Well we had a blast. How about you? The Mali Rising 2018 Soiree is one for the books and it we send out our thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the last year and to kick of Mali’s new school year in style.
I know I’ve done it and I bet you have too -- got carried away at a charity auction and come home with a strange carving we can't fit anywhere in our house. 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.
Thanks to a generous sponsor and his group of friends, a new school is rising in the little village of Kafara.
Here at Mali Rising we often feature the students who benefit from our supporters’ generosity. Of course, many other benefit from a new school and the education it brings. So in this post we share some thoughts from a mother in the village where we are currently building our 23rd school, Kafara. Here are excerpts of what Sali had to say about the arrival of a new school for her children…
Thanks to our supporters, each year Mali Rising hosts a week-long training for our teachers. Last school year, we gathered 39 teachers from our 19 middle schools for a training where they learned from experts and grew with their teacher peers. For each training, we evaluate a subset of participating teachers before and after the training. The results are in for our 17/18 school year teacher training!
Looking for a fun volunteer gig this fall? We've got something fun for you! We're looking for Captains for our Team Welcome project. Captains help gather short notes of encouragement to our Mali students from people here in the U.S. We deliver these notes to our students as they start their school year off in October/November.
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?
Last week we announced some great news -- a surprise gift to help us build our 23rd school! It will be located in the village of Kafara, where the children and parents alike are celebrating. Today I wanted to share just one story of a student who will benefit from the new school, Issa. Issa may look more serious than your typical 9th grader but...well, frankly he probably is a bit more serious than your typical 9th grader.
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?
Sometimes keeping up with your email is a burden. Sometimes is an absolute joy. When? Well, when a generous Mali Rising supporter reaches out on a quiet Tuesday morning to let you know they have raised enough funds to build a school in Mali.