April 3, 2012
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Ouelessebougou and visit many schools in-session. I was reminded of the incredible changes that have taken place since I became involved with the Ouelessebougou Alliance in 2003. Even ten years ago it was not common for girls to go to school because their mothers expected them to work in the fields or help raise their siblings. The perspective of mothers has changed a lot in a short amount of time--mothers now realize the importance of providing an education for their daughters. Next month 236 boys and girls will graduate from 6th grade. 87 of those graduates will be girls! Almost none of their mothers had the same opportunity to go to school that they have had over the past six years. Now, mothers are attending our adult-literacy programs, so education keeps moving forward for all ages!
Thank you for taking part in such an important work! Educating just one child will no-doubt educate families for generations.
Now more than ever girls are getting an education in 11 rural villages where their mothers have never had the chance to learn. 761 girls are enrolled in school this year in the 11 elementary schools that the Alliance continues to support. It is awe-inspiring to see the excitement that girls have to go to school.
Nationally, in the first and second grades students are taught in their indigenous language, Bamanakan. In grades 3-6 they learn in the language of French in order to communicate with people throughout the country. 1,740 total students in these 11 villages are learning to read, write, do mathmatics, and other school subjects that have been approved by the Malian Ministry of Education.
Thank you for helping to send children to school!
Ouelessebougou Alliance Staff
What a year! We are so thrilled with the progress that has been made in 11 village elementary schools this year—benefitting more than 700 girls. As we begin preparations for a new school year we can’t help but look back on this year as one of remarkable development. In fact it was a couple of years ago that we really made a significant stride when one of the elementary schools that we had been supporting decided they were ready to become a public school. Unfortunately, becoming a public school is no easy task. One requirement, among others, is that a village must have at least six classrooms in their school—one classroom per grade. After many years of providing construction and teacher training, the Alliance was happy to support the village of Tamala in their decision to become a public school. This year two other villages we have been working with over the past 10 years became public schools and three other villages are well on their way in the application process! We acknowledge the efforts of the village teachers and parents and look forward to making more sustainable progress in the coming year!
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,
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