Oct 15, 2020

Girls' Education: A Better Future For All

This past Sunday was International Day of the Girl, a social media holiday set aside to celebrate powerful young women who are changing the world. Women like Mariam from the rural village of Tamala. Mariam is 18 years old and attended Ouelessebougou Alliance's partner elementary school. She is now in the 9th grade. 

Mariam is extremely grateful for her formal education made possible by the Ouelessebougou Alliance. She believes she is very fortunate, because many girls do not have the opportunity. "To be a girl in Mali is difficult because we have a lot of household work early in the morning before we go to school," she said. "Because of that, girls come to class late sometimes. It affects our education because we are not able to catch up on the previous lessons that our teachers teach before we come to class." She continued, "If our teachers give these lessons we miss in our class during the tests and exams, we will fail them. When some girls fail once or twice, they are more likely to drop out of school."

The Alliance works closely with the village leaders, school administration and parents to increase the awareness of the importance of a girl's education. Many families now make adjustments to ensure houshold chores, financial obligations and even cultural expectations do not prevent their girls from attending school.

"Because I had an Alliance education, I got to stay in school without having to get married. In my village, several girls marry before they are eighteen, especially when they do not attend school," shared Mariam. 

Mariam says her primary school education taught her how to work hard. She is committed to finishing high school so she can change her parents' and extended family's living conditions. "Now I can educate my children one day," she said. "I can look at their notebooks and help them study at nights."

Mariam's hope is to finish her education and become an OB/GYN. She wants to save the lives of women in her village and country. 

Because of our generous donors' gifts to our education program, young women like Mariam are facing a brighter future. Investing in girls' education transforms communities, strengthens economices and reduces inequality. Please help the girls in Ouelessebougou have the opportunity to fulfill their potential by donating or sharing our education fundraiser. Iniche!

Oct 5, 2020

Protecting Mali's Most Vulnerable

Teningini is our amazing Malian Program Manager who helps facilitate our mmunization program in rural Ouelessebougou. I met Teningnini's grandson during my trip to Mali back in January. She was thrilled to introduce me to the newest member of her family. What a sweet boy. And healthy...as you can see from those chubby cheeks! 

Teningini and her family are fortunate. Because of Teningnini's long tenure with the Alliance, she has taught her daughters the importance of health, sanitation and nutrition. Teningnini's daughter lives in the capital city of Bamako where she and her son have access to adequate healthcare. Because of this, her baby boy has started receiving his routine childhood immunizations. He is being protected by preventable illness and disease.

Currently, every tenth child in Mali dies before the age of 5, while one in 33 newborns do not survive the first month of life. Only 45% of children in Mali receive all the basic vaccinations and 14% do not receive vaccinations at all, depriving them from protection from common childhood illnesses.

Because of the global pandemic, immunizations are more important than ever. Routine vaccinations safeguard children from contracting and spreading disease. Although some of these illnesses may seem to pose a minimal threat, the COVID-19 virus has shown us the wide-reaching impact of a disease that  cannot be easily treated or prevented with a vaccine. 

Vulnerable families in Ouelessebougou are limited to access to adequate healthcare and vaccinations. Without the Alliance's immunization program, many children would not be vaccinated. We partner with the hospital to provide vaccines in remote and rural villages -- FREE of charge. This is critical for the health and well-being of children ages 0 - 5.

For the cost of a fast food combo meal, one child in Ouelessebougou can be vaccinated from 9 diseases for $5. Thank you for your generosity and making it possible for us to help thousands. Please consider donating or helping us by sharing and spreading the word. 

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Jun 17, 2020

Education for Girls in Mali, West Africa

Mali continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world and for young girls this makes it difficult to hope for an education.  Girls face social, cultural and economic hardship when it comes to fighting for an education, thus young girls continue to sit on the sidelines when it comes to schooling.  Even if girls attend school most drop out by the age of 11 or 12 and in the rural villages most young girls are married by the age of 14.  Young girls in Mali fight acute malnutrition and poverty and are too often illiterate.  Mali ranks as one of the highes coutries in the world as just not having proper access or quality of education for girls.

Girls are often kept home to help their mothers with younger children, or jobs around the home.  Girls are often sent away to Bamako to work for wealthier families, as domestic servants, to help earn money to buy food for their families.  Girls are often shamed and not provided the proper environment to receive an education once they begin their periods.  In rurual Mali, once a young girl has started her period she cannot be educated in the same classroom as a girl who has not started menstruating.  This leads to girls dropping out of school and to girls feeling shamed.  Most girls do not have the financial resources to begin school or even continue it past a primary education.  Further, if a parent has to choose between a son or daughter to receive an education in almost every situation the parent will choose the son.

Ouelessebougou Alliance continues to operate 12 schools in our 25 partnered villages.  Educating girls is a primary goal in these schools.  Last year 43% of our students attendig our village schools were girls.  The Alliance has Education Councils in all our villages working to educate parents about the importance of making sure their girls receive an education.  When girls in Mali are educated they are more likely to educate their children, they are more likely to gain employment and/or own and operate a small business, thus, the economy is directly affected and villages thrive due to educated women.

Help the Alliance continue to educate girls in the rural villages of Mali, West Africa.  Ten dollars will educate a girl for an entire year in one of the Alliace's partnered villages.  When a girl has access to a proper and quality education entire communities begin to thrive.       

 
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