Imagine if you (or your kids!) faced a 3- to 6-mile walk one way to school each day. Do you think you'd do it? Do you think you'd be tired when you arrived? Do you think you'd have the energy to study when you finally got home at night? For as little as $25, you can give the children of Sankama in rural Mali a real chance at changing their lives through education with a new school.

By nearly every measure, Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. Education is a key strategy to empower children to improve their lives, and in turn lift Mali out of poverty. For every year of education, a child will see a 10 to 20% increase in his or her future income.

But for many children in Mali, the walk to school is a barrier to progress. In the tiny village of Sankama, after 6th grade the children face a choice -- walk to the nearest middle schools (3 and 6 miles away) or drop out. Given the length of the walk, safety concerns, and their chore responsibilities at home, more than 90% of the children drop out.

But you can change that!  Your gift of as little as $25 can build a new, safe school for Sanakam's kids and set them on the path to change their own lives for the better. And, if you donate $100 or more, you'll win a chance to name Sankama's new school!

Learn more about Sankama

The Children

When we talked with parents in Sankama, they dreamed that education would let their children grow up to be everything from attorneys to veterinarians. What do the children dream of being when they grow up? Meet just two of the children to find out:

The Village
Sankama is located about 100 km southwest of the capital city of Bamako. It is home to approximately 2,000 people, including more than 1,300 children.  Sankama's main economic focus is agriculture and livestock. The village's name is derived from two Bamabara words -- Sa, meaning to die, and N'kama, meaning to swear on one's word. The source of this name is the village's history -- in the early 1800s the area was beset by warriors. The people of the local villages fled and hid. After the warriors left, the founder of Sankama returned and swore to die on the land of the village rather than leave again.

The Current Situation
Sankama is home to an active primary school, with approximately 125 students. However, the nearest middle schools are 3 and 6 miles away. This means the vast majority of students drop out of school after the sixth grade. In an attempt to keep their children in school, the parents of the village have built a temporary classroom of reeds, where one middle school grade attempts to study.  Some children also walk the 3 to 6 miles each way to school each day, but this is hard to maintain given home responsibilities and safety concerns.

A New School Partnership
With your help, we'll partner with the parents of Sankama to build a new middle school in 2018. The village will provide the land and 20% of the cost of construction. Together, you and Mali Rising will provide the remaining 80% of the cost of construction. And, most importantly, we will remain partnered with the village from here on out -- making sure the school is maintained and real, quality learning happens in the classrooms.