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A Year in Review

2016-02-29 21.30.06Today marks the one year anniversary when our family embarked on the next big step of our lives. One year ago on the 17th of August 2015, our family of four and dog Rex came to New Delhi, India. Nominated by H.E President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as the Ambassador of Mali to India ( and over 9 other South East Asian countries), we came here to see how we could best serve Mali on foreign soil. It has been a great year both on a professional and personal level. While the post is based in New Delhi, India, we have jurisdiction over 9 other Asian countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand.

For me this was a very personal journey. A homecoming of sorts. I am an Indian and after spending 5 years in Mali where our children/I got to learn the culture/language, it was a such a great opportunity for us to come here and have our kids experience the Indian side of their heritage.

Soon after we came in August, we had the grand opportunity to welcome the First Lady of Mali, H.E Madame Keita Aminata Maiga as she took part in the 2015 Call to Action Summit, a summit to fight against maternal and neonatal infant mortality. With a great kick off to our role here in India, we were excited to see what other fresh opportunities we could grow for our Malians in these countries and also what investment/business prospects we could bring to Mali.

Yeah presented his credentials to the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan ( the President’s house) on 2nd September, 2015. It was a great opportunity for Yeah to visit one on one with the President and discuss with him how India and Mali could grow their relationship in the security, economic and tourism aspect. In an move to shine a lamp on Mali’s international stamp in India, Yeah was one of the few Ambassadors who got to meet with the Vice President of India, H.E Mr. Hamid Ansari MOHAMMAD. The discussion focused on the political and security situation in Mali and ways to consider to strengthen multifaceted cooperation between India and Mali. Yeah also visited with the Honourable Amar Sinha, Secretary of Economic Relations of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India in order to deepen cooperation between Mali and India. He further met with the the very dynamic Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma to discuss strengthening cooperation between the India and Mali in the area of tourism especially the promotion of Timbuktu.

One of the biggest events of our year long tenure was the visit of the President of Mali, H.E Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, at the invitation of the Indian Prime Minister for the 3rd India-Africa Summit. The President was accompanied by his spouse and a high level delegation, including several Ministers and high level officials. During his visit our President had an opportunity to exchange with Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and also the Honorable President. The Malian President extended an invitation for bilateral exchange between the two countries. During this time, the first lady also had an opportunity to visit the historic Swaminarayan Akshardham temple on the banks of river Yamuna here to get a sense of Indian culture, art, wisdom, heritage and values. This visit was an amazing yet hectic time. However it was a grand success. The President, spouse and his team were truly pleased with everything. And this visit opened the door wider for future successful collaborations between Mali and India.

One big change that also happened was that soon after Yeah presented his credentials in Indonesia, the government of Indonesia responded by allowing Malians after March 10, 2016 to get a visa on arrival in Indonesia. As a sign of reciprocity, Mali also extended the same courtesy to Indonesians entering Mali.

Another key focus of our efforts here is to bring attention to Mali’s cotton industry. Currently Mali’s cotton is one of the best cotton in the world. Mali exports 13% of its cotton to India and 16% to Bangladesh. As part of his mission to help grow the cotton industry in Mali, Yeah visited the textile entrepreneurs of Tamil Nadu. As part of our mission, he took a delegation of key members to visit government members and industry leaders in Mali. And this coming year he will host a visit of these Indian entrepreneurs to visit the CMDT of Mali.

Yeah was also received by the Mayor of Panaji, the capital of the state of Goa, India. Goa is a major tourist destination. Discussions focused on the possibility of twinning between a community in Mali and Goa in India and sharing best local governance practices.

Furthermore, in addition to all these great things happening, throughout the past year Yeah has presented his credentials to the heads of state in 7 other countries: Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Brunei, Bangladesh and Singapore. By presenting his credentials to these world leaders, it now validates the presence of an Ambassador of Mali in these countries, allowing Yeah to better serve Malians living in these countries and also be able to grow investments/relations between Mali and the respective nations. In each of these countries, Yeah has met with business investors and leaders to share with them the bright prospects for doing business in Mali.

This year has been nothing short of amazing. We came into this role, when the Embassy of Mali in India had been without an Ambassador for almost 2 years. Hence many key steps were slowed down that could be done to further the lives of Malians in these countries and to grow investment opportunities between Mali and these countries. Yeah has really pushed the Embassy and Mali to the forefront. The Embassy website (www.maliembassy.co.in) too has been revamped completely to show a fresh, beautiful, faster site and it now has a place where Malians, living in the countries we serve, can register.

The coming year holds much promise of more that can be done and that will be done to raise Mali’s profile in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand. We are excited. The best is yet to come!

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Past Posts

 

What a great start to the year it has been. Life in Delhi has been amazing and filled with many cool opportunities. And before we knew it six months have passed.

Through his role as Ambassador, Yeah has had many wonderful opportunities to meet with many government and business leaders here in India. He has focused his efforts on raising Mali’s profile in India and the other 9 countries in his jurisdiction. In just the last few months, he has presented credentials in Brunei, Singapore and most recently in Indonesia. In all of his travels, he has had a chance to exchange with the presidents of Singapore and Indonesia and the Sultan of Brunei about Mali and how a relationship would be beneficial for both countries.

On Thursday, November 12, 2015, Yeah presented his credentials to the Sultan of Brunei, His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Wad’daulah. This is the first for the Republic of Mali to have one of its individuals fully recognized in Brunei.

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On December 23, 2015, Yeah presented his credentials to the President of Singapore His Excellency Tony Tan Keng in addition to paying a courtesy visit to the Minister of Transport of Singapore H.E. Khaw Beon WAN

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On February 3, 2016, Yeah presented his credentials to the Head of State His Excellency President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

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While he was in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei he also met with the Malian community in these areas which allowed him to better understand their needs and what he can do to better support them. In these countries, he also met with the local business leaders and entrepreneurs. With these groups his goal was to discuss ways to grow business relations between business people in Mali and those in the respective countries.

In addition, Yeah has made trips to different areas within India to help grow the educational opportunities for our Malian students as well as searching for agricultural/industrial opportunities. Last month, Yeah flew to Rajasthan where he had an opportunity to meet with Bunker Roy from Barefoot College regarding creating increased solar opportunities in rural Mali. Just last week he was in Tirupur ( in the South) to meet with entrepreneurs in pursuit of increasing their access to cheaper good quality cotton produced in Mali.

Another thing that Yeah has been involved in is Mali’s role in the International Solar Alliance, a project spear headed by Indian PM Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande to promote solar energy and ultimately fight climate change while providing clean energy to millions of people.

On the 26th of January, we also had an opportunity to attend the Republic Day parade and tea at the Presidential Palace. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate India’s Republic Day and also exchange with Ambassadors from the 150+ embassies here in New Delhi. The parade was also amazing and featured India’s undeniable strength, its diverse armed forces and varied culture.

I, too, have been able to meet with the spouses of other Ambassadors. I have learned much from this group of strong ladies. In December of last year we had an opportunity to fundraise for a local charity here in Delhi and help make an impact for the orphaned children of Delhi. In addition, this year I will serve as the Executive Secretary of the international Spouses of Heads of Mission, which allows me to shine a brighter spotlight on Mali’s rich culture and all that she can offer. I am excited for all these new responsibilities.

As we come up on completion of our first 6 months, I am very grateful and blessed that we have this opportunity to move Mali forward in a different way. Each day we have the chance to create fresh opportunities for Malian students and businesses. We will continue pushing onward!!

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Past Posts

 

Strengthening ties with India

2015-10-24 23.17.42The last week in October was probably the most important, hectic week so far in our diplomatic career. During this time, India held its 3rd Africa India summit and hosted about 54 African nations in an effort to boost ties between the continent of Africa and India. In the biggest event since 1983, 42 African presidents attended this grand summit .

We had a unique opportunity to host the President of Mali, H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the First Lady of Mali, H.E. Madame KEITA Aminata Maiga, a delegation of six Malian ministers and 15+ government staff. What a nail biting yet amazing experience!!

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During the weeklong event, Mali had an opportunity to share with India the many ways that we can grow a mutually beneficial relationship with India. The Foreign Minister H.E Abdoulaye DIOP extended his gratitude for the military support provided by India while encouraging India to further strengthen its cooperation  in the area of ​​peace, security and the fight against terrorism. The Indian PM Narendra Modi announced a 10 billion USD line of credit, aid amounting to 600 million USD over the next 5 years which includes a India-Africa Development Fund of 100 million U.S. dollars and an India-Africa Health Fund of 10 million U.S. dollars and 50000 scholarships for African students over the next 5 years.

In his address, our President, His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita first paid tribute to the longstanding friendship and cooperation between India and Africa that were strengthened by leaders like Gandhi, Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nkrumah, Modibo Keita, Nelson Mandela and Jomo Kenyatta.

He denounced terrorism and violent extremism, which according to him, is now one of the most serious threats to peace and security and noted that the fight against these evils must be at the center of the joint action of the Partnership. He stressed the potential of both parties and called for a strengthening of the strategic partnership for economic and social development of India and African countries.

He also took the opportunity to express its deep gratitude and that of the people and Government of Mali to all countries friendly to the multifaceted and ongoing support to Mali.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister of India, H.E President Keita expressed his gratitude to India for providing Mali with soldiers to protect the North of Mali. Our President also expressed interest in growing Indian investment opportunities in the fields of agriculture and technology in Mali. PM Modi  further invited President Keita back for a separate bilateral visit to India.

President Keita also took an opportunity to meet with the Malian student leaders from Bangalore. He expressed his support for them and his joy in meeting them.

During this time, I also had an opportunity to spend some time with the First Lady of Mali. I continue to be amazed at her genteel and down to earth nature. During the spouses program, we had an amazing opportunity to visit the beautiful Akshardham temple. During her time at the temple, she joined other African First Ladies in offering  prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India on the sacred image of Sri Neelkanth Varni. About the visit, the First Lady said: The visit was really educative. It is a place of peace, humanity and wisdom. Simply magnificent and a beautiful monument. May we keep inspiring from the past values to make our life more beautiful. Well done to Indian people for their ingenuity work.”

The last night, our delegation was received by a big Indian delegation that introduced us to the mystery of Bollywood and the true Indian culture. The night was filled with great music and good Indian food. This experience left quite a indelible unforgettable mark among all our delegation.

This summit was monumental in terms of the endless possibilities to grow Mali and India’s friendship. Yeah and I gained a fresh perspective on how we can move Mali forward in our role. We learned so much more about diplomacy and had a chance to experience it truly at work. What an unforgettable, mind blowing experience all round!

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Past Posts

 

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Taking on India

2015-08-23 11.42.56What a busy couple of months it has been since our plane touched down in New Delhi, India!! The sights, smells and sounds of Delhi has brought back many beautiful memories. It has been 15 years since I returned back home to India and so far the experience has been marvelous. If anyone had said to me a few years ago, that I would be in India in service of the Malian people, I would have laughed. Our kids were amazed and did not believe it when we were called to serve in India. For many years, Keanen and Carmen would talk about India and how since they had lived in their dad’s country, they now wanted to visit their mom’s country. And what better way to do it than to help represent Mali’s interest in India.

On August 16th, our family and dog arrived safely in New Delhi. As we walked out of the plane we were greeted by the Mali Embassy team based in Delhi. But the welcome was not over yet. We were then welcomed by the Ambassadors of all the West African nations that are based in India. It was truly such a warm welcome and an unexpected honor. What a great start to our journey in India!

Just one short week later, we were in for another auspicious occasion. Yeah welcomed the First Lady of Mali, Her Excellency Madame Keita Aminata Maiga, and her delegation who arrived in New Delhi to attend a week-long conference on ending child and maternal deaths. Being an issue that is close to her heart, she spoke to Ministers of Health from many countries and Indians leaders on what Mali is doing to create a safer, healthier environment for both mothers and children. Reducing infant mortality while ensuring mother safety is a key part of her mission as a First Lady. It was an honor to meet her and it was interesting to notice a humility and down to earth nature that is usually not common to someone in such a high position. The trip was a first for the First Lady and an undoubted success!

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Call2Action Summit 2015: First Lady of Mali with Indian PM Modi and other world health ministers

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Ambassador Samake visiting with First Lady of Mali, Her Excellency Madame Keita Aminata Maiga

The very next week, on September 2nd, in an official ceremony, Yeah got to present his credentials to the Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

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Ambassador Yeah Samake presenting his credentials to Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee

And I was honored to watch him do this. What a once in a life time experience! With close to a billion population, not many Indians can say they shook hands with the President. The ceremony was amazing and awe inspiring. I am so proud of Yeah and all he has done to reach this stage of his career. After Yeah presented his credentials and the greetings of the President of Mali, he visited with the President to discuss the Mali-India relationship and what he hoped to accomplish to strengthen ties between the two countries. It was truly a special, memorable day. And the feeling of sitting in a car, flanked by Indian armored cars, with the Mali flag fluttering high, is just incomparable. In the months to come, Yeah will present his credentials in the 9 other countries we oversee: Bangladesh, Nepal , Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand.

Since that auspicious day, in an effort to strengthen Mali-Indian ties, Yeah has held audiences with Indian businessmen from many different fields of interest to Mali. He also visited with the Indian Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma.

Yesterday, Mali celebrated her 55th Independence day. And what better way to celebrate this special day than with Malian students in the city of Bangalore. Many of the Malians that are in India are students pursuing a higher university degree. Yeah and his first counselor flew in to Bangalore to meet with the Malian student body. During their time, he visited with the students to better understand their goals and the challenges they face studying in India. This visit will open up opportunities to better place Malian students and also provide a better support system for them through the Embassy.

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It has truly been a busy yet fulfilling few weeks. Our goal here in India, is to increase the profile of Mali and to create many more opportunities for the two countries to grow stronger together. And the start has been simply amazing!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Past Posts

 

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A New Adventure!

YeahMarissaIndiaAmb

Well! It’s all official. The President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, nominated Yeah the new Ambassador of Mali to India.

My country INDIA!! Whohooo!!! I am super excited to return back to my country. After 4+ years in Mali, the kids and I have had a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience the Malian culture and traditions. We have come to love the Malian people like our own and to understand intimately the many challenges they face on a daily basis. Through Yeah’s role as Mayor, we have enjoyed many unique experiences and learned much about local governance and the ability to impact the citizens of Oueléssébougou. Running the campaign was a whole different ball park and it was probably the biggest challenge we have lived through. The kids have adapted amazingly well to life in Mali. We came here when Keanen was 5 years old and Carmen barely 3, where they knew only English and the comforts of America. When we first came, the adjustment was hard, the challenges many. But we were blessed with courage at our most difficult times. Now the kids speak French fluently and I have been able to learn both French and Bambara. Through school and our different road trips, our children have enjoyed the beauty of experiencing different cultures. They have accompanied us on the many projects that have taken us to many villages and communities all over Mali. Road trips took on a whole new meaning and I have to say they have loved it!! Through our foundation Empower Mali, we have continued to partner with rural communities in Mali to make an impact in education, clean water/energy and leadership development. The high level partnerships and contacts we have in Mali and the United States will allow us to continue fundraising and implementing the work we are doing. We have no plans to stop building schools, providing scholarship opportunities abroad or increasing access to basic rights like clean water and food.

So much accomplished and so many great experiences lived in just 4 years. When I first started this blog 4+ years ago, I could not have predicted this. I can hardly wait to see what the next few years hold for our family. India will be a new experience for us all. It has been 15+ years since I have visited. I am excited for the kids to learn my own culture/traditions and get to experience the different religions and exotic cultures all housed in one beautiful country. Not to mention the opportunity to travel the many surrounding countries where we will also serve.

While we will mainly be based in New Delhi, the India Mission will cover 10 different Asian countries. We will have an opportunity to serve Malians and grow relations between Mali and all these countries. The countries are: India, Bangladesh, Nepal , Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand. For 11+ years, Yeah has shown he can help move Mali forward at a local and national level. Now I am thrilled that he has received the opportunity to play this role and will be able to make an impact on a larger national and international level. In this day and age, Asia has shown herself to be a big player and by helping grow relationships Yeah has the opportunity to create many partnerships that will help many Malians abroad and at home.

Yeah said the following in a recent press release: ” Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced that he has appointed me as the next Malian Ambassador to the Republic of India. The jurisdiction of the post in New Delhi, India covers 10 countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

As a result of this appointment, I will soon travel to India with my family to begin my work representing Malian interests in these countries. I am grateful to President Keïta for this opportunity and look forward to representing Mali in this new role.

Malians benefit in many ways from trade with India, whether it be through our increased electricity or access to high-quality medicines resulting from Indian imports, or from our sales of cotton and other agricultural products to India that puts money in the pockets of Malians across the country. This continued and growing trade partnership is improving the lives of citizens in both countries, and I look forward to building upon this relationship in the coming years.

As Mayor of Oueléssébougou over the last six years, I have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of everyone in our area. When I was first elected, less than ten percent of the population paid taxes, and government workers were owed six months of salary. When measured in terms of our governmental management and transparency, our commune was at the bottom of the list. Six years later, I am proud to say we have transformed our area, making it one of the most respected and admired areas in all of Mali. Today, 86 percent of our citizens pay taxes, and our area is seen as a model of transparent and effective government. Working with our city council and other local leaders, I have also brought investment and critical infrastructure to our area as well. We now have a hospital in our area. We have a high school for our children, and we have more primary schools as well. We have improved our water infrastructure. We have the largest solar panel field in West Africa. We are helping farmers with equipment so they can make their land more productive. Instead of citizens waiting weeks for their local government to help them with requests, now they wait only days—with many receiving help on the same day. We have shown this type of transformation is possible in Mali.

In recent years, I have also worked as a part of Empower Mali and other foundations to help build schools for our children, provide scholarship opportunities to children in Mali to study abroad, purchase tractors for our farmers, and construct hospitals for our communities. While I am committed to my role as Ambassador, I will also continue to actively ensure through my contacts on the ground that our projects on the ground in Mali continue to grow, benefiting the communities in rural Mali. I urge Foundation benefactors to continue to support this work and encourage others to get involved as well.

I have worked hard every day as Mayor of Oueléssébougou to make lives better. It is with great honor that I accept the position of Ambassador to India, and I look forward to continuing my service to Mali in this new role. While this new position will take me away from my friends in and around Oueléssébougou, it will give me the opportunity to improve the lives of all Malians across the country and abroad. ”

This opportunity is just simply amazing! We are emboldened by the vote of confidence shown by the Malian government. I am so proud of Yeah and all he has done and continues to do to make Mali a better place. I have not met a more honest man or one that is very committed to making an impact for all his people in Mali. We are so grateful for all our supporters who have stayed the course with us. Our success today is in part due to your vote of confidence and support for all we do.

The journey to achieve a new Mali is not over yet. In fact, we have started a new phase. Keep you posted. Thank you for helping bless our people in Mali. May you be blessed!

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* Check out our work in Mali through the Empower Mali Foundation at www.empowermali.org
Want to help impact change in rural Mali? Make a tax deductible donation today. All donations online are secure. Checks can also be sent to Empower Mali, P.O Box 708514, Sandy, UTAH 84070.

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MOVING MALI FORWARD

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Past Posts

 

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Empowering Change

Stats about MALI

With one the poorest, most illiterate economies, Mali has already been served the grittiest of challenges. With challenges in many domains ranging from health to education, daily living seems impossible. So how do Malians manage?

4+ years on the ground in Mali has allowed me to truly see and understand the many challenges Malians face each day, especially in the remote rural villages. I have big respect for the people of Mali. They make the best of what they have. And they possess a desire to improve their circumstances. This is evident when we see villagers traveling for days from remote areas coming to request our foundation Empower Mali to help build a school or presenting a project in clean water. They come with the knowledge and willingness to participate financially. During the project, there are many hands involved from every community group in the village. And when the project is completed, each and every person celebrates knowing that their lives and the lives of their children will be just a little better for it.

Through Empower Mali, some great work to empower our communities is happening in Mali! And it would be impossible without generous hearts willing to help make a difference.

ThankyouWatkinsFamily2We have some Big News! Empower Mali has received a generous tractor and 3-classroom middle school donation by the Watkins Family of Alpine, Utah. We are grateful for their long-term investment in our communities. Their tractor donation will be used as part of our food security program in the region of Ouelessebougou and their school donation will help build the Micah Shea Watkins Academy in the village of Dongorona. The rural village of Dongorona is situated in the community of Oueléssébougou, Mali. With a population of 1300 households, there are 260 children currently attending primary and middle school. Many more have dropped out after 6th grade. The primary school, built in 1981, houses grades 1-6 and currently has 200 children, of which 36 are in the final 6th grade. Currently 60 children will walk the 12 miles each day to attend the neighboring middle school in Simidji. The road they walk is a main road which is continuously busy with many buses/cars/trucks travelling dangerously fast. Many parents in the village have withdrawn their girls because of fear of having them walk that long distance alone. A school in the village will give these girls an equal chance at an education and prevent early marriages. We hope to have this middle school ready for the children when school starts in October. Read more about this amazing donation here

We are also grateful for the kind donation of a potable water treatment system through Utah based Alpine Technical Services and AllChem. The system which will be installed in Dongorona will provide 1300+ households with clean water and ultimately a healthier life.

These past few months we have also been focused on finishing up the three classroom middle school, computer room and teachers housing for the remote village of Falla. We are now at roof level and in the next couple of months we will be putting on the roof and painting. This school too will be ready for the new school year in October.

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The three classroom middle school, computer and teachers housing in FALLA

So many exciting things are happening !! A big shout out on behalf of our people in Mali to each and every one of you who have helped empower our communities in Mali.

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Past Posts

 

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Building a future in FALLA

Marissa_FirstbrickFALLAThe joy in Falla is immense.

The excitement palpable.

The investment in Falla’s future generation immeasurable.

And YOU made it possible !

February 7th, 2015 will be a day that will be remembered for a long time by the citizens of the village of Falla. On this day, I was honored to represent all our kind donors as we laid the foundation stone of the Falla Academy. This middle school was only made possible because of the generosity of our supporters, friends and family.

Thank you for making this dream a reality and helping us on our mission to educate Mali one village at a time!

Falla, which has a population of 1,587 children is a 6 hour dusty and bumpy ride from the main city of Bamako. It is a very remote village located in the circle of Kolondieba in the Sikasso region.

Currently, there is a primary school in the village. After 6th grade, some children will walk 7-12 KM to middle schools in the neighboring villages of Touloula, Sikoro, Donkerila and Tiekongo. The long distance is a deterrent and many children drop out after 6th grade with many girls getting married and many boys working in the mines or farms.

With all middle schools our foundation Empower Mali builds, the village is required to show their commitment by providing 20% of the cost of the school and the land. The people of Mali do not want a hand out and with it sustainable development becomes impossible. The village commitment was fulfilled by Falla born Mamadou Kone, a Malian entrepreneur who now resides in the US. The remaining funding will be provided through our foundation Empower Mali. USD 50,000.00 was donated through a generous individual who wishes anonymity and the remainder through the kindness of other individual donors.

The event was attended by all the educational authorities in the area, a Parliament Member from the area and the entire village. The village chief, on behalf of his village, expressed their full support for the success of this project. The 3-classroom school when completed will house about (150) 7th-9th grade students from Falla and surrounding areas.

We are grateful for all who contributed to making this school a reality for the people of Falla. Construction should last about 3 months with the school being used for the new school year in October 2015.

In a country where literacy hangs dangerously low at 31%, this school will become an equal opportunity life changer for boys and girls in the area giving them a chance to finish at least their 9th grade exams, which is a basic requirement for most decent paying jobs and a rarity for most children and adults.

Education MaliThe groundbreaking ceremony was also covered on Mali’s National TV ORTM. You can watch it at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpIM6bngN8I

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Past Posts

 

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