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.

Learning Resources

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.

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. 

The 2017 Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest winners have been announced:

We congratulate the top three winners and all our finalists for their wonderful work.

The 2018 contest theme and timeline will be announced in fall 2017. Sign up for our e-newsletter and/or like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about the new theme!

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 2017 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, 2017 via email only to essay@malirisingfdn.org. Deadline for submissions was midnight on March 31, 2017.  

Summary flyer for students & teachers

Official rules: important! Please read.