Mali is at war for over a week now, but our children have hope because they know that you are with them. Indeed, ACFA children are doing well and they are continuing with the school, and other activities. Living in one of the poorest countries of the world, families are struggling even more: lack of resources has rendered a difficult situation even more dire. The most vulnerable children have faith because of you. Thanks to your support, there is hope. Indeed our expansion project has commenced with our water well digging which was successfully completed this week. Next, we will be constructing our dorm: this will allow us to double the number of children that we support by June 2013. We are there with Mali, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your continued support.
Our children have benefited from our donors’ generosity which has allowed them to receive a nutritionist well balanced meal plan. Additionally, thanks to the Google Hunger Relief Initiative, we have raised funds to allow us to double the number of children that we support. Thanks to our challenge from the Segal Family Foundation we were able to raise enough funds and are able to commence the construction of Zorokoro Children Complex. We thank all of our donors for their continued support. This expansion project will allow us to accommodate more than 100 children, while having a school from grade 1 to 9, a medical facility, a library and computer lab as well as an outdoor and indoor sports and cultural facilities.
Because of the military coup, war, drought, and outbreak of preventable diseases, over 400,000 Malians are now displaced internally and in neighboring countries. The war has added to the country’s food and nutritional crises. Added to these matters is the high spike of food prices. According to the government, 31% of Mali population is at risk of food insecurity. The lack of nutritious meals is prevailing in the refugee camps. The children of course are the most vulnerable. Though our children have 3 meals a day and nutritional supplement available to them, because of the crisis, there are more children in need.
Donations made to our project on Wednesday, October 17 2012 will be matched 30% by GlobalGiving. We also have another exciting campaign going, which will double your donation, making all donations made on October 17 a 130% match! Give on Bonus Day for a 130% match! All donations made by 31 December 2012 will be doubled, so please donate see your donation go even further.
In September, at ACFA-Mali, we welcomed our newest child, Diakassan Coulibaly. Diakassan is 8 years old and had never attended any schools before coming to ACFA. Since her arrival, we've gotten Diakassan and birth certificate and she started school with the rest of the children on 25 Sep. To avoid the academic disruptions of last year, this year we enrolled our children in private schools. After a week, I discussed with the children and they are extremely happy and exited with the new school. They went from 100 students per teacher to 15 students per teacher. We are confident that this year's academic results will be even better than last year's.
ACFA-Mali's year is progressing well. The farm that we cultivate to feed the children is much promising this year. As opposed to last year where the Sahel drought affected our return on investment, this year looks much better. Our project provides not just food for the children but also sustainable option to ACFA and providing jobs for the community where our farm is, Samanko 2. The children all finished their academic year with outstanding grades of 7 out of 10 and above. Despite the difficulties associated with the social, political and economic turmoil created by a military coup in Mar 2012, and rebels and Islamic Extremists taking over 2/3rd of the country, ACFA is thriving and the children are all passing to the next grade in their respective schools.
To avoid missed classes as experienced this year, we have plans to enroll the children into private schools next academic year. This summer the children are keeping engaged with drama and plastic arts classes at the Institute National Des Arts of Bamako. On Jun 23rd, two significant events occurred: Saleh Sinayoko passed to the yellow belt in Karate, and ACFA-Mali celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Indeed it was on 23 Jun 2010 that the first children arrived at ACFA-Mali. Now, more than ever, in the war torn country of Mali, the need for services to vulnerable children is increasing. ACFA-Mali has reached the full capacity of the current location. We need assistance in financing our new building which can take up to 100 vulnerable children.
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