This year in April, I celebrate my 50th birthday. I have certainly
been blessed to be married to the love of my life, Jackie, and
to have two amazing sons, Benjamin and Daniel, as well as the
most wonderful friends, family and business associates a man
can ask for.
While on a 50th birthday trip to realize a long-held dream of
visiting Timbuktu, Mali, my friend and guide, Amadou Maiga and
I had a chance encounter with a small village of Tuareg nomads
in the Southern Sahara. Fascinated by their culture, I learned
about the challenges they faced trying to provide education
for their children in a broken down school, a non-functioning
well, non-accredited teachers and unusable toilets. I returned
to the U.S. with a dream of celebrating my 50th birthday year
by rebuilding their school.
While large international aid organizations have done an admirable
job of dealing with large scale problems in Africa, malaria,
starvation, lack of access to clean water, basic problems in
thousands of villages across countries like Mali remain. As
I started to plan for Caravan to Class, it hit me that for a
reasonably modest amount of money, $60,000, we could solve a
real and serious problem, for a real village (Tedeini) of real
people, some of whom I met.
I hope you will join me on this, my 50th birthday year, to share
in the celebration of bringing educational Opportunity to the
village of Tedeini.
Overview of the Project
Caravan to Class will work through a respected and accredited
Malian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Nor-Dev with wide
experience in building and administering schools in the Timbuktu
area. We will realize the following objectives:
1. Renovate the interior of the existing three class school
2. Build a new three class school building so that the 1-6 grades
can each have a separate class and teacher.
3. Hire 4 new qualified teachers so that each grade will have
its own teacher.
4. Rebuild the school canteen so that we can provide lunch for
5. Pay for lunches for the children.
6. Repair the well at the school so that there is fresh water
in close proximity to the school.
For more details