By Scott Lacy.
African Sky is proud to officially announce the completion of the Soumabougou School sponsored by Keeth Elementary School in Winter Springs, Florida. Our construction team finished installing doors, windows, chalkboards, and roofing by March 2013; our painter finished his work by the end of April. Construction leaders Yacouba Sangare and Oumar Samake took some photographs of the school, which we are pleased to share with you as we celebrate their work.
The next steps for the Soumabougou School will be to work with our host community to do some modest landscaping and to work with local officials to formerly open the school and recruit teachers. The school and its teachers will be part of Mali’s national school system, with teachers and administrators coming from the Ministry of Education. Students in Winter Springs are excited to have a sister school and new friends for cultural and language exchanges.
Currently our team is making bricks in southern Mali for our next school. They reported last week that they have made 4,000 of the 10,000 bricks we’ll need to build the next school. The rains are now beginning to fall in southern Mali, and some of our team and most host partners will spend time planting and tending their fields. We look forward to completing the Dissan Secondary School by early 2014. In most rural Malian communities, students must move away to live and study in a regional town if they want to seek an education beyond the sixth grade (if they can afford to do so). We are building the Dissan Secondary School in response to local elders who believe the school will be a way for more of their children to further their education, without the expense and challenges of moving away from home at such a young age.
Thank you to every one of you who in the African Sky family who made this great accomplishment possible. Despite unprecedented obstacles, we built the Soumabougou School. Through your volunteering, your leadership, your donations, and your generous friendship, African Sky operations are stronger than ever.