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Aug 29, 2019

Education for girls in Ouelessebougou

Girls at the Bassa School
Girls at the Bassa School

By the beginning of October the rainy season is coming to an end and the children in Ouelessebouguo are getting ready to return to the classroom.  Here at the Ouelessebougou Alliance we are busy preparing for another successful back to school year.  One of our primary focuses continues to be the education of girls.  Unfortunately, girls in Mali face many barriers when it comes to education.  Most face and suffer from household poverty and are expected to stay home with their mothers to help work and look after younger sibilings.  Child labor is very common and many young girls work in the mines to help supplement and support family income.  Gender inequality is prevelant and girls marry as young as 12 and 13 years of age.  In addition, the lack of menstrual care solutions are all factors that contribute to girls not staying in school and the high drop-out rate of girls in village schools.  

Whether or not a girl stays in school has a profound effect on not only her quality of life, but on her future family's life as well.  When a Malian girl has the opportunity to receive an education and stay in school, she is more likely to stay healthy, save money, marry later in life and most importantly educate her children.  When a girl receives an education it breaks the poverty cycle in one generation.  

Our goal in 2019/2020 school year is for even more girls in Ouelessebougou to receive a quality education and experence success.  Our local Mali staff partners with the schools, Education Councils and village Health workers to educate village leaders and parents on the importance of girls' education and keeping girls in school.  We teach girls gardening, nutrition and financial literacy which improves life skills and future income opportunities.  We provide menstration education and distribute Days for Girls feminine hygeine kits to allow girls to attend school year round.  

Last year 43% of village students were girls.  We want to see that number continue to rise.  Thank you for your donation and helping us reach our goals for girls in Ouelessebougou! 

Aug 16, 2019

Making a Difference for Village Communities

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. The government is unable to provide vaccinations to all its children and infants, particularly in rural areas of Ouelessebougou. The Alliance provides vaccinations for children and infants in its partner’s villages to save life of thousands of children and pregnant women each year. In rural areas, some children still die before their fifth birthday celebration because of the preventive diseases, including measles, polio, yellow fever, tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and the flu. The Alliance vaccinates pregnant women in the Ouelessebougou region, which save mothers and babies’ lives.

What makes Ouelessebougou Alliance’s vaccination program in our villages is our Health Agents and Matrons. They know everybody in their villages including pregnant women, infants, and children, and are the main actors during vaccination period. They organize vaccinations with the Alliance staff and make sure children, infants and pregnant woman receive the vaccinations they need to prevent them from preventable diseases. Since they come from the same village, our Health Agents and Matrons know where to find those who do not show up for their vaccinations. The Alliance goal is for nobody to be left behind during the vaccination campaigns. These Health Agents have a strong relationship with their people, and villagers trust them because they are part of their communities and they are excited to serve.

The Alliance vaccination program helps villagers to save time and money. They do not need to worry about rides to reach the nearest clinics or walk several miles to see local doctors. Additionally, villagers have limited of the income sources, and most of them live on less than a $1 per day, which is the extreme poverty line. When their children do not get vaccinated, they get sick. As a result, they have to sell their family crops to pay for medical bills, which cause famine, malnutrition, and extreme poverty in their families. The Alliance vaccination programs enables villagers to save money for their children’s schooling, clothes, and food.

Our vaccination program is making a huge difference in our villages. It has an impact on children and women health in the Ouelessebougou region. Several women told me this in their villages: “because of the Alliance vaccinations, our babies and children death is reducing and we are saving money. Children and pregnant women who are vaccinated are healthier than those who are not vaccinated. Vaccinated children do not get sick much and do not miss classes because of illnesses, and they are physically strong. We would like other organizations in our villages to look at the Alliance work as an example of effective program which is saving lives every day.”

The Alliance vaccination is the best way to save children lives in rural areas, alleviate poverty, and give hope to healthy future generations. Thank you for your donation to our vaccination program. You are blessing the lives of many families in Ouelessebougou.

Jun 3, 2019

Educate a Girl, Change the World

"An educated girl will stay healthy, save money, build a business, empower her community, lift her country, change the world."

Nema has plans for her future, a future that would not be possible without the support of Ouelessebougou Alliance's education program. She may only be eight years old, but she already knows she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She is inspired by her second grade teacher, a mother of four who returned to school to teach with her newborn baby on her back. A quality education is vital for Nema to achieve her dream of teaching one day. 

To help Nema and other girls like her stay in school, Ouelessebougou Alliance works with its 12 partner elementary schools to not only provide quality education programs, but also heighten the awareness of the importance of girls' education. Historically, education of girls has not been a high priority in Mali. Due to factors like gender inequality, boys complete school at a faster rate than girls and tend to be more literate. Younger girls are often expected to stay home to do domestic chores. They may often be late or miss class due to cooking, cleaning or caring for their family. When girls start menustrating, they miss more school or drop out all together. Often, they are expected to marry at a young age.

The Alliance has worked for over 25 years in partnership with rural villages to break this cultural tradition. In villages that benefit from our education program, it is evident more and more parents recognize the value and now make their daughters' education a priority. Some have rearranged household chores, saved money for school fees and worked longer hours to ensure their girls can stay in school. 

Yet it takes more than working to change a parent's mindsight. To encourage local ownership of our education programs, the village is responsible for facilitating trainings, engaging parents, solving problems with an education council, paying the teachers' salaries and maintaining the classrooms. The Alliance provides support by supplying school supplies and facilities, teacher training and literacy workshops.

This is how your donations help. 100% of your charitable gift goes directly to Ouelessebougou to fund our education program. Our goal is for every student to have access to the resources they need for a successful education experience. This will benefit more girls like Nema. We are committed to increasing girls' enrollment and your contribution makes that happen. Iniche!!!

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