Posted on | November 16, 2014 | 3 Comments
Last fall, we partnered with buildOn to raise $84,000 to build two schools in southern Mali. While we initially talked with buildOn about being able to visit the schools once they were built, at the time the fundraiser ended, they didn’t feel the security situation in the country was good enough to arrange a trip for the board members to visit (Islamic militants have occupied much of the northern part of the country for the last couple years, but the south, where our schools have been built, has been peaceful). A few months later, though, we discussed it some more and started to make arrangements for Katie to go this fall.
Construction on the schools started last spring. As with all buildOn schools, the residents of the two villages, Folona and Menie, came together and signed covenants promising that they would participate in the building of the schools and that they would then send their girls to school in equal numbers as their boys. Those are two of the factors that drew PwP to buildOn in the first place – their model of involving communities and promoting education for girls.
The schools were finished this summer and are now packed with kids, as the school year in Mali started in October. Katie is so excited to see them in use! The kids in Menie have never even had a school building to attend before!
Her itinerary will go something like this: she will arrive in Bamako, the capital of Mali, on Monday, November 24. On Tuesday, she’ll travel to one village with a local staff member of buildOn and stay overnight with a family there. The next day, she’ll travel to the second village and then spend the night there. On Thursday (Thanksgiving Day!), she will head back to Bamako to spend some more time in Mali before heading off to Burkina Faso for a week.
Katie won’t have internet access while she is in Folona and Menie, but she hopes to be able to share photos (and maybe even video!) as soon as she gets back to Bamako. Watch the Passports with Purpose Facebook page and Twitter feed for those! And of course, we’ll have a full report once she returns.