Mali is the largest land-locked country in the Sahel region of West Africa, and it is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average annual GDP per capita of about $660 in 2012 (World Bank, 2014).
People whose household head has little or no education account for 85.2 percent of all the poor in the country in 2009-10. The overall percentage of individuals deciding to return to education over the years have significantly dropped.
During a group’s visit to Sikasso, Mali in 2010, one member of the group sent her niece to a primary school. Like other students she had to walk many miles to get to the nearest school. While in class her ability to speak fluent French (which is the official academic language) made a positive impression on her classmates. In fact, her classmates couldn’t express themselves fluently in French because the teacher teaches them in their dialect. Therefore, two (2) of her classmates asked her to teach them, French. She replied that her uncle had taught her… therefore the girls decided to walk with her to meet her uncle and ask for help, which he agreed to do so. The girls found that the teaching was good and decided to bring more friends. One after another one, the uncle ended up having more than 50 children coming to his house to receive an education. For many, this teaching was their only way of receiving an education. Therefore to maximize the children learning process, we decided to divide the children into 2 groups from ages 2-9 years old and 10 to 16 years old and we provided them two (2) sessions per week.
Seeing the increasing needs, we decided to help more and provide quality education to children living in villages around Sikasso, including Zandjougoula, kozansso-dioula, and Zanadougou.
During the courses, those who follow and correctly answer the questions receive cookies and candy. At the end of the course, all those who are present receive cookies and candy to encourage their greater participation.
After the course, the students take a comprehensive exam and receive rewards including school supplies, monthly financial support of $2 according to their merits and needs. The teachings have different format including teaching in form of sketch, story, and songs and all groups are rewarded according to their merit.
When the children come home with these small gifts, the parents do not complain and allow their children to attend our teaching sessions. Moreover, the lack of interest from their parents creates a growing interest in them to attend our teaching sessions where we demonstrate attention to them, make them feel valuable, which in turns gives them hope to a brighter future. As a result, we have made a positive impact directly in the lives of more than 500 children through the following activities and programs:
- Assist parents to provide school supplies.
- Coordinate children’s clubs in Sikasso city, Zandjougoula , Kozansso-dioula , and Zanadougou villages to improve children’s education
- Provide art and cultural education that include dance, drama, music, drawing, and painting to improve academic performance, build self-esteem and enhance communication.
- Improve literacy and cultivate leadership development.
- Encourage creativity and critical thinking.
- Stimulate the culture of excellence
Unfortunately, we do not have a building in either village to house a school, where these activities can be better conducted and enjoyed. In spite of the classes being held outdoor the children zealously attend the teaching sessions. We have chosen to improve children’s education in these villages.
We need your support.
BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY BY SUPPORTING EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN NEED.
What amount is right for you? $50? $100? $10,000? Every donation helps us educate more kids who want an education!