collected amount: € 25,000.- for phase 1 | € 21,000.- for phase 2

Increase capacity and quality of education in Noukoula, Mali

Description of the project

GAAS Mali would like to build the three extra classrooms, so that the children can follow the entire primary / basic education in Noukoula. This helps to prevent that many children drop out at an early stage and exclude them from further education. Furthermore, it is not a luxury to improve the existing classrooms that currently only consist of tree trunks with a roof of branches and straw. The sanitation facilities of the school are also minimal; moreover there is no water well at the school grounds or in the vicinity of the school.

Why is this project so important?

In Noukoula (Mali) is a school. It is the only (primary) school in Noukoula and for the within a radius of 5 kilometers surrounding six villages. The school was established several years ago by GAAS Mali, a non-governmental organization in the Segou region working in the fields of health, education and rural development. GAAS Mali has submitted a request to the Van Doorn Foundation for financial support for the improvement of the school.

The school has six classes for 250 students (176 boys and 74 girls). The aim of GAAS Mali is to give boys and girls the same opportunity to education. The school in Noukoula has six out of the nine classes for primary / basic education and is meant for the children of Noukoula and its six surrounding villages. All the boys and 50% of girls from the villages go to this school. Because, despite all the efforts of GAAS Mali, many parents are still difficult to persuade to give their daughters the same rights to education as their sons, as a result 50% of the girls are still NOT going to school.

Moreover for the last three years of primary / basic education the children have to go to the city Konobougou, 10 kilometers from Noukoula. Over 50% of the boys then drop-out because they have no family or place to stay in the city and all the girls drop-out because their parents do not consent.

Paul has visited Noukoula in January 2014. He was warmly welcomed by successively all the children of the school, their parents, management of the school, the village chief of Noukoula and the village chiefs of the six surrounding villages. There have been extensive and good discussions and GAAS Mali is a reliable and competent counterpart organization.

The aim of GAAS Mali to give boys and girls an equal opportunity to education is commendable and deserves to be supported!

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Where do we stand at the moment?

First phase

GAAS Mali requested the Van Doorn Foundation in 2014 for funds to construct the three additional classrooms, so that the school has all nine classes required for basic education. This required a total amount of € 11,600. In addition, we raised € 13,400 for a water well, sanitary facilities and to set up a vegetable garden, where parents of the school children can grow vegetables, which they can sell on the market in Konobougou. With the sale of the vegetables, the income of the local population can be improved and parents are encouraged to send their daughters to school. In short, a project with a strong gender equality and poverty reduction factor!

In November 2015 the local population completed the masonry for the new classrooms up to roof height with cement made available by the municipality Konobougou. With funds we have received from the Foundation Fair Share and the proceeds of a charity Spring Market at the School of the Future in Ede we could construct the roof, lay the floor and install windows and doors. For the finishing of the interior and exterior walls of the population made unskilled labour available and we paid for the cement and skilled labour.

The late 2015 rain season brought a major setback because the 'old' classrooms were badly damaged. The new classrooms had therefore to be put into use to accommodate the pupils from collapsed classrooms. On the other hand, a blessing in disguise that the new classrooms were almost finished, so that ongoing school activities could continue. The envisaged expansion of the school however had to be postponed.

The construction of the sanitary facilities and the purchase of furniture took place in the summer of 2016 - with funds from the Addo Kranendonk Fund. In addition the parents' committee, parents and schoolchildren were educated on hygiene and sanitation and provided with hygiene kits. The teachers of the school received special training enabling them to continue the hygiene education.

At the same time with funding from Rabobank | Share4More a greenhouse was set up, a water well drilled and a water tower built. The greenhouse yielded already a good harvest, half of which is used for own consumption and the other half is sold on the local market. The revenues are used to purchase teaching material and footwear and cloths for pupils from very poor families.

Second phase

The project was completed by the end of the summer of 2016 and evaluated with GAAS-Mali and the school. Everyone was very motivated to sustain these successes and to continue them! Hence, the Foundation has agreed to fund a second phase of the project: to build the 3 additional classrooms so that the initial planned capacity expansion can be realized. For this extension – which we will realize in 2,5 years – an amount of € 21,000 is has been made available (€ 7,000 per classroom per year): the Aalbers Kersten Holding from The Netherlands (owner of the restaurant In De Kazerne from Nijmegen, will sponsor half of this funding and the other half was covered by a gift of ASN Foundation!

The 2nd phase of the project started in the 4th quarter of 2017. 

Construction of classrooms resumed in October 2018 and the population continued bricklaying the walls. A lot of work was done to raise the walls to roof level, because one wants the roof on the classrooms before the start of the next rainy season (July-September). Despite a few setbacks - such as insecurity (terrorist attacks) in the region and a water pump that broke down - they succeeded!
Thanks to the loyal contribution of the population - in terms of unskilled labour, local materials (sand) and water - the roof could be placed on the school according to plan, so that pupils of the highest classes can use these classrooms during the rain-season. During the summer-holidays (August), the ceilings will be installed in the classrooms and the interior walls will be plastered. After the rain-season, the outer walls can then be plastered.

We are very proud of this project and consider it very justified that the Malian Government declared our local partner, GAAS-Mali, in February 2019 the best NGO of the Ségou region!
It is special to see the interest and commitment of the population; the construction may be a little slower than if it had been done by a contractor, but the involvement and "sense of belonging" is enormous!

tweet about this project? >>> #GAASMali

  • Closure of a succesfull project in Mali

    If possible, we try not only to coordinate our projects at a distance, but also to visit them. From October 5 thru 11, 2016 Paul Sutmuller, our treasurer, visited several projects of GAAS-Mali. Check his travel report here!

  • Improvement hygiene and sanitation in Mali

    With the construction of child-friendly latrines, hygiene education and the first results of growing vegetables in a greenhouse, the project in Noukoula is now approaching its completion!

  • Experiment with vegetables in Mali

    A few pupils from the school in Noukoula with their parents started early this year an experiment; growing of lettuce and cucumber. Sounds simple, but was not and it was not entirely without problems!

  • Greenhouse and water well for Noukoula!

    Good news from Mali thanks to sponsorship by Rabobank / Share4More the greenhouse and water well and tower have been realized! 

  • Necessitated reconstruction in Mali

    Rain in Mali has caused enormous damage at the primary school in Noukoula. The support of the Van Doorn Foundation was a godsend.

  • Transport material to Mali a big challenge

    The transport of material for the greenhouses in Mali was a huge challenge, but it worked! Thanks to the cooperation of the Malian authorities and GAAS-Mali!

  • Study funding can improve accessibility vocational training Mali

    The availability of vocational training centers in Mali is good. But accessibility needs improvement as for many students trainings are too expensive.

Tweets about this project

  • @VanDoornSt Work in progress in Noukoula! ?????? #GAASMali 19 months ago
  • @VanDoornSt Mooi project Mali: uitbreiding capaciteit school = meer meisjes naar school! #GAASMali #Wereldmeisjesdag #onderwijs 22 months ago
  • @VanDoornSt De school in #Mali is klaar! Plafonds erin, geschilderd, klaar voor leerlingen! #GAASMali 36 months ago
  • @VanDoornSt Check! Alle benodigde fondsen om capaciteit en kwaliteit van onderwijs in #Mali te verbeteren zijn binnen! #GAASMali 43 months ago
  • @VanDoornSt Zware regens leiden maken van nieuwbouw noodgedwongen herbouw #GAASMali #education #Mali 45 months ago
  • @VanDoornSt Transport materiaal #GAASMali tuin- en kassenbouw project enorme uitdaging, maar 't is gelukt! 49 months ago