In 2016, Empower Mali rallied all our donors to raise the living expenses and travel fund to send our first Malian student to Paraguay on scholarship. We partnered with Fundacion Paraguay to provide a 3-year scholarship to Diakaridia (Jaja) Samake, an orphan from the community of Ouelessebougou, Mali.

Jaja has successfully completed the first year. He is happily looking forward to his second year. His teachers say he is making great progress in Spanish and shows grows great promise.

Fundación Paraguaya is a foundation run by Martin Burt who graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah. The foundation runs a rural high school, which is 45 minutes away from the capital city of Asuncion. At the school the students will be inducted into a special program where they will learn agricultural skills and competencies, as well as Spanish language. They will be able to have full use of the onsite library and internet services, and special care will be given for their attention and well-being. Upon graduation, these students will be highly trained agricultural technicians who will be able to share and implement the lessons and skills learned in their native Mali.

On graduation, Jaja will return to his native Mali where he hopes to share the ideas he has learned and implement them in his community.