Wow. Our supporters are amazing. Because of their generosity at the 2017 Soirée, we far exceeded our fundraising goal for the evening -- that means more books, better trained teachers, increased hygiene education, additional scholarships, and just plain more learning for our students.
We've all done it -- got carried away at a charity auction and come home with a strange trinket we can't fit anywhere in our house or a gift certificate for an adventure we can't imagine ever taking. We shrug and tell ourselves the funds went to a good cause. So why not just directly decide where those funds will go and spare yourself donating the dusty trinket to the thrift store two years later. That's the concept behind the Auction for Action at Mali Rising's Soiree this Thursday.
Here at Mali Rising, we love Girl Scouts. Last year, we partnered with a troop based near our Utah office. We connected that troop with one of our Girls Groups at our school in Kolimba, Mali and the troop sent colorful, thoughtful letters of encouragement to the girls in Mali. At that troop meeting last year, we discussed various barriers to girls' education in Mali. One scout -- Skyler Dey -- took that discussion to heart. She decided to focus on a solution to one of those barriers -- a lack of supplies for managing girls' periods.
If you're like me, you get invited to a lot of nonprofit "galas" and you've reached the point of finding it hard to rally for them, however good the cause. In case you're in that place, let me tell you why the October 12 Soiree will be a different kettle of fish altogether -- a fun kettle of fish...if that's possible.
We are gearing up here for our big Soiree on October 12. It is a chance to hear about the successes you've supported in the last year and what great things are coming in the next year.But this year that isn't all you'll hear! We are excited to have three drummers joining us to share the joy and beauty of West African drumming -- Deja Mitchell, Sekou Soumah, and Hakim Muhammed.
Mali Rising is lucky to have to very dedicated staff in Mali. In this blog post, we feature our Field Director, Alou Doumbia. Alou has worked for Mali Rising since January 6, 2013. As the Field Director, Alou is in charge of the Mali office, and is a true jack-of-all-trades. We’re lucky to have Alou keeping the great work going on the ground in Mali every day, and so we wanted to share a little background on his work with Mali Rising's supporters.
If the way to your heart is through your stomach, you will soon be in love with Mali Rising. Or at least you will be if you get your tickets to the 2017 Soiree. I'm just back from an amazing taste testing with the great folks at LUX Catering & Events. LUX is a Gold Sponsor of our upcoming Soiree celebration, and they have pulled out all the stops on a menu you're going to love.
And we have a winner! As part of fundraising for our 21st school in the small village of Sebela, we promised that everyone who donated $100 or more would be entered to win naming rights for the school. We’re happy to announce the winner is...
Believe it or not, Mali Rising runs largely on the energy of volunteers. We have one staff person in the U.S. and two in Mali -- that means every single volunteer hour is critical to our students' success in Mali. So if you're interested in giving your time to a great cause, think of us.
All too often when I talk with someone about our work in Mali, they share frustrations with a project they were involved with in some far-flung country where all the good intentions fell into disarray. A well's pump broke. A classroom crumbled. A health clinic never received any staff. Let's be honest -- it happens. That's why Mali Rising's long-term relationship with our 21 partner villages is so important...