For hundreds of years the camel caravans traversed the Sahara Desert to earn their living through trade. As the caravan trade diminished due to more modern means of transport, and after years of drought and the loss of their herds of cattle and goats, the Tuareg, the nomadic people of the Sahara Desert, were forced to settle down in the villages near Timbuktu in the 1990s. Their children had never known formal school nor has the Malian government invested in building schools in their villages. As a result, Mali is one of the world most illiterate countries (according to the UN Human Development index) with literacy at around 26% and the literacy rate in the villages around Timbuktu is less than 10%.
Caravan to Class believes that dedicated focus on one village at a time is the best path to widespread success in literacy building in Mali. The organization utilizes a five-part approach to working in extremely rural Malian villages:
• Identify, through a field study and research, a specific village and its education needs
• Partner with a reputable and known local NGO in the given area
• Create a plan with a budget; meet with the villages elders and sign a contract with the village
• Invite investment in the village (donations) to bring literacy to the village children
• Follow up to assure that the plan is fulfilled and the investment is having results
Caravan to Class has isolated tax deductible donation increments that directly meet tangible needs. A child’s year at school costs $120, a teacher’s monthly salary is $80 and a full year salary is $855. In addition, the organization reaches out for support for isolated projects, like purchasing schoolbooks or uniforms, building schools and setting up adult literacy initiatives.
Swahili Imports looks forward to a positive fund raising relationship with Caravan to Class. Since several of our products are hand crafted by Malian artisans, we value the work Caravan to Class is doing to empower rural Malian communities with education.
To learn more about Caravan to Class, and to make a direct donation to the organization’s projects, visit http://www.caravantoclass.org/.
Educate 70 children in the village of Mora, Mali
"Our goal is to raise $8,000 and bring in 100 donors for our second school project in the village of Mora, Mali." -Barry Hoffman, Founder
Caravan to Class will build a school in the village of
Mora, in the Southern Sahara Desert area of Mali to provide a conducive
learning environment for children living in one of the poorest and most
illiterate villages in Mali. We are hiring certified teachers from
Timbuktu and providing the children with two free meals daily. This
school will directly impact 70 deserving children, giving them the gift
of literacy and education and will bring hope and opportunity to an
A fundraising initiative for this project is being held from November 23 - December 31, 2011 through Global Giving. If you wish to make a donation toward this great goal, click the Give Now link below.