Projects Highlights of 2013

Strengthening Local Government

Dates: April 15-22, 2013

Partners: Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Association of Mayors in Mali

Project Description/Impact:Empower Mali co-sponsered a 5-day governance summit in Utah and New York involving Malian mayors, city managers and councilors serving in local government in Mali.
The Malian delegation visited different city buildings, police and fire station facilities, waste management and water management sites. Also meetings with key city leaders in Utah and NYC allowed the group from Mali to gain an understanding of how things work in a different environment.
The delegation members hail from 5 of the 8 regions in Mali, even war torn Tombouctou. We thank all the different individuals and organizations that made this summit possible.

The purpose of the summit was to share skills for efficient governmental leadership that the Malian delegation can then apply in projects within their communities. Key contact information was exchanged to allow communication to continue after the Malian delegation left. Also all participants expressed their amazement at the processes they saw and hoped to one day implement them in their own communities.

Jeune-Voluntariat-Citoyenne Program ( Youth-Volunteer-Citizenship)

Dates: April 01-June 30, 2013 (1 trimester)

Partners: INFTS ( School of Social Work, Mali), Teachers, Parents, Students

Project Description/Impact:Empower Mali partnered with 30 students from the school of Social work (INFTS) in Bamako, Mali. The goal of the project was to send volunteers to help teachers and students in 16 elementary and middle schools during the day or after school as the need arose. These students not only acted as substitutes but more importantly provided extra aide in any subject ( English, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Teacher Training, Biology etc) the students needed help in. In some schools, there were so many students, that the children would be divided into groups with one group attending school only part of the day followed by the other group. Our volunteers also helped in government centers which helped children with learning disabilities so that they could join regular classes. Most students volunteered every day except weekends during which they would have a collective meeting to assess their successes/failures and share lessons learnt.

In every classroom we visited that our volunteers taught, the students seemed eager to show of their skills. Talking with principals, the one common trend they observed was a general increase in the understanding and hence the grades of the students. In each instance, the principal urged the program to begin from the start of school ( October) so that students would have the benefit of the extra aide for the entire year. There was an impact on our volunteers too. This experience taught them how to react and work in a live environment and how to adapt themselves to the students needs.