Thank you for your interest in Caravan to Class. The Female Adult Literacy program in the village of Tourari was separately funded by the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and thus Caravan to Class is deactivating this project on Global Giving.
Thanks to our donors, we have been able to build 9 schools in villages around Timbuktu, bringing literacy to thousands of deserving children. This year, we are launching pilot programs in literacy for female adults so that they can also know the joy that comes with literacy.
Again, thank you for your interest in Caravan to Class and our mission to bring literacy to villages near the fabled Timbuktu, Mali.
While security challenges still remain in Timbuktu, we are confident of our ability to impact so many at-risk children and also their mothers.
Dear Tourari supporters:
We have been experiencing unseasonably hot weather in Northern California lately so much so that the weather almost reminds me of the day-after-day temperatures above of 100 in Timbuktu.
It has almost been one year since you so generously supported the operations for the Tourari school during 2014-15. Your important support helped us fund the payment of teachers, books/school supplies and basic nutrition. Tourari continues to be one of the most committed villages to education in our network. We have our highest attendance rates of the nine villages where we support education, with attendance rates above 85%.
The security situation, despite a number of government initiatives including the peace accords, remains challenging. While Timbuktu itself has remained relatively safe and the villages where we work have not encountered any violence, there have been a number of incidents including the killing of some UN Peacekeepers over the past few months. We can only hope that the security situation will improve and that peace will, once again, come to Timbuktu.
Nonetheless, Caravan to Class is moving forward with our work in both building news schools and supporting existing schools. We finished the Samdiar school just a few months ago and are already building a new school in the village of Kakondji which I visited in April. Kakondji is a scale village with almost 200 children who have never known any formal schooling. We started the Kakondji school construction in August and will likely be finished around the end of the year. We are also renovating the Togha school, which like Tourari was mud-brick and had seriously deteriorated over the past year.
Finally, we are a finalist for a large grant that, should we be selected, will fund a Female Adult Literacy and Empowerment program for 200 women in 8 villages, including Tourari. We believe this will be an important program to raise the awareness of importance of education with the mothers in the villages where we work.
Thank you again for your past support. As we move into late Fall, we will be launching a campaign to fund the current new schools under construction.
Dear Tourari school supporters,
I want to wish you a wonderful summer!
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, despite some challenges in the past few weeks. However, just yesterday a coalition of Tuareg-led rebel groups have signed an historic peace deal with the Malian government after securing more autonomy from the Malian government. Under the peace deal, the Malian government agreed to allow the formation of democratically elected regional councils in the country's war-torn north, and dropped arrest warrants for a number of militant leaders. There is much hope, but now we will have to see if the facts on the ground match this hope to bring the need stability and likely follow-on increased support for a deserving part of the world. I recently returned from my annual trip to Timbuktu to see our latest school being built in the village of Samdiar and to scout out our next school project. While I enjoyed the traditional village welcome, the frenzied dancing in the sand, shaking every one of at least 150 of the students hands, and the camels, what hit me most were the words of the head of the village, “You were here last year and promised to build us a school. Caravan to Class has fulfilled its promise. No one has ever done anything like that for us to give our children a brighter future with the possibilities that an education brings. We will never forget Caravan to Class.” Being the only NGO building and funding the operations of schools in the area, we see our work as vital to a deserving but severely at-risk population. This includes the village of Tourari where the school is doing incredible well.
One exciting piece of news to report is that Caravan to Class has been invited, as a finalist, to apply for a grant from an organization that the Big Birthday Wish sponsors, Eileen and Debbie, know well. Should we secure this grant, Caravan to Class will launch a Female Adult Literacy and Empowerment 2yr program in 9 villages, including the village of Tourari, to teach literacy in local languages, to 225 mothers of students in schools built by Caravan to Class, and a follow-up practical course that helps these women use that literacy to improve their daily lives. We will not know whether we will get this grant until Fall, but will let you know…This program, while designed to provided needed skills to women, will also help increase attendance and cultural prioritization of education in the villages where Caravan to Class works.
Finally, please find attached with this report some pictures we took on "students on their way to school" and a picture of the new school Caravan to Class just finished building in the village of Samdiar.
Thank you again for your support.
Founder and Executive Director, Caravan to Class