Wondering What To Do On Winter Break? We Got You!

By Merritt Frey, Executive Director

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Hey high school students — looking forward to your winter break? Sleeping in, catching up on your favorite series, maybe a little bit of time with friends? Let’s make it just a little more fruitful — work on your essay for our Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest.

The 2019 contest opens for entries on January 1, 2019! The contest is a forum for thoughtful high school thinkers to share their analysis on a different international development topic each year in a short (300-500 words) essay. National winners of this essay contest receive cash awards and recognition.

So get thinking on the 2019 Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest theme:

In 1948, the UN General Assembly included education as a basic human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Do you think education is a human right? Why or why not? What does your position mean for education in a country like Mali?

Learn more about the contest and its rules here.

Help Us Welcome New Board Member, Chris Mason

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.”

Wondering what to give the amazing woman in your life?

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.

Outtakes From Travels in Mali

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…

Youth Ambassadors Dive In

This year, Mali Rising started a new project — the Youth Ambassadors Project. Inspired by a high school student’s fundraising initiative, we decided to channel the great energy of young people here in the U.S. into our work. Our first class of Youth Ambassadors is full of great young people. And some of them have really hit the ground running. For example…

Building Grit & Resiliency in the Hot Mali Sun!

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.

Your Donations in Action: Textbooks for All!

Back in September, our generous supporters at the 2018 Soiree sponsored 1,000 textbooks for delivery at Mali Rising schools. A textbook might seem like a small thing to those of us in the United States or Europe, but in Mali classrooms a textbook is a gem. Many schools in Mali have no textbooks at all. Zero. With your help, we’re changing that at Mali Rising’s schools…

The Mindful Bunch Middle School Celebration Launches Learning!

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…

The Mindful Bunch School in Kafara Nears Completion

by Merritt Frey, Executive Director

Thanks to a generous group of friends who wanted to celebrate their friend Ilias’s move to a new country, a new school is nearly finished in Kafara, Mali.

The group has decided to name the school The Mindful Bunch Middle School. Where did that quirky name come from? It references a Kiva loan group (if you don’t know about Kiva, check them out!) the friends participate in together, honoring the school as a continuation of their joint legacy of giving.

On October 27, Ilias will join us for the ceremonial opening of The Mindful Bunch Middle School in Kafara. Watch this blog for fun stories from the party, or follow us on social media for even more images and video from the fun.