Miles for Mali

The Final Numbers (& Winners!) Are In For Miles for Mali

The results are in and the winners identified! Together, we covered 3,156 miles during Miles for Mali this May. We raised $5,365 dollars to build the school in N’Goko – that’s still nearly 10 percent of the cost of the new school!

It's Spring -- The Perfect Time to Get in Shape & to Build a School

This may, we challenge you to walk or run the distance children in rural Mali villages walk to get to school in one week (40 miles) or one month (160 miles). Just think — you can get in shape for swimsuit season AND help hundreds of children get into school and on their way to a better life. You can register now!

Registration is open for Miles for Mali!

It is time to get walking! Well, it is at least time to get registered to get walking! Registration opens today for Miles for Mali — a fun virtual walking event that raises funds for school construction in Mali. This May, you can help build a school for the children of N’Goko in southeastern Mali, just by taking a walk.

Ready, Set, Walk!

It’s coming! Miles for Mali that is. Funds raised by Miles for Mali walkers will help build our 2019 school in the little village of N’Goko. What is Miles for Mali? It is simple: In May 2019, we challenge you to walk or run the distance children in rural Mali villages walk to get to school in one week (40 miles) or one month (160 miles).

How Far Would You Go? How About 391 Miles?

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?

On the Road from Zela to Beneko

Just 10 days remain for participants in our Miles to Mali challenge! So far, walkers have covered 1,223 miles and raised more than $1,600 to raise funds for our next school. Why do they do it? To help girls like those our staff meet up with on the road to school last week. We found two groups of girls making their way from the small hamlet of Zela to the village of Beneko, home to our Cliff and Nita Bailey Middle School.  Each day, the girls traverse more than 4 miles each way with the goal of improving their lives at school.

Walking & Thinking With Miles for Mali

By Merritt Frey, Executive Director

This month as part of our Miles for Mali campaign, I’ve pledged to walk (and run) 160 miles. Miles for Mali is using this virtual walking event to raise funds to build a school for the children of the little village of Sankama in southern Mali.

Long walks to school are a challenge for Mali's kids, but that doesn't mean there isn't some fun to be had on the road.

Long walks to school are a challenge for Mali's kids, but that doesn't mean there isn't some fun to be had on the road.

I’m pretty active (and I have a young border collie to keep me motivated), so the actual distance hasn’t been too much of a challenge thus far. I think my body actually really likes walking, so physically it has been all positive. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally drop those 5 pounds I gained when I took this job!

But timewise fitting in the distance has been more of a challenge. Squeezing in time in a busy day for a good walk is an on-going pressure. I’ve used Miles for Mali to motivate me to get out of bed on a Saturday and go for a good hike or to take an evening stroll with the dogs instead of zoning out with Netflix.

Those are small life adjustments, but it has really made me think about the reality for our students in Mali, who have to find the time to do these walks every school day, all school year long.

On average, before Mali Rising builds a school with a partner village, the nearest school is 3 to 5 miles away on average – making for a 6 to 10 mile round-trip each day. And to fit that in around a school day that runs from 8am to 5pm, extensive chores at home, and finding a bit of time to actually do homework…well, you can see where students struggle.

Building a school for the kids of Sankama will make their commute easy so they can focus their time on learning, and on being a kid. Currently, about 90 percent of students in Sankama drop out after elementary school because they just can’t do the long walk to the nearest middle school.

Want to help? Support a school for Sankama! You can donate here or support one of our great Miles for Mali walkers here.

Why You Walk -- The Long Road to School

As all our Miles for Mali walkers start their journey this month, I thought this would be a good time to share a story from students in Mali about their own daily journey to school. Recently, our staff in Mali passed a group of girls on their way to school. They stopped to ask the girls about their trip. The girls were in the midst of their daily 8 kilometer (5 mile) one-way walk to school…