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!
Thanks to donors like you, the Alliance's vaccination work in Mali continues to save lives. This year, the Alliance provided 5,369 vaccinations to women and children throughout thirty villages. These vaccinations include polio, yellow fever, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, hepatitis A, vitamin A deficiency, the flu, and tetanus. A total of 2,300 women and children were vaccinated.
In total, 92.8% of children under five in Alliance villages are fully vaccinated, whereas nationally, the numbers are less than 50%.
These vaccinations help cut down on the devastating death toll among Ouelessebougou's children: though 20% of Malian children die before the age of five, less than 1% of the children in Alliance villages died from vaccine preventable deaths.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the progress you have helped to make, and to thank you once again for your generous contributions. I encourage you to keep up with our projects and give in the future, so that we can continue to change the lives of Ouelessebougou villagers for the better.
We have just finished successfully distributing more than 600 mosquito nets in Mali, and people in several villages are asking for more. We do not give them away for free, but ask for a small fee ($1 USD), in order for the people to know the value of the nets. Still, our field director in Mali tells us the people of the Ouelesseboug region are asking for 600 more net.
And when you contribute now, your donation will be mutliplied! 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%
$500 - $999 40%
$1,000 - $2,500 50%
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!
We are happy to report that 5,369 woman and children received vaccinations this fiscal year (June 2009 - July 2010) in the Ouelessebougou Region of Mali.
Amazingly, the government of Mali offers free vaccinations, but they don't have a way to deliver the vaccines to rural areas. That's where we step in, providing transportation and pay for physicians to give the vaccinations. Our relationship with village healthcare workers makes the process seamless.
On the days we bring the vaccinations to the villages, woman and children line up since they know the value and importance of receiving these vaccines. The simple shots can prevent life-threatening diseases and save hundreds of lives. The Alliance really hopes to expand the vaccination program in coming years to rural villages that don't have this opportunity.
Studies show that if we can vaccinate enough people in the area, some of these diseases can be eradicated all together in these villages.
A recent assessment found that 94% of children under 5 in Alliance villages have been fully vaccinated. Nationally, only about 38% of children are fully vaccinated. Further analysis showed that for every 100 children who were vaccinated, one child was spared from dying of yellow fever. What a success! that means that for every $150 donated, a life was saved!
The Alliance is working with villages to establish their own health plans. These plans consist of priorities, timelines and assessments overseen by the villagers themselves. Recently, the chief of Seliban, Siriba Samake, told us that he has seen a substantial increase in vaccinations in his village because of two factors: the alliance provides the vaccinations, and the village (through their health plan) has taken more responsibility for getting their children immunized.
The villagers in the Ouelessebougou commune always express gratitude to the Alliance for providing these life-saving vaccines. But we know it wouldn't be possible without you. Thank you, donors, for your generous support! Please let us know what you think!
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