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10 Schools, 1,000 Lives
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10 Schools, 1,000 Lives!

Through our flagship project "10 Schools, 1000 Lives" the African Sky family is collaborating with Malian communities to build ten rural schools. Our first school, pictured above, now serves approximately 100 students annually. Over the past few years the African Sky family has worked tirelessly to gather the resources we need to fulfill our vision to build ten schools with rural Malian communities.

The "10 Schools, 1000 Lives: Building Schools with African Sky" Project is the culmination of years of volunteerism, generosity, and sheer determination. The founders of African Sky established a 501(c)3 social profit organization with a dreams of building friendships and schools with rural Malian communities. We coined the phrase "10 for 2010," and a devoted core of volunteers in Northeast Ohio developed our annual silent auction event to raise funds to build these schools.

Like any good story, however, ours has a bump in the road. Halfway into our campaign, the world economy collapsed, and so did the US dollar. When we built our first school the exchange rate was US$1 = 750 CFA (Malian Francs). In recent years the dollar drifts between 450-500 CFA. In essence our construction budgets grew by a third or more simply because of the volatile economic downturn. Similarly, political unrest and armed combat in Mali and neighboring Cote d'Ivoire have already disrupted markets and an otherwise smooth construction process.

Facing rising costs, yet determined to build schools, we made two adjustments. First, we updated our average school construction budget (from $10,000 to $15,000 per school) based on a reassessment of market prices for building materials and labor. Second, we researched and invested in an exciting, alternative building technique: locally produced, compressed earth block. Our updated budget and the economic advantages of compressed earth block have put us back on track to build 10 schools to transform1000's of lives, every year, in perpetuity.

For all of you who have so generously shared your gifts and time in support of African Sky, African Sky is proud to share with you some exciting details about how we are building our schools. As always, I invite you to contact us if you have any questions or ideas to share. We'd be delighted to hear from you.

Spread Love,

Scott M. Lacy
Founder & Executive Director