We have been working with Madame Coulibally and her camp for four years now. Because of her vision over seventy families entered into our drought season drip irrigated vegetable garden here in Mali, West Africa.
A while ago she inquired if we knew of any Bambara literacy programs for her village, because we women want to learn how to read and write. No one in this camp has ever been to school, except her. There are no schools here. This grandmother drove a bicycle eight kilometers each way, two days a week to learn to read. She wanted the same opportunity for the other ladies.
Well, it turns out that my friend has been teaching a few Bambara literacy courses, from time to time, for alomst twenty years.
Or agency is going to send him to teach, but only if the ladies bought their books and supplies. This is not going to be a free ride. Participants had to be serious.
We arrived at the drip irrigated gardens yesterday to forty seven women waiting for us, from young ladies to grandmothers, each eager to sign upbfor the class.
What is more, the young men wanted to participate and Madame Coulibally told them no. There were twenty four of them. We said she had to open the course up to them too.
Seriously, my friend and I talked it over what we might do for many week. We talked about cost, how the literacy course would need to be organized, where to get a chalkboard, possible dates.
We set the minimum number of students we required. We had hoped to scrape up a minimum of twenty students, now we might have seventy people learning to read and write for the first time in their lives.
In the past four years, MOPD workers, with Madame Coulibally and partners like you, and IDES Canada, have walked this whole remote camp into a greater food security.
Now we can offer them a world of knowledge that reading and writing will open up for them.
We are so very excited about this new facet of our work here.
I will be honest. Gardens I know, literacy issues I don’t. But Salifou has the experience. He is basically volunteering his time, and we are paying his travel expenses and motorcycle repairs to go, and supplying chalkboards and other needed supplies. This Malian is Donating his time to this good work.
Phase one of literacy begins March 01, 2017, two days a week until May 31. Two books will be completed, of a nine book program.
I hope to have the funds to pick up again in the fall, after the harvest. I’d love to see these ladies, and young men complete all nine literacy books.
Would you consider sponsoring this literacy work?
An online secure donation at http://www.manofpeacedevelopment.org would be appreciated, as this is a new and unplanned for project, but an opportunity we could not refuse to jump on.
Mme Coulibally had the opportunity to read the first page in their first literacy book, introducing the ladies to letter sounds. The women cheered and clapped for her at the end.
These women will soon be reading for the first time in their history.