Photos: Construction of New School in Doumanaba

Great news! Our partners in Mali send word that construction of the new school in Doumanaba is now underway.

Your donations made it possible for children in this village to attend school in a clean, modern classrooms. The photos show the preparation of the site, making of bricks, and digging of a pit for latrines at the school.

Year-End Review for 2016

Dear Build a School in Africa Supporters,

All in all, 2016 was another good year for this small, all-volunteer organization. The Build a School in Africa project is still going strong – by early spring we had finished our 15th school, in Tiogola, and our 16th, in Nimporodioula (villages in southern Mali, in West Africa).

New school at Tiogola, our 15th

New school at Tiogola, our 15th

The school in Tiogola was mostly financed by the international fan clubs of a Korean “boy band” called Super Junior in honor of its 10th anniversary. They are now raising funds for an 11th anniversary school project. They got a late start, so my trip to Mali has been moved forward to January.

Inside a new classroom in Tiogola

Inside a new classroom in Tiogola

In January, 2016, in Nimporodioula, the temporary shelters made of straw mats lashed to a pole framework were replaced by durable cinder-block classrooms, creating much better learning environments for the students. This was the third school mostly financed by a California tech company, which had also built schools in NʼGolokouna and Gongasso in the previous two years.

A makeshift, open-air classroom in Nimporodioula where children took classes before the new school was built

A makeshift, open-air classroom in Nimporodioula where children took classes before the new school was built

In January 2017, weʼll break ground on school #17, in the community of Doumanaba. Presently, Doumanaba is holding 3 classes in the dismal building pictured below. These were built as storerooms used for grain and cotton, not as schools. We will be building 3 new classrooms for the community. Villagers will be providing the usual “in kind” contributions of land, sand and gravel, and unskilled labor, and also some cash funding for the third classroom, as our usual $15,000 contribution will build just two classrooms, plus an office, storage room, and latrines. As you can imagine, the people of Doumanaba will be very happy to trade this building for a bright new school like the others on this page.

Building in Doumanaba where children are attending school. It was originally built as a warehouse and does not have adequate light or ventilation.

Building in Doumanaba where children are attending school. It was originally built as a warehouse and does not have adequate light or ventilation.

We are grateful to all our donors, large and small; large contributions have enable us to build two schools a year for the last few years, but they would not have been possible without the support of all of you. As they say in Bambara, “Dooni dooni kononi be nyaga da” – “Little by little the bird builds its nest.”

Our benefit trail ride on August 21, 2016. We had 40 riders, who could choose to ride 7, 15, or 20 miles of beautiful woods trails, followed by a home-cooked 5 course African buffet dinner. The youngest rider (on the black horse) was only 4 years old, and she rode 15 miles. Our oldest rider was 80.

Many thanks for your support! We couldn’t do it without you.

Very best wishes for a happy holiday season and a joyful new year.

Judy Lorimer, Abou Coulibaly, Madou Traore, and Matt Heberger

View from the road of the new school in Nimporodioula, our 16th

View from the road of the new school in Nimporodioula, our 16th

Shout out to ELF!

We’ve gotten word from ELF, the International Super Junior Fan Club,  that they will be supporting Build a School in Africa again this year. In 2015, clubs around the world raised enough to fund our 14th new school, benefiting deserving children in Mali, West Africa.

Thank you ELF! Good luck with your fundraising! The children of Mali will be so grateful for their beautiful new school!

ELF chapters around the world hope to raise enough money to build a new school dedicated to our favorite K-Pop idols.

Brick by Brick

The Lincoln Journal, in Massachusetts, published a great article about how a group of local students is raising money to help us build schools in Africa.

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Africa Club members, from left, (back) Nate Bennett, Ben Yamron, Aidan Doyle, Rachel Cook (adviser), Melissa Shen (adviser), (middle) Gabby Massey, Molly Clements, Alice Clements, Sydney Wry, Larsen Henken, Lauren Mandt, Jess Puopolo, Sarah Reilly, Ceci Barnes, (front) Leanne Fitzpatrick, Anna Mae Frey, Annie Levoy, Gracie Keilen, Kenzie Madden and McShane Sneath.  COURTESY PHOTO

Since its start in 2011, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School’s Schools for Africa Club has been fundraising to build a school in Mali, West Africa — a country with one of the lowest literacy rates on the continent.

The student-run group is trying to raise $25,000 to erect a school to accommodate more than 100 students through the nonprofit organization Build a School in Africa, which has raised funds and built a new school every year in Mali since 2005.

Read the full story here.