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Our Mission - Programs
Mali School Electrification & Water Project
Six schools in northern Mali have had success enrolling boys and girls, staffing teachers, building permanent structures, and adding classrooms annually.

However, many of these schools have no nearby clean water source, and co-ed sanitary latrines are lacking or need of repairs. The classrooms also need lighting to enable after daylight studying to improve student academic scores. Electricity will provide opportunities for evening working conditions for teachers and adult education for the community, as well. These six communities have

partnered with NomadHope to improve their schools and the education of their children.

Essakane has a population of approximately 17,000, ten sedentary villages, and twelve extended nomadic families. The schools are located in the far northern region of Mali, just southwest of Tombouctou (Timbuktu). The majority of the population herd goats and camels to sustain their way of life there. The schools are community-run, day and boarding schools, housing children from many of the nomadic families in the area as the family travels to feed their herds.

The first school was created in 2005 and has been growing ever since. In 2007, thanks to efforts of the parents and a development

partner, they were able to construct permanent classrooms, while
another partner supports the student cafeteria. The APE (Association of parents and students) and several NGO partners have been assisting the school since it opened. Today the school consists of 3 classrooms, 3 teachers, and 78 students (50 girls and 28 boys).

It is our hope to develop a long term relationship with these schools and others in the area, providing technology and engineering solutions to further the community’s efforts toward literacy and education.

Surveying Existing Conditions
In November ’08, Engineers Without Borders Los Angeles Professionals and NomadHope staff completed an assessment trip to design the water, sanitation, and electricity solutions for each of the schools. The team met with community members to discuss their needs and expectations for the project. They assessed the condition of the schools and their ability to support rooftop solar panels; and accessibility of clean water and latrines to the students.

The Project
NomadHope and our partners will begin installing solar lighting and hand washing stations at the schools in Farach and Zouera in late 2009. These two (2) schools have been chosen for our pilot, to be followed by four (4) more schools when funding is available. With multiple organizations partnering together, each bringing expertise to the projects, NomadHope.org has high confidence in the continued success of our efforts and the effective use of donor contributions.

Expected Results
The communities believe the project will improve their children’s education. Access to clean water and sanitation will keep children healthy and increase their school attendance. Electric lights will increase productive hours, allowing students to study in the evenings, after their chores are finished. Teachers can review class work and prepare the next day’s lessons without worrying about the onset of darkness putting an end to their work. They can also avoid the respiratory ailments caused by costly kerosene lamps. The Banco project in Mali, another solar school project, saw a dramatic improvement in its students test scores. After the solar installation 36 out of the 37 passed the national exams, up from 6.

Caroline Hombe, a 35-year-old teacher in rural Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, can go through the pile of books stacked on her table without worrying that the onset of darkness will put an end to her work. She no longer suffers from respiratory ailments due to inhaling smoke from her office kerosene lamp.

Fund Raising Goals for this project:

  • Raise $10,000 to begin planning and design – DONE!
  • Raise an additional $50,000 to complete the first two pilot schools – DONE!
  • Raise $120,000 to complete 4 more schools - $4,000 so far

Between the generous Rotary International matching grant and our own fund raising efforts, NomadHope now has $64,000 toward our $180,000 goal for the water, sanitation and solar electricity improvements at all six (6) community schools in northern Mali. This is enough to complete the first two schools. We now need an additional $116,000 to complete initial project work at all 6 schools.

Your donation will go directly to funding the equipment and local labor costs for the project. Travel, training and recruiting costs will be self-funded by individual volunteers and their sponsors.

To mail a donation check, send to: Sahara Solutions Foundation, PO Box 221 Manhattan Beach, CA 90267.

Our Project Partners:
Engineers Without BordersTM chapters in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC are working with NomadHope.org to assess, design, and implement the solar and water solutions for each of our adopted schools in Mali. We are so thankful for EWB’s professional engineers who are working with us to assure appropriate and sustainable engineering solutions.
We are pleased to have sponsorship from the following Rotary Clubs: Manhattan Beach, Bamako, Santa Monica, Culver City, Long Beach, Lakewood, Newport-Balboa, Encinitas Coastal, and Reno Centennial Sunset, and Rotary Districts: 5280, 9100, 5320, 5340, and 5190.
RC Manhattan Beach
RC Bamako
Photo Credits: Linda Shen, Marge Robinson & Keely McGeehan
Music by Tidawt of Niger
Site Implementation by Bob Kasai
Copyright 2007, Sahara Solutions Foundation, Inc.
a 501(c)3 organization