A general donation allows us to apply your generous donation to where the need is the greatest. You will be helping to provide long-term change — helping Malian communities grow more food, educate their children, and lead healthy, productive lives.
Your donation will provide a hand up to various communities in Mali out of the darkness of poverty, one community at a time.
In Mali, the relationship between school and employment opportunities is inadequate, creating a vast corps of unemployed and underemployed school drop-outs and first cycle school graduates. Much of Mali’s economy is agricultural based. An agricultural vocational school will provide academic, technical and practical agricultural entrepreneurship for rural youth.
The school will impact the children of rural farmers who otherwise would have no opportunities to make a living. The school will integrate the teaching of traditional high school subjects with the running of small-scale, on-campus agricultural enterprises. These enterprises (dairy/milk processing, organic garden, roadside store, rural hotel, etc.) will serve as platforms for students to develop technical/entrepreneurial skills so that upon graduation, students are on a path toward economic success and financial independence.
Marako, with a population of 2600, was one of the few lucky villages in Mali that has a school starting from 1st grade all the way to 9th grade. However, last year, during the night, a truck damaged one classroom on the Marako middle school. Luckily, none of our children were injured. However, the damage has created major education restrictions. Each class which was already housing 80 students per grade has now been pushed past capacity. Marako’s community want their children to have a safe and full education.
With $5000, Empower Mali can fix the structure and roof of the Marako Middle School.
In Mali, 80% of the population resides in the rural areas and almost all of these areas have limited or no access to electricity. Without light at home or in their schools, children of rural communities find it difficult to study, read and do their homework at night. Because they assist on farms and at other chores until past sundown, there is often no natural light left for these children to see by when it comes time to study. When light is available, it’s often via kerosene or disposable batteries—both of which are expensive for families struggling to survive, and neither of which is given to children first if other work is to be done.
To meet the need for clean, renewable energy in a fun, learning environment for the children, Empower Mali will be installing an electricity generating merry go round. The equipment will be attached to a generator and solar panels. These will be used to light the school. As part of the playground system, there will also be 40 lanterns that the children can take home to study with during the night. In addition, there is a science kit that allows children to fully understand renewal energy and how it can be used and produced to meet needs in the rural areas of Mali.
Agriculture plays an important role in economic growth as a source of jobs and income for the Malian population. Despite the majority of the employment force being in the agricultural sector, the production of grains have largely stagnated. This is in part due to the lack of technology and machinery available in the farming sectors.
Empower Mali is raising funds for a food security initiative that will impact the entire city of Ouélessébougou (Population 55K+) and other rural areas in Mali. The project will allow farmers to modernize their business and help increase production of staples like cotton, sorghum, millet, maize, and rice. A massive increase in productivity and output will make a decisive improvement in production, employment and increase rural incomes.
One of the core challenges Mali faces today is in the field of education. Mali’s literacy rate stands at 31% with boys being better educated than girls. In addition to the shortage of middle schools, Mali also faces a shortage of reading and literacy materials like textbooks and classroom materials. Despite education being provided for free, parents have to pay for school materials. With each family consisting of 4-6 children and each child needing textbooks, the cost of education becomes a challenge.
$5,000 will cover the cost of textbooks for the 7th,8th and 9th grades in each middle school. Empower Mali will partner with the Education Committee in the village to ensure that children have access to textbooks. Access to textbooks will allow the children to spend more time discussing the material rather than copying it off a blackboard. Additionally the textbooks will remain with the school management committee to ensure that they serve the children in the school year after year.