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It's Not Too Late to Give a Gift That Matters...Yet

It’s not too late! Really. If you celebrate Christmas and you’ve hit that full panic and feel you’ve left things too late to ever find a meaningful gift for the woman in your life…you’re in luck! You can still give the gift of 50 Women membership to your loved one, and the gift of an education to girls in Mali.

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.

Bidding for Good at the Soiree!

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.

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.

Because of You, Sebela is This [] Close to a New School

Parents in the tiny village of Sebela in Mali, West Africa took a rare and impressive step when they decided to build their own middle school. The village parents were able to fund and coordinate nearly half of the school's construction before running out of resources. We've raised another 35% of the funds....and now we need  your help to make the school a reality!

Meet 2 Students from Sebela, Home to Our Next School

Some of you may have heard that we are fundraising for our 21st school in the small, tidy village of Sebela in southern Mali. While I was in Mali in December, I visited Sebela and met many parents and children. I got to spend the most time with two great kids -- Lassine and Kadia -- so I'm featuring those two here today.