This is Lassine of Sebela, Mali. Although he is proud of being 4th in his class, he promises us he will be #1 by the time we visit again.

This is Lassine of Sebela, Mali. Although he is proud of being 4th in his class, he promises us he will be #1 by the time we visit again.

This is Lassine, the most confident, smiley 7th grader you could imagine. He lives in a small village called Sebela in southeastern Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Lassine’s day starts at 6:30 am. He wakes, washes up, and helps with chores before sitting down to breakfast with his large family. He lives with his parents, six siblings, and his aunt, uncle, and cousins.

After that family gathering, Lassine is off to school. His walk is only 10 minutes long, but sometimes it ends up being quite a bit longer as he likes to play hide-and-seek with a big group of his friends who walk with him.

This is Lassine's middle school classroom. Heat, dust, snakes, and more make learning a challenge.  

This is Lassine's middle school classroom. Heat, dust, snakes, and more make learning a challenge.

 

But when he gets to school this is Lassine’s classroom.  He goes to school each day in what used to be a fertilizer storage hut. As you might imagine, this makes for a hot, dusty…and even snake-filled…school day. And the structure is an old fertilzer storage hut, so who knows what is in the air Lassine breathes while learning.

Despite the state of his classroom, Lassine is a good student. When we visited with him, he was 4th in his class. However, he promised that by the time we returned he would be first in his class! Even when we teased him about the competition, Lassine stood firm: he will be first.

When Lassine grows up he would like to be a nonprofit worker, helping kids like just like him get an education, clean water, and health care. 

You can help Lassine! Despite their poverty, the parents and elders in Lassine’s village have managed to build half of a new middle school. Now they are out of funds. Together, we can help them raise the other half of the funds and create a safe learning space for more than 100 children each year. 

Denik – a notebook manufacturing company with a social justice mission – has pledged half of the remaining funds. Now we just need you to give what you can from your heart for kids like Lassine.  Denik will double your gift! Plus, you could win the naming rights to Lassine’s school…learn more.

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