Please help us welcome Chris Mason to Mali Rising’s board of directors! Chris actually joined us early in 2018, but we’ve been remiss in sharing the news. “I was inspired to join Mali Rising when I learned that I could help promote education opportunities for children in Mali,” says Chris. “Education has profoundly shaped my career, so the idea that I could help an organization open education paths for children in an economically depressed region was exciting.”
Our trips to Mali are packed full of beautiful, excited students. So our photos tend to feature those great kids. Great kids, and loving shots of the Mali Rising school buildings. But we know so of the most interesting things are the little peeks at life in Mali. So, we’re sharing a few of our favorite non-kid, non-school (mostly) photos from the trip here…
There is really nothing as joyful as celebrating something like a new school with the partners — now friends — who worked together to achieve the goal. The sense of camaraderie, achievement, and hope for the future simply cannot be beat. So we were very glad to celebrate the opening of Kafara’s new Mali Rising school — The Mindful Bunch Middle School — with the leaders, parents, and children of the village…
Thanks to a generous sponsor and his group of friends, a new school is rising in the little village of Kafara.
Looking at this year's DEF results we see something we've seen in previous years -- an incredibly wide variation in pass rates among our schools. Two schools did incredibly well with 98% of their students passing; two schools did incredibly poorly with 0% of their students passing. Nine of our 19 middle schools beat the average national pass rate this year (70%), while 10 did not. Why this incredible variation in results?
The DEF exam in Mali tests 9th grade students as they graduate from middle school. If students pass the test, they are eligible to continue on to higher education. If they fail, they must repeat 9th grade until they succeed. This reality combined with the fact that the DEF test results are the only quantitative measure we have of how much our students are learning means that it’s incredibly important to us to have strong pass rates. Frustratingly, DEF pass rates fluctuate greatly from year to year. Why?
Don't miss the fun & the great food! If you are in the Salt Lake City area, join us on September 27th for an evening of celebration, exploration, and great West African food.
I love working with the data because it shows us where we’re at, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. It’s exciting to track our progress over multiple years, to dig into whether we’re improving or not and why. But as much as data is able to tell us, there is a lot that it can’t tell us, and a lot that is misleading with careful review.
Sometimes you meet a young person who just inspires you. Such was the case for me when I met Roshini. In addition to raising funds for scores of menstural kits for our girls, Roshini inspired us to launch a new Mali Rising Project -- the Youth Ambassadors. Now we need a few more bright high school students to help make it happen.
Mali Rising's first-ever virtual walking challenge -- Miles for Mali -- is in the books! This May, thirty-three volunteers walked more than 2,400 miles to raise $2,100 to build a new school for the kids of Sankama, Mali. We had a great time with our volunteer walkers, and everyone did a great job. However, one walker really stood out -- Phoebe Mathew from Holland, Pennsylvania. Why did she stand out you ask?