Annual Financial Report for 2021

Our fiscal year is from January 1 to December 31.

Beginning balance 1/1/2021 $4,655.13
Donations $16,938.65
Interest income $1.02
School construction expenses
(Tionso, $15,000; Tentoubougou, $5,000)
Wire transfer fees ($60 x 3) ($180.00)
Attorney’s fees (for obtaining non-profit status in Mali) ($800.00)
Ending balance 12/31/2021 $614.80

Narrative Summary

As in most years, the majority of the funds we raised went toward building schools in communities in Mali, West Africa:

  • $5,000 went toward the construction of three concrete block classrooms in the village of Tionso. The new classrooms improved the working and learning conditions for their 441 students — 204 girls and 237 boys. Their former mud-brick schoolrooms did do not meet government standards and were too small, and had poor lighting and air circulation.
  • $15,000 funded the construction of a new middle school in Tentoubougou, a town on the highway between Mali’s capital of Bamako and the city of Bougouni. This school was a joint project with Mali Rising, a small NGO that has also built quite a number of middle schools in Mali. And like all of the schools that we help fund, the community provides a lot of input. Early in the year, parents and villagers established a School Management Committee, made all the arrangements with the mayor of the town and the regional school board. Next, residents cleared the land and provided raw materials and labor. Our contributions pay for materials such as cement, metal rebar, roofing material, doors and windows, as well as the labor of skilled masons and builders.
  • This year we established a legal non-profit entity in Mali for the first time. (We have established a non-profit organization in Massachusetts in the USA, since 2008.) This was a long process and we thank our partner Abou Coulibaly for his dogged efforts. In the end, we spent $800 in attorney’s fees during this process.

Other expenses are quite low because of in-kind contributions we receive from volunteers. For example, our webmaster covers the expenses for domain name registration, web hosting, and related expenses. This means that nearly all of our funds go directly to building schools in deserving communities in Mali!

In 2021, our fundraising activities were limited due to the pandemic, but we benefited from the donations from a number of generous donors. In a more typical year, our fundraising activities include the following:

  • The annual “African Rythms” shows of African dance and music in the Boston area in the spring.
  • During the summer, we put on a horseback “African Safari” trail ride, followed by an African buffet dinner.
  • Throughout the year, Director Judy Lorimer puts on educational programs for schools, clubs, and organizations.
  • Judy also makes and sells African jewelry and clothing, and sells items donated by other crafters at Craft Fairs, festivals, and other kinds of gatherings
  • We receive donations in the mail and via the internet from many wonderful and dedicated donors and volunteers. You are an important part of the Build a School in Africa family! We have received donations from individuals, schools, and other organizations.