Dear Global Givers,
The holiday season is a time to give thanks for all that we have . . . and a time to give help to those who are less fortunate than we are.
While we enjoy our holiday feasts, rural Malians fight against disease, poverty, illiteracy, and long odds to prosper or even to survive. According to UNICEF, one in every 5 Malian children does not live to see his or her fifth birthday, and only approximately 20% of those who make it to adulthood can write their own names. In this time of giving, we must look to the less fortunate and help them to overcome their arduous struggle.
The Ouelessebougou Alliance’s programs are grass-roots movements that instigate social change, sustainable development and greatly increased education, as well as significant improvements in health and sanitation. Thanks to generous contributors like you, nearly 95% of the children in Ouelessebougou villages are vaccinated – twice the rate in the rest of the country; girls’ enrollment in village schools where the Alliance works is 21% higher than national girls’ school enrollment in Mali, thanks to Alliance workers talking to parents about the importance of educating girls and increasing the availability of education in the area; and the Alliance provides business training and the capital for micro-loans that allow villagers to become entrepreneurs. Your donation helps us continue to provide these life-changing tools in one of the worlds most impoverished rural regions, providing not only fish for a day, but also the education and training to fish for a lifetime.
Spread a little holiday cheer to Mali.
Best wishes in the holiday season and the New Year!
In the village of Dialakoro Keleya, every family views education as a must. The Alliance school in this village has more students than any other: 340 this year (2010-2011), 164 of which are girls (48%). The villagers view the school as a way to progress both socially and economically. Every parent who has the money to send his or her children to school sends them with pride. There are some children who are old enough to be in school, but cannot afford it, and can be seen at the schoolhouse windows trying to catch some of the lesson.
The school in Dialakoro Keleya has 5 classrooms, constructed by the Alliance: 2 from concrete and 3 from mud bricks. The mud brick classrooms are falling apart and urgently need to be replaced. Inside the packed classrooms, there are not enough desks: in the first and second grades, a table made for 2 students must accommodate 4; in the fifth and sixth grade classroom (combined), a table made for 4 students must accommodate 6.
With the help of the Alliance's economic development programs (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/loans-for-africa-development/), the village is on its way to becoming self-sustained. Of Dialakoro Keleya's 6 teachers' salaries, 2 are paid entirely by the villagers, and the other 4 are paid in part by the villagers and in part by the government.
Dialakoro Keleya is a village that values its school, and we must encourage its hopes of providing education to all its children. Currently there is need for bench desk, better classrooms, and textbooks. One dollar can make a big difference. There is a saying in Mali: "a hundred dollars is not too small; a thousand dollars is not too much."
With kind regards,
The Mali government recently made a change to the national curriculum for first and second grades. The new curriculum requires teachers to teach in their indigenous language, which is Bamanankan in the Ouelessebougou area. Beginning in third grade students transition from learning Bamanankan to French—Mali’s official language. In 2005, the Alliance was asked to pilot the new curriculum in 12 village elementary schools. The Alliance was honored to be selected by the government to pilot the program and has seen great success over the years as children have learned to read and write in their traditional language.
This year, twenty-three teachers participated in the Alliance’s annual French/Bamanakan training. The goal of the training was to aid teachers as they strive to make the difficult transition from teaching in Bamanankan (in grades one and two) to teaching fully in French (by grade five) as required by the Malian government. Teachers were instructed on subjects including grammar, conjugation, vocabulary and dictation. Many teachers in Ouelessebougou were only instructed in French, so this training also serves as a language course for teachers.
Our schools continually have a higher girls' enrollment rate than the rest of Mali. Please help us keep more girls in schools with well trained teachers. Keep supporting our cause.
Starting October 12, GlobalGiving is matching all donations at 30%, 40%, or 50%. If you've been waiting for the best moment to donate to one of our projects on Global Giving, now is the best time ever.
This is how the match percentage program works:
Donation Percentage Match
$10 - $499 30%
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There is $100,000 available in matching funds. The campaign will run until Oct 21 or until matching funds run out.
So please, donate to our projects, and we also encourage you to tell your friends about this opportunity.
In addition to the match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds between October 12 - 21, and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors!
This summer, the Ouelessebougou Alliance teamed up with buildOn in order to build a new school in Bamakoni.
Bamakoni is a small community in southern Mali with a population of approximately 650 people who are primarily uneducated and illiterate. Located in the Ouelessebougou region, Bamakoni has an existing long-term relationship with the Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance. The existing school in Bamakoni was donated by the Alliance in 2001. It has 3 classrooms. When enrollment climbed to 140 students in 2008, the Bamakoni built an additional two mud brick classrooms. When necessary and possible, they conducted another class outside the school.
These 5 classrooms were being used by 6 teachers and 140 students (67 girls) as recently as spring 2010. The mud brick classrooms were not sufficient, and the Alliance classrooms were only in fair condition. The next nearest school is 6 km from Bamakoni, and the road is not passable in the rainy season. The village needed a more adequate school for their growing population of school-aged children.
Thanks to the contributions from donors like you, we are able to provide clean, safe classrooms for these children. Keep up the great work!
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