We at Mali Rising want to encourage young people in the United States to think critically yet compassionately about international development issues. The Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest is a forum for thoughtful high school thinkers to share their analysis on a different international development topic each year.
Essayists are encouraged to learn more about Mali, international development, and the connections between education and poverty. We've provided a few resources here to get essayists started.
- Watch this short video about what Mali Rising does and why we do it.
- You may want to sign up for our e-newsletter (see form below) or like us on Facebook for updates from Mali.
- Read our pages on Why Mali? and Why Middle School? for information on why Mali Rising focuses on the work we do.
- Check out our Student Spotlights for real-life stories of what education means to students in Mali.
- Learn more about Mali's people, economy, history, food, and more at Our Africa.
- Explore what the U.S. Agency for International Development has to say about education as a driver for development and poverty reduction.
- Really into numbers? Check out the Education Policy and Data Center's Mali page.
- Prefer big picture ideas to numbers? Consider this TED talk on the evolution of compassion or this TED talk on the power of education to change lives.
This contest asks students to build a creative, persuasive argument for engagement in a country like Mali -- far from students' homes and daily concerns. National winners of this essay contest receive cash awards and recognition.
Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest theme 2018: Numerous challenges exist in countries like Mali, where many people live in extreme poverty – poor nutrition and health, food insecurity, lack of sanitation and clean water, violence and instability, low literacy rates, inadequate infrastructure, and more. Why should education be a priority given all of the competing needs in a country like Mali?
All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in U.S. public, private, and home schools within the United States are eligible. The essay must be 300-500 words. Additional rules apply -- see official 2018 rules.
- First place: $250 cash award and publication online
- Second place: $100 cash award and publication online
- Third place: $50 cash award and publication online
Essays may be submitted beginning January 1, 2018 via email only to email@example.com. Deadline for submissions is midnight eastern on March 31, 2018.
Read essays from the 2017 Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest winners.