Caravan to Class

Caravan to Class imagines a world, where no matter where a child lives, the fundamental right of education is assured. We are dedicated to reversing the injustice of illiteracy through school projects in Western Africa's remote villages.
Jan 6, 2015

Thank you for your support for literacy in Tourari

Dear Supporters of our Tourari project on Global Giving:

I want to wish you a very Healthy and Happy 2015!

Thank you so much for your generosity in supporting the operations for the Tourari school. Your important support will help us fund the payment of teachers, books/school supplies, and basic nutrition. The Tourari school is one of the best in the network of schools Caravan to Class supports. The parents, villages elders, school director, and teachers are incredibly committed to education and literacy in their villages. From the regular attendance we take in the school we support, we see that the number of students attending the Tourari school has grown this year to 142 at last count, with double the number of girls versus boys, 95 vs 47.

The security situation in Timbuktu has stabilized greatly in the past 18 months. I could already see this myself from the April 2014 trip. NGOs have increased their capacity building and work in Timbuktu in a number of sectors, buildings are being repaired, and economic life has revitalized. Still, unfortunately, it will be a bit of time before tourists return to Timbuktu. Also, the Ebola scare has also brought tourism to Mali, in general, to a halt, though no new cases have been uncovered for more than one month.

Thank you again for your support for Caravan to Class and our mission to bring literacy to villages in Timbuktu. Without your support, we would not be able to continue our work. I do understand how many deserving needs remain unsatisfied in the world and am grateful for your support for one of the world’s most interest, yet under-served populations.

Thank you again for your support and Happy New Year.

Feb 11, 2014

Thank you for a successful school project campaign

Student from Tombouz
Student from Tombouz

Thank you so much for your incredible support for Caravan to Class and literacy in Timbuktu during our Global Giving yearend campaign. Due to your strong support, we were able to raise a total of $24,234 to help fund the rebuilding of our Tombouz school which was partially destroyed by militants linked to Al Qaida in later 2012.

In addition, as a result of finishing third in funds raised out of more than 2,154 projects from more than 500 foundations, we were able to secure an additional $2,000 in bonus grants from Global Giving. Rebuilding the Tombouz will create a great school environment for the roughly 120 children, grades 1st -6th to realize their dream of an education and hope for their future.

One of my personal heroes, Nelson Mandela, who only recently passed away, said it best about education when he said “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” I am in favor of a strong defense in the U.S. However, something is out of balance when I see that $1.5 trillion that was spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in addition to the more than $1 million per minute we spend on our regular defense budget. Something tells me that if we could only allocate a small portion of that to helping educate children in the world’s poorest and most at-risk places like Mali, we could indeed find ourselves a safer world. We have to recognize that despite the overwhelming amount spent on the U.S. military, we actually do not necessarily live in a safer world now. As George Packer wrote in his New York Times blog, “war is too blunt an instrument, by itself, against the complexity, volatility and durability of Islamist violence.”

This does relate well to Mali’s situation over the past few years. By de-prioritizing the development of Mali’s north, like the Timbuktu region, the Malian government created a fertile ground for the militant Ansar Dine, linked to Al Qaida, to appeal to Tuareg separatists who felt as if they had little to lose. It is sad to think how much less bloodshed, destruction, disruption, and money could have been saved had Mali been able to do some simple things like a) have a school in every village, b) build infrastructure to promote jobs, trade and agriculture, c) provide financing to farmers.

Hopefully, there were some lessons learned during 2012 and now, with the UN peace-keeping force in place in Timbuktu and the north, and international donors ready to increased targeted aid, Timbuktu can not only recover from the past few years but move to a better place. Caravan to Class is now on the ground in five villages, and we are hoping eight by the end of 2014, promoting literacy and giving the deserving children of Timbuktu the dream of an education.

Thank you again for supporting our cause we will certainly keep you informed as we make progress in rebuilding the Tombouz school. As you can see from the photos, we have already begun making the bricks to start the building of the school thanks to your support.

Sincerely,

Barry Hoffner

Founder, Caravan to Class

Bricks being made for school building project
Bricks being made for school building project
Area where we will build Tombouz 3-classrom School
Area where we will build Tombouz 3-classrom School
Will replace this school building
Will replace this school building

Links:

Jan 22, 2014

Thanks for a Successful Big-Birthday Wish Campaign

After Renovation
After Renovation

Dear Donors to the Big Birthday Wish to Restore School in Timbuktu

First, as the Founder and Executive Director of Caravan to Class, I want to wish you a Happy New Year!

I also want to thank you again for your important support for Debbie and Eileen and their Big Birthday Wish to Restore the Tourari school.

We have just finalized our yearend campaign and our happy to say that thanks to your support, we were able to raise roughly $14,000. These funds are already being put to work to rehabilitate the classrooms in the Tourari school, pay for teachers’ salaries, provide books and school supplies, and basic nutrition for roughly 140 students.  You can see one class that we have already rehabilitated from the old mud-brick to cement-facing.

In addition, our partner, Arche Nova, a Germany-based NGO focused on health-related school issues, has already renovated the latrines (see attached photos).

While so many difficulties remain for the villages near Timbuktu, security, water, sanitation, income, etc. However, I do know that the despite on-going challenges, so many in Timbuktu are happy to be back in their villages and are particularly grateful to that their children are back in school and learning. In the case of Tourari, the village children are able to, once again, pursue their dream of literacy thanks to you.

Sincerely,

Barry Hoffner

Caravan to Class

Students outside at recess.
Students outside at recess.
renovated latrines
renovated latrines
renovated latrines
renovated latrines
renovated latrines
renovated latrines
before renovation
before renovation

Links:

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $35
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $270
    give
  • $350
    give
  • $625
    give
  • $1,440
    give
  • $2,422
    give
  • $3,060
    give
  • $35
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $270
    each month
    give
  • $350
    each month
    give
  • $625
    each month
    give
  • $1,440
    each month
    give
  • $2,422
    each month
    give
  • $3,060
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Caravan to Class

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Caravan to Class on GreatNonProfits.org.