Provide Food for Mali's Vulnerable Children

by A Child For All, ACFA Inc.
Provide Food for Mali's Vulnerable Children
Provide Food for Mali's Vulnerable Children
Provide Food for Mali's Vulnerable Children
Provide Food for Mali's Vulnerable Children

Exciting times ahead!

Our children may have been on summer vacation over the past few months, but we have been hard at work making progress towards ACFA’s many goals.

Currently, our dedicated local staff continue to look after the ACFA teenagers in the house in Bamako where our founder grew up. Our Zorokoro Children’s Complex in the nearby village of Zorokoro houses 3-6 year olds and is growing.

This year, three more of our older children passed the national exam to go to high school bringing ACFA’s pass rate to 90%, nearly twice the national average. These exams are notoriously challenging, and we could not be more proud of our young people and their hard work.

The older children have continued to succeed in their athletic pursuits as well. In July, Diakassan took home the silver medal in a regional fencing competition. Our partnership with Kickoff Solutions has provided continued mentorship to support our girls in pursuing athletics. Our students were thrilled to receive an invitation to visit the Kickoff Solutions team in their native India, and staff is currently working to make that dream a reality.

In addition, 4 of our older girls are currently participating in an online computer skills course offered by a dedicated group of high school students from California. This has been an illuminating cultural exchange experience on both sides in addition to helping ACFA’s kids develop their digital literacy.

A special thank you again to the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at the U.S. Embassy who visited the ACFA children and generously donated clothes, sheets and food.

Meanwhile, we have continued to deepen our community work at the Zorokoro Children's Complex. During the month of August, we offered summer school for the two kindergarten classes which includes the ACFA children and children from the surrounding villages. All the children at the school get three meals a day. Our dedicated teachers created a curriculum that will set the children up for success in their first grade year, covering social skills, basic math and reading, Malian geography, and plenty of songs and poems. When the new school year begins in October, we will be adding a first grade class and an additional kindergarten class.

We are also at a particularly exciting phase in the development of our library and computer lab initiative in Zorokoro. With the support of our funders and local professionals who have generously volunteered their time, we are set to begin construction of the library and computer lab building this month. We can’t wait to welcome patrons into the space once it is built. A generous shipment of books from Books for Africa arrived safely to the complex, and thanks to our grant from USAID/ASHA, we are in the process of purchasing additional materials in French and Bambara, Mali’s local language, to round out our collection.

At the organizational level, we are currently in the exciting process of hiring an on-the-ground operations manager. Filling this position will allow us to develop deeper relationships at the community level, increase efficiency, and sustain our successes over the long term.

We have big dreams for the future of ACFA. We know from our work on the ground in Mali that there are many more vulnerable children in need of the kind of high-quality wraparound support services that we provide. We hope to expand our capacity by building more personnel infrastructure and continuing to develop our programs.

Please consider donating to ACFA today to support our continued growth and enable more vulnerable children to receive what all kids deserve: care, safety, and opportunity.

Thank you for your generous and continued support of ACFA.

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Children in front of school
Children in front of school

The slow pace due to the uncertainty of COVID did not stop us from making progress on ACFA’s many goals and 2022 is now off to a good start, building on our success! 

Our two kindergarten classes at the Zorokoro Children’s Complex are doing well with the ACFA children and 26 children from the surrounding villages learning everything from letters and numbers to being introduced to gardening. Learning about the importance of good nutrition and how to harvest food are important life skills. The children are improving every day, being cared for by our dedicated staff. 

Now is a truly exciting moment at the Zorokoro Children's Complex as we start to plan to receive the donation of 20,000 books from Books for Africa for our library (already shipped an on the way!) and are planning computer training on the new laptops – all thanks to USAID/ASHA’s grant. This will be monumental for the children's education, and we cannot wait to use the computers as tools for learning.

We also decided to host summer school for 6 weeks for all the kindergarten students, so they continue to learn as they prepare for the next school year.

The older children continue to thrive.  Diakassan, Billy and Sale competed at the fencing Open of Mali and Diakassan won the bronze medal.   Having ranked number 1 in a pre-selection competition, Kadiatou is selected to play with the Mali national taekwondo team.  Our four Kickoff Solution Solutions scholarship recipients continue to be mentored by the wonderful founders of Kickoff Solutions, as well as continue in their favorite sports activities.

The older children also completed their algebra class which was being taught by a California high school student volunteer.  The children in elementary school (9th grade DEF candidates) in Badalabougou did well on the first semester exams all having at least average grade.

Thank you to the U.S. Marine Corps based at the US Embassy Mali for their generous donation through their #ToysforTots program! The Marines came to ACFA to give the children their gifts personally and the children were so excited! 

ACFA was able to raise funds to purchase a motorcycle for use at the Children’s Complex.  In addition, Seydou Traore, a long time ACFA supporter, funded the purchase of a motorcycle for ACFA to facilitate Togola’s increased presence at Zorokoro, which is about 45 minutes from Bamako where Togola oversees the wellbeing of the older children living in the house where our founder grew up.

We are looking to build out our personnel infrastructure in Mali and the U.S. to support the ACFA programs, which we are excited to see continue to grow.

Please consider donating to ACFA today to help us continue to build on our success and support the vulnerable children of Mali.

Thank you for your generous and continued support of ACFA.

Meal time at Zorokoro school
Meal time at Zorokoro school
New computer lab up and running
New computer lab up and running

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Drawing at Zorokoro
Drawing at Zorokoro

ACFA ended 2021 on a very good note with lots to success to build up on in the coming year.

Our CEO Kadiatou Sidibe visited Mali in Oct 2021 to observe progress made at both Zorokoro and Badalabougou.  She visited existing partners as well as potential new partners.  She hosted the USAID team of Bamako at Badalabougou during a site visit.  At Zorokoro, construction of the second school building has now been completed. We’ve opened our second kindergarten class and academic year 2021-2022 is well underway with students from both ACFA and children from the surrounding villages.  Additionally, at our complex, we’ve welcomed 4 new children who previously lacked access to a safe shelter, food, health care and education.  They are adjusting well to their new environment. 

The older children continue to excel in sports.  In October, Diakassan participated in the Mali Fencing Open and received a silver medal.  Additionally, she won the 2021 Mali Championship, marking the 3rd year in a row that she holds this medal.  Additionally, one of our girls, Kadiatou, has been accepted in the Mali Junior National Taekwondo Team.

School has started for the older children as well.  Our newest high school students have been dispatched to their new schools and are adjusting well.  This year we have 4 candidates for the national high school entrance exam, DEF, while we have 7 who have passed the DEF and are already in high school.  We completed the introduction to computer coding classes taught by a high school student volunteer from California, and the algebra classes taught by another California high school student continues for our older children.  Both classes have benefitted from translation and interpreting by a French high school student volunteer.

In vocational training, Koro benefited from a rotary club scholarship to attend sewing training.  This has proved to be not just a great opportunity for her to learn this valuable skill, but also a major morale booster: she’s now well motivated to take the DEF next year.  Seeing her progress is rejuvenating.    

We started the procurement of our library and computer lab materials in November.  We’ve also partnered with Books For Africa and will be receiving a donation of 20,000 books for our library.  The logistics of all these matters are underway and we anticipate opening our library by mid 2022.  A group of volunteers, to include ACFA’s education expert, Alexandra Laurent from France, and several ACFA board members will then be visiting ACFA’s operations with the CEO in Bamako. 

October marks the solidarity month in Mali.  To that end, ACFA received in-kind donations from Orange and Malitel Foundations, Ourydia Association, as well as individual donors. These donations consisted of food, and school supplies.  Foundation Malidons of Canada also donated clothes to ACFA in November.  Finally, in December 2021, ACFA was the beneficiary of a donation from Toys For Tots, an initiative of the Marines stationed at the US Embassy in Bamako.

Kickoff Solution continues its support to ACFA’s girls through leadership development and sport involvement.  One of our girls, Bassan, was featured in Kickoff Solutions’ annual gala fundraiser at the end of 2021.  

ACFA’s CPA visited ACFA’s operations in December 2021.  This was an eye-opening event as he was able to experience and see first-hand the operations that he’s been auditing for the past numerous years.  

Please consider donating to ACFA today to help us take the organization to the next level and support more vulnerable children in Mali.  

Thank you for your generous and continued to support ACFA!

ACFA's children eating
ACFA's children eating
ACFA's child at school
ACFA's child at school
ACFA's children
ACFA's children
ACFA CPA at Zorokoro
ACFA CPA at Zorokoro
Toys for Tots donation
Toys for Tots donation
School Opening
School Opening

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End of academic year party
End of academic year party

The past 3 months marked the end of the academic year in Mali. Both of our locations (the older children in Bamako, and the younger children in Zorokoro) had several events to support this. Three of our girls took the DEF (entry to high school national exam) this year, and 2 of our boys took the Baccalaureat (exit from high school national exam): we are waiting for the results. At the Zorokoro Children’s Complex, we celebrated the end of the academic year and the end of our first year of operation of our school with a party where parents and other constituents were invited. The children had lots of fun during the different activities that were organized and even conducted their own art performances. Now all the children are enjoying a very deserved break before school starts in October. Our long-distance learning programs have improved this cycle with the addition of introduction to computer coding and algebra classes for the older children, and dance classes for the younger ones. All the children are fully engaged and have learned a lot from these different opportunities offered to them by high school volunteers from California, and assistance from a high school student in France who has been the translator for the classes. In July, ACFA children celebrated Eid AL Adha, the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemoration of the sacrifice of Abraham. Like other Mali schools, there was a celebration at the school and a short break to allow students to spend the holidays with their families, which non ACFA children did. The children all received new clothes, shoes, and gifts before being sent off for the break. We received in-kind donations in the form of food, clothes, and orange trees to be planted at Zorokoro. We are pleased to announce that after 2 years of partnership with ACFA, the Perna Rose Foundation for Hope increased their financial support to ACFA by 34%. Finally, construction continues at the Zorokoro Children’s Complex for the classrooms. The well-being of Mali’s vulnerable children remains our priority. To enhance our programs for them, we need your continued support. Please consider donating today, it will literally change the lives of multiple children who have no hope other than ACFA’s programs. Thank you to all who so generously continue to support us!

Ramatoulaye and Kadidia
Ramatoulaye and Kadidia
Salimata and Nieba
Salimata and Nieba
Eid gifts
Eid gifts

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Eid Feast at Zorokoro
Eid Feast at Zorokoro

Despite the persistence of COVID-19 in Mali and around the world, ACFA has been blessed with many good things in the last 3 months.  All the ACFA children are doing well.  The little ones at the Zorokoro Children’s Complex are enjoying kindergarten class at the Complex school.  The children learned numbers and the alphabet, illustrations of the sun, the moon and the stars and learning about day and night.  They also learned about May Day and they love to do gymnastics and to sing songs.  Thanks to the generosity of our donors, new supplies were provided for the class including play dough, tennis balls and two rackets, basketball and soccer balls, jump ropes and plastic fruits and vegetables, kitchen, and utensils allowing practical illustration of theoretical learned material.

ACFA continues to leverage distance learning.  We have partnered with SlumAid, a UK based non-profit, and they provided volunteers who are virtually teaching ESL to our students via Zoom.  We continue to learn and improve upon the distance learning as it pertains to young children.  

With the heat season upon Mali, we installed a water fountain and a humidifier for the younger children at Zorokoro.  

Our livestock project at Zorokoro is growing and we currently have 14 sheep and 3 on the way.  In the next few months, we intend to diversify that portfolio by adding goats to the herd.

ACFA has also partnered with Kickoff Solutions, a California nonprofit, and they have provided scholarships to four of our older girls, allowing them to continue with sports such as fencing and taekwondo and providing coaching and broad exposure (including international tournaments) with an intention to develop confidence and leadership skills.  

In May, ACFA children celebrated Eid al-Fitr "Feast of Breaking the Fast"! Learning about holidays like Eid is important because it helps children to appreciate and understand different cultures.  Thanks to our donors and the community in Mali, the children had new clothes for the celebration and were provided with food at both locations for the feast.  We are so grateful to all our donors.

Responding to the pressing needs of the vulnerable children living on the streets of Bamako, we would like to grow our ACFA family.  Additionally, we are poised to continue with construction of the rest of the Zorokoro Children’s Complex.  The Complex will not only bring a home to vulnerable children, but it will support people in the surrounding 8 villages who will send their children to the ACFA school, use the library and computer lab, receive care at the clinic and enjoy sports at the sports complex.  All this will also bring jobs to the people in this impoverished part of Mali.  Please consider making a monthly donation to ACFA.

Thank you to all who so generously continue to support us!

ACFA kindergarten class with teacher Mariam
ACFA kindergarten class with teacher Mariam
ACFA girls scholarship recipients
ACFA girls scholarship recipients
Zoom ESL session at Zorokoro
Zoom ESL session at Zorokoro
Children during practical session at Zorokoro
Children during practical session at Zorokoro

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Organization Information

A Child For All, ACFA Inc.

Location: Stafford, VA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Kadiatou Sidibe
CEO-Founder
Stafford, VA United States
$41,366 raised of $44,120 goal
 
1,107 donations
$2,754 to go
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