This afternoon, as I drove to pick my kids up from school, something caught my eyes. I saw two boys about Keanen’s age (six) hanging outside a private school. These kids had backpacks and to many it would look like these kids were just school kids. However as my car neared, I noticed the baskets these kids had on their heads. The back packs on their backs were not filled with books, but wares as they sold to anyone coming out of the school. To me it was another constant reminder of the sad reality of education in a country like Mali.
Mali is the second poorest country in the world and if one thing has been sacrificed year after year and generation after generation, it is the education system. While many government agencies claim the literacy rate is 46%, seeing the high number of children that beg on the streets or sell items, the number seems exaggerated and inflated.
In a country like Mali, aid organizations are plentiful. And for that I am grateful. However the Malian people are not asking for a handout. Life has dealt them a cruel set of cards and they are doing the best they can. What I, in my heart of hearts, believe is that my Malian brothers and sisters want a hand up. The only thing that will change this cruel fate at this stage is education.
The Malian education system is in shambles. Last year, at the high school and university level, the schools were closed down for more than half the year due to teacher strikes. Not only that, there are not enough schools at all levels to meet the demand. It is not uncommon in Mali to see 100-150 children in one class. In Mali, children don’t worry about what they will wear to school or even if they have the newest Disney backpack. Malian children worry about where they will go to school or will they be able to even go this year since their school is miles away.
It is in answer to this need, that Mali Rising Foundation was created. Two men, Adrian Escalante and my husband Yeah Samake, saw the deep need to have an organization that could answer the growing need for education for our young minds in developing countries. Today, the foundation has built 12 middle schools and 1 elementary school. The Mali Rising school in Lofine, Mali is almost completed and as soon as that is done, they will begin work on the Neways Academy school.
Now, we have the chance to build one more school this year through the Cultivate Wines Give program. It takes about 20,000 bricks to build a middle school in Mali, West Africa. Today, I am asking all my readers to contribute 40 bricks. How you might ask?
One vote= one brick figuratively speaking. Would you be willing to Vote each day till October 31st to help the Mali Rising Foundation win $50,000 to build its next school. Can you help Mali Rising get up to 20000 votes. Its sounds impossible so let’s start with one–yours!
VOTE EVERYDAY @ www.malirisingfoundation.com
The only two prerequisites are that you must be 21 and have a Facebook account.
To whom much is given much is expected. I have been blessed to have a good education. My children, because of my and Yeah’s education, have been blessed into good circumstances. I believe the children of Mali deserve the same opportunity to affect their own future. Please bless their lives.
1 minute of your time will affect their lives for generations. I am not endorsing the product/company but I know that the bigger picture I see has the need for one more school and blessings for one more village.
We all leave a carbon imprint behind. What will yours be?
September 22, 2012 at 22:49
You are so observant. You amaze me. Education is the answer, and I will support MRF and Yeah Samake (and you :)) in every way possible. Thank you for your love and dedication, M! Love you!
September 23, 2012 at 15:21
Thanks Liz for being an amazing support to Mali!