforts in promoting the role of women in Malian society. Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Design: Michael Heublein and Quarc Design

The Football for Hope site is located in a rural context in the Baguineda area. The center is located on a main road extending from Bamako to Banquieda and hopes to be a catalyst for development.

AMPJF promotes and supports the role of girls and women in the community. Curved forms are used for the design to focus on the softness and gentleness portrayed in feminine life. These curved forms sweep through or around every building and space, holding each element together. This is inspired by the role of the mother as the cement of the family.

The primary building is based around the concept of a mother and child with a lifeline in between. The ‘brain’ (direction) of the project is the office and administrative spaces for education, sport and health. The ‘belly’ (learning, growth) of the project is the set of classrooms on the east side of the building. The lifeline links the entrance of the center through the meeting spaces and to the Football for Hope pitch.

Within the office block, there are private offices for both the director and the health worker. The private health office provides a space for private or small group consultations.

The curves also create a variety of spaces within the center, to be used for its many different activities. They create enclosed spaces such as the offices, classrooms and computer rooms, which may need to be locked and/or conditioned. Semi-enclosed spaces, such as the multi-purpose space, are created for larger classes and lectures. Open spaces, such as the cultural space, allow for even larger events, such as dances and festivals, to occur on the site.

The center will be primarily constructed of local building materials. The curved walls will be of stone from Baguineda and Bamako. The straight walls, the benches in the waiting/ break-out area, and the seating in the outdoor gathering space will be made of earth-block. The earth block recalls the traditional adobe and mud brick building techniques of Mali, and will be made on site. The waiting/ break-out area will be enclosed by walls made of brightly colored and locally produced textiles.

The main roof will act as a canopy for the entrance into the center, and the waiting/ break-out area within this space. Given the Malian climate, this area is not required to be enclosed – the canopy will protect against the sun and rain and the openess will promote passive ventilation.

The two Greenfields shipping containers (used to ship the artificial turf soccer pitch to the site) are modified to provide services to the center. One is placed horizontally, and is adapted to include storage for field equipment and a dedicated kitchen area, which can be used for storage or cooking. The space opens to the exterior as the whole end of the container can open up, allowing it to safely house a wood or coal burning oven made of clay. The container placed vertically contains a toilet room for the office area below and a water resevoir above.

As natural shade is so important in the sunny and hot climate of Mali, the building was placed to save the maximum number of trees possible. The present design only requires the removal of one tree.

The center design allows it to fit in perfectly with the AMPJF “Village Plan”, which contains other future elements, including a health center, full-size football pitch, and workshops for local textile and shea butter production. This village plan was presented at the FFH Center ground-breaking ceremony of September 24, 2009.

Sustainable Features:

  • Local Materials/ Economy: All stone and aggregate used for construction came from within 20 kilometers of the site, saving on transport costs and fuel needed for delivering heavy materials. All concrete blocks were fabricated on-site. Local textiles were also used in the waiting area for the center, promoting local artisans.
  • Low cost devices: Low energy light bulbs were installed to save on energy, such that a smaller photovoltaic system and less batteries could be used. Water saving shower heads were installed to save on clean water.
  • Landscape: The gravel pathways allow drainage of rainwater into the ground and uptake of stormwater naturally. New native trees were planted around the center by local girl’s soccer teams. Only one existing tree on the site was cut down, leaving the maximum number of mature trees on site to provide natural shading to the center and its activities.
  • Photovoltaic panels: This center is not connected to the local grid – all electricity needed to run the center is provided by the PV panels on its roof. This allows the center host to extend programs and generate income without energy costs.
  • Ventilation: A high degree of natural ventilation is allowed inside each building, such that electrical air-conditioning is only needed in the computer room (the intense heat and dry dust of the region would seriously lower the lifespans of the computers for the community center). The center was designed as a group of smaller buildings (as opposed to one, larger structure) to promote air circulation around and through each separate space. This allows passive ventilation to cool down the center more effectively.
  • Natural daylight: A high degree of natural daylight ensures a low use of electrical light.
  • Recycling: The shipping containers used to transport the artificial grass soccer pitch to the center were re-used as part of the building complex. The two containers became the office bathroom and the outdoor kitchen/ storage area. During construction the Contractor was committed to separate waste on site and re-cycle where possible.
  • Orientation: The building is positioned to get optimal daylight at all times, while blocking the harsh sun during the hot season.
  • Security of building: All glazed openings are protected through additional burglar bars. A caretaker lives on site.
  • Social integration: Engagement with community during design and construction process strengthened the sense of ownership and responsibility.
  • Labour: Almost all of the labour involved into the construction process was found locally, in cooperation with the local community.
  • Land: The parcel of land used by the center was donated by the community.

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