By, Brett McNaught – Vice President of International Programs
In the wake of the recent coup in Mali and the increased rebel advancements in Northern Mali buildOn is exercising extreme caution and doing all it can to support buildOn staff and communities in Mali during this extremely sad and turbulent time.
At this time buildOn continues to work in the Sikasso region of Mali and currently has 4 construction projects underway as well as the buildOn Community Education Program for 1,450 adults, 55% of the adults are women. We believe that our work in Mali is crucial to the communities we partner with. Since 1998 buildOn has been working in rural Mali and has completed 178 schools that serve up to 26,700 children per day.
The people of Mali have been an inspiration to hundreds of Americans that have visited Mali on behalf of buildOn over the years. Malians have contributed more than 450,000 volunteer work days building schools for their children that is more than 3,600,000 hours of service not including the land, sand, gravel and water they donated for every buildOn school.
It is those staggeringly inspiring metrics that commit buildOn to Mali with a strong bond that cannot be broken by political coups or rebellions. We remain committed to Mali and to building schools for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mali and we hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to their problems. The regions where we have buildOn schools in Mali are Sikasso, Segou and Koulikoro and we can report that thus far there have been no reports of any violence or unrest in our communities. We continue to place the safety of our Mali team and communities ahead of anything else.
For background on the coup in Mali read: Mali coup highlights African country’s divisions