As part of keeping girls in school, Mali Rising’s Girls Project initiated a new activity that will allow girls to have not only theoretical knowledge but also practical knowledge. This month, our session with the girls focused on "good nutrition.” The purpose of this activity is to teach girls the different nutritious foods, the composition of a balanced breakfast, the importance of breakfast especially for teenagers, how to eat well. The aim is to give girls the love of school through the preparation of new dishes with local products. Our dish of the day was bean dumplings and vegetable salads.
If you're like me, you know you're lucky to have your amazing mother, daughter, best friend, or wife. But every year you struggle to find a gift that reflects how much you admire her strength, her grit, her kindness. What gift could possibly measure up? This year, why not give her a gift that really reflects who she is – a powerful force for good in the world. Give her a chance to help young women in Mali grow into smart, powerful, compassionate women just like her…give her a 50 Women membership.
One of the very best days of our recent trip was without a doubt the day of the big soccer match between the Beneko Birds and the Simidji Girls. These two village teams are made up of members of our Girls Groups in two of our three pilot villages for the Girls Project. Sports, and soccer in particular, are an important part of the Project — building grit and resiliency in our girls. And oh my is it working.
We’re looking for a few (okay, 50) good women to help girls in Mali go to school and use their education to change their lives, and to change our world. Are you one of those 50 Women?
Just like here in the U.S., students are out of school for the summer in Mali. At the end of each school year but before the students scatter, we hold a celebration in each of our three Girls Project pilot villages. We use the parties for serious goals (collecting feedback, engaging parents, etc.), but they are also just plain fun. I'm sharing some pictures here from the party in Kolimba, a tiny village a few hours of dusty, bouncy dirt road from the nearest pavement.
It is such an annoying grownup question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" But it is an important question for young people as they enter middle and high school. The question is on my mind because one of many questions we ask girls participating in our Girls Project at the beginning of each school year and again at the end of the year.
At this time of year there is just so much going on at Mali Rising schools that it is hard to keep everyone up to date on all the news. Year-end exams and summer are rushing at our students, just like they are here in the United States. But I wanted to share just a little peek at something powerful girls involved with our Girls Project have been up to -- meeting with career women in Mali to explore options for their future.
The older generation tends to worry – or, let’s be honest, complain – about young people’s work ethic, energy, and even empathy. You can think of this as the “Kids today” cliché: “Kids today don’t think of others.” “Kids today don’t take initiative.” Etc., etc. Well Roshini Balan is proving just how cliché that thinking is.
We love gritty girls. Gritty, you say? Yes! Grit, leadership skills, teamwork abilities, and self-confidence are critical traits for strong kids. These traits are especially important for girls in Mali, who must overcome many obstacles to get the education they deserve. Thanks to our donors, we support the development of all these traits through participation with our new girls' soccer teams. Check out this blog post for news and photos from the first-ever, inter-school Mali Rising soccer match!
When I talk with anyone about our work, the project that people most connect with is our Girls Project. Men and women, people from the U.S. or people from Mali, younger or older -- everyone gets excited about making sure girls get an equal education. So I try to be sure to do a periodic update on our girls progress under the Girls Project. I know you're rooting for our girls, so here's the latest news from our Girls Project Coordinator, Hindaty.