Toy Sale on April 18 in Westford, MA

Brownie Troop 86145 is helping us to stock the new school in Kartioni, Mali with school supplies by holding a charity fundraiser this month. Please come out to support the brownies and Build a School in Africa!

Toy Sale
April 18, 2015, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Rita E. Miller Elementary School
1 Mitchell Way
Westford, MA 01886

In addition to great bargains for a great cause, we will be raffling off loads of prizes including an iPod shuffle!

See the Facebook page for updates and more information on how to donate gently-used toys. A big thank you to LAER Realty Partners and Kidz Enterprise Toys for their support. Please contact Sarah Nolan at 978-692-9229 or sarah_nolan@verizon.net with questions.

Great News! Funding for New Schools

Good news –we just got an e-mail from the tech company which donated $10,000 toward the school at N’Golokouna last year; they are donating another $10,000, which combined with the $5,000 that we are expecting from a family foundation in CA (which wishes to remain anonymous) will give us enough to build school #14, located in Gongasso. These two villages, plus Kartioni, are all in the Kapala commune, which borders Burkina Faso.

Our Malian ground team, Abou and Madou, visited Kartioni, site of #13, last Saturday and the bags of cement were delivered, (photos below) so they will start building immediately. They also visited Gongasso and met with the chief and village elders and took pictures of their present 3 classrooms — two dingy  mud-brick  rooms and one temporary shelter with straw mat walls and roof.  As soon as we get both checks, the funds will be wired to Mali and they can start building in Gongasso as well.

Unloading cement for Kartioni

Unloading cement for Kartioni

Unloading cement for Kartioni Part 2

Unloading cement for Kartioni – Part 2

Mud Brick classroom in Gongasso

Mud Brick classroom in Gongasso

Temporary classroom in Gongasso

Temporary classroom in Gongasso

 

2014 Year-End Newsletter

Dear Build a School in Africa Supporters,

School #12 in N'Golokouna

School #12 in N’Golokouna

Thanks to some very generous donations at the end of last year, rather than wait until the end of the year we were able to wire funds in January for our 12th school, built in N’Golokouna, a village in the Kapala commune near the border with Burkina Faso. Construction started in January. This is a good time to build, because it’s the dry season, the harvests are over, and the residents are available to supply the unskilled labor that makes up part of their contribution to the project, in addition to their donation of the land, foundation stones, and sand and gravel, which are usually gathered locally. It’s also the coolest time of year, with construction pretty much finished by the time the really hot weather begins.

Summer 2014 Trail Ride

Summer 2014 Trail Ride

Our summer trail ride fundraiser was successful, with over 40 riders enjoying the beautiful trails in Groton, Massachusetts, riding 8, 14 or 20 miles on a marked trail through woods and fields, with a home-cooked African buffet dinner after the ride.

In November we were grateful recipients of a very generous grant from the Institute for World Justice, and we just wired the funds for our 13th school, for which we will break ground this week in Kartioni, about 12 miles east of Sikasso. Kartioni currently has just one cement block classroom, shared by 5th and 6th grades, one mud-brick classroom for grades 3 and 4, and classes for the youngest students are held in a vestibule elsewhere in the village.

Our new building will enable them to have all the students in one area. In a very encouraging trend, there are currently more girls than boys enrolled in school in Kartioni, and it has been our experience that wherever we have built a school, overall enrollment has increased. It is also easier to hire and retain teachers when they can teach in a bright, airy and durable new building, rather than in dark, stuffy mud-brick buildings that have to be re-plastered after every rainy season.

Our Director, Judy LoDSC01490rimer, did not take her annual visit Mali in 2014; although there have been only a few Ebola cases there, it seemed prudent to delay travel to the area until the epidemic is completely controlled. Our goal is to be able to construct our 14th school by the end of 2015.

We wish you a joyful year in 2015!

Judy Lorimer, Project Director