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Spring 2013 Barouelin update

With the recent construction of new wells in Barouéli, one young girl's life has been changed, thanks to you and your ongoing support.

Awa is a grade 5 student in Barouéli where she lives with her parents and two brothers in a house made out of clay and grass. Like most in their village, Awa's family has no running water or electricity in their home, no access to transportation, and her parents never learned to read and write. They are subsistence farmers in one of Mali's poorest regions who struggle to get by.

Before the new wells, Awa used to spend hours every week getting water for her family from a far off stream. Traditionally the responsibility of girls and women, fetching water kept Awa from school and from her best chance of breaking free of poverty. Today, with your help, we've built wells at local schools so girls like Awa can get their education. "Now I get water coming home from school," says Awa, "and in the mornings all I have to do is take the empty cans."

Educating girls is vital for this community's development and will ensure that the women of tomorrow can earn a decent living, support their families and improve their community for everyone. To that end, we're also working with local women like Awa's mother who is one of many to enroll in our "Saving for Change" microfinance program, getting access to training, financial literacy, and financial services, such as basic savings and loans.

Investing in girls and women like Awa and her mom brings big returns by empowering them to break the cycle of poverty for themselves, and for their families and community.

"I especially like math at school," says Awa smiling at her mom, "because it lets me know how to save money." None of this would be possible without you. With heartfelt thanks for your ongoing partnership.

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