About Us

Since 2005, Build a School in Africa has raised funds and built a new school every year in Mali, West Africa. Currently only about 65% of Mali‘s children can attend school because of the lack of classrooms, so building projects are sorely needed.

We are a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, registered with the IRS (Employer Identification Number 03-0406505. Check us out on Guidestar for more information.

We need your help: As we are an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff, 100% of contributions go toward building new schools. Please consider making a contribution.

Requesting Funds from us

Please do not ask us to supply funding to other projects. We have been receiving an increasing number of requests to fund worthy school construction projects in many parts of Africa. However, we are a very small organization with limited resources and fund-raising capabilities, and must confine our school projects to the Sikasso region of Mali. For the near future, at least, we cannot expand beyond this region and cannot provide funding for other organizations. We wish you luck and success with your own projects, but we are unable to provide any assistance. Thank you.

Your Support Will Help!

In addition to our regular fundraising activities, we have received extraordinary support from individuals, schools, and colleges. Schoolchildren have raised money running spaghetti suppers, car washes, doing neighborhood jobs and yard work, bake sales, talent shows, and other fund-raising ideas. It’s a great project for kids to work on, since 100% of the money they raise goes into the construction fund. We’ll send you a picture of the school when it’s finished.

For more examples of how you can help, fundraising ideas, and more, visit our Fundraising page.

History

In 2002, Kyla McKenna, a senior at the Bromfield school in Harvard, Massachusetts, needed a topic for her Senior Humanities Project. Knowing that Judy Lorimer, a teacher at the elementary school, made frequent trips to Mali, West Africa, bringing supplies to schools there, Kyla decided to raise money to help build a school. She raised almost $10,000 the first year, and each year another student has taken over the project. Ms. Lorimer mentored the project, and by the summer of 2005 they had raised about $20,000.

Build a School in Africa has helped build a new school every year since 2005! In a partnership with Save the Children, Ms. Lorimer took $10,000 from the project’s account when she went to Mali in November, 2005 spend a month as a volunteer in the Kolondieba District in the south of Mali. Save the Children provided the additional funding, and construction on a new three-classroom middle school began November 10th. By the end of January, the building was finished, and will enroll students in the fall of 2006.

Encouraged by the success of the first building project, Build a School in Africa‘s goal is to continue fund-raising to build more schools in collaboration with Save the Children, an A-rated international charity with an effective school-building program in southern Mali. Currently only about 65% of Mali’s children can attend school because of the lack of classrooms, so building projects are sorely needed.

Each spring one of the main fund-raisers is an exciting performance of African dance and music, called “African Rhythms”; other fund-raisers in 2005 included a two-day “African Safari” trail ride, an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, and sale of African jewelry, crafts and drums.

Ms. Lorimer (also known as Korotoumou Coulibaly in Mali) is available as a speaker for your club, organization, or school, and can provide DVD photo-journals, masks, textiles, and other African art objects, and demonstration of a traditional dance, as well as information about the school project. For more information, please send an e-mail to jmlorimer@juno.com or call 978-433-2384.