Jokebed Coulibaly – Mali

Area Director

Jokebed Coulibaly is an area director in Mali. She inspires and encourages girls to be the women God made them to be every single day. “As in all cultures, our environment provides the framework of our perception of the world. What we see, hear and experience dictates our understanding of truth and normalcy. So, since I was young, I learned from my family and the older examples in my life the boundaries traced by culture for women. However, I often felt that it was unjust. As I serve with Young Life in my country of Mali, one of the biggest challenges I face is finding time for contact work, as my “place” is at home and I am expected to see to the housework. Any respectful woman in my country should avoid being both out of the house, and being with teenagers who are much younger than she is. The biggest challenge for women in leadership however, is public opinion. The opinion of others (parents, friends, neighbors etc.) has more power than personal opinion. We often wonder what people will say about us. I cannot say much about my life being an impact on younger girls lives but I know the Lord is doing something right now. What I can say is in my area we have more female team leaders than male. We have even more female campaigners than male. I think God is encouraging other women through my life to serve Him despite these challenges we face. I have been given hope after seeing for the first time, a female teacher at school. But, I receive hope, through God’s word, where I have read that despite the Jewish culture of the time, God used women to change situations such as Esther, Deborah and more. We can also find in the Bible where God used lives of men to challenge the realities and public opinions. This has impacted me in a way that I have faith for my country, for the women of my country and for the salvation of all.”

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