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The start of something big

The beginning of a new sponsored community is the start of an exciting journey: for donors and staff, and especially for the families and children in the communities that have chosen to work with Plan.

Thanks to you, we're on our way with the Barouéli community in Mali and just completed our first few months of working together. To kick it off, we held meetings and workshops to get everyone engaged in the community's plan.

"I attended three meetings with Plan," says Sidiki Diarra, one community member, "and learned that it's important to have partners to help out, but we must be organized and participate."

Local participation is the key to successful development. With education as their first priority, we helped the families of Barouéli set up school committees (among parents, teachers, and students) and host meetings to get everyone talking about the importance of educating children, especially girls, who are often left out when resources are scarce.

In fact, Sidiki told us: "I am the eldest of the family, so according to our tradition I no longer work in the field or take care of the animals but I manage the resources. Every year I decide who will be enrolled in school and most of the time I give priority to boys, just because they bear our name and will continue our line. After a big meeting with Plan, I understand all children must go to school. I had this discussion with all my brothers and we agree it is important to agree on that."

We also assisted with the organization of a group of local mothers to take charge of early childhood education programs, while supporting a number of initiatives to address gender inequality and get women more actively involved in community life.

With construction sites identified for new schools, we are working with Barouéli on preschool enrolment and birth registration for children, as well as training for the local women who are preparing to staff early childhood development centres.

Thanks to your partnership, it's a busy time for Barouéli, and the beginning of a journey that will transform the lives of the families and children who live there.

Click here to return to the Barouéli homepage