A School Kit Brings Big Smiles, and a Chance to Learn

By Merritt Frey, Executive Director

Thanks to your support and the hard work of our staff in Mali, our new Girls Project is in full swing as the school year begins in Mali. Girls Project Coordinator Hindaty has been meeting with leaders in parents in our three pilot villages to gather input on the project and to promote girls' enrollment.

A key part of Hindaty's work currently is setting up school fee subsidies for approximately 200 girls. We hear time and again that parents struggle to pay school fees, and girls suffer for it. So, we are helping to subsidize those fees and, very importantly, working with parents in the villages to create and foster long-term economic projects that will allow parents to pay school fees themselves in the future.

 A young girl in Kolimba, where our new Nieta Kalanso Middle School welcomed students back to school this week.

A young girl in Kolimba, where our new Nieta Kalanso Middle School welcomed students back to school this week.

In addition, in one of our pilot villages -- Kolimba -- we had the pleasure of providing deserving girls with simple school kits. The kits include everything a girl needs to succeed this year -- a sturdy backpack, notebooks, pens, pencils, and more. This picture of a smiling student modeling her new school kit made a gray, rainy day here in Utah quite a bit brighter!

Although the challenges of educating girls are cultural and complex, really simple acts such as a $10 school subsidy or a backpack can make a big difference. You can help girls succeed by sponsoring such simple acts!