Yesterday was a very special day for the children of Manabougou. This village has seen many blessings for their children in the past year. In 2010, they were blessed with an elementary school donated by the Dixon family to honor their son, Ben Dixon. This village has kept this school beautifully and it looks as new as the day it was donated. It houses 150 + students from grades 7 to 9. Yesterday, their blessings increased threefold. A special non-profit foundation by the name of Building Youth around the World (BYAW) arrived in Manabougou to gift bag packs filled with school supplies and hygiene kits. BYAW co-founder Ian McCracken, accompanied by Boy Scouts Joey and Braedon were welcomed by scores of Malian children as they donated the collected equipment.
The initiation and planning of this donation which began in December 2010 finally saw its realization in the happy faces of the children that received these bag packs. However this is not the only thing that will be donated. The biggest donation is of musical instruments, band uniforms, music books and band equipment to schools in Mali. This is a huge deal as this kind of donation is almost unheard of. This will enable the children of certain schools to learn to read music and also play multiple instruments. Music is such an integral part of Malian society that what this organization has done is enabled the dreams of children that may want to become musicians in the future. Also, BYAW has donated the following items:
- 100 band instruments (55 marching band instruments and 45 smaller children’s instruments for the other school
- 90 music books and musical instrument pieces (i.e., reeds, oil, slide cream, etc.)
- 150 band uniforms (i.e., white shirts with logo)
- 40 wood musical stands to put music books on for practice
- 2 dental chairs, 2 swivel chairs and an air compressor
- App. 30 children’s chairs and 15 desks and chairs
- 4 teachers desks and 1 filing cabinet
- 1,000 pounds of children’s clothing
- 1,000 pounds of school supplies (will be put into 150 backpacks that will be purchased in Mali and distributed to each child at the Manabougou school)
- 170 pairs of sandals and shoes
- 1,500 pound replacement brick making machine part
- 10 boxes of school supplies for the Ben Dixon school
- 450 dental hygiene kits to include toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, etc. to go in backpacks for each child and their families at Mana school
- 200 medical kits to include soap, and towels, combs, etc. to go in backpacks for each child and their families
- 8 solar panels
- 80 + stuffed animals and dolls for the smaller children at the other school
- Playground equipment (i.e., balls, jump ropes, Frisbees, etc.)
- Other miscellaneous
This is a very generous donation and will no doubt touch the lives of many school children in the villages where Yeah’s Mali Rising Schools are located. These donations will ease their lives for a bit. Warm clothes for the winter, school supplies as they attend school and the ability to live more hygienic lives will bless them. The event in Manabougou is just the first of many over the next few days as the rest of the items are donated.
Also in this container, there are many generous donations from Scott Dixon and family like computers and solar panels for existing schools and dental chairs for clinics in Ouelessebougou region. The Dixon family has been an integral part of helping the children of Mali, West Africa. Their deep love and dedication towards serving the people of Mali has taught me how to be a more giving person. It has also impacted the paths of many lives here.
We have but one life. I am blessed to know such generous people that are willing to give of themselves and their resources to make a child smile and to help alleviate the struggles of the lesser fortunate. We all have the ability to make a difference, but it is few that will take the opportunity to make an impact and help. Not for themselves, not for fame and glory, but for the simple pleasure of making a fellow human being smile.
Building Youth Around the World: http://www.buildyouth.org/