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Ambassadors' Girls' Scholarships Program (AGSP)

Groupe de scholarship beneficiairies
With support from AGSP, these girls are determined to finish school.

In Mali, World Education implements the Ambassadors' Girls' Scholarship Program (AGSP), which provides comprehensive support for girls' education in Africa. A key component of the U.S. President's Africa Education Initiative (AEI), AGSP provides support in the form of school scholarships, mentoring, and parent and community awareness programs to promote and support girls' education, and HIV awareness activities to prevent and mitigate the spread of HIV.

Funded by USAID, AGSP in Mali is addressing the constraints to girls' participation, retention, and achievement at school. These constraints include financial and opportunity costs, socio-cultural factors such as early marriage, as well as the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on girls and their families. Scholarships are intended to ensure access to educational opportunities and are used for school fees, school supplies, books, uniforms, backpacks, hurricane lamps, and shoes.

Through AGSP, World Education has supported almost 8,000 girls in Mali who are economically disadvantaged, disabled, orphaned, and/or affected or infected by HIV. The scholars have also benefited from a wide range of mentoring activities. Most importantly, they have participated in remedial classes which ensure that the difficulties the girls are having in class are being addressed. Learn more.

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Basic Education and Equity Program (EBE)

In August 2008, World Education began working in Koulikoro, in the southwestern region of Mali, with 50 primary schools, ten kindergartens, and ten accelerated learning centers (CEDs), which are schools for youth ages 9-15 who have not been in school for some time. Each year, the program works to increase the target by 50 schools, ten kindergartens, and ten CEDs, to ultimately reach, in 2012, 200 schools, 40 kindergartens, and 40 CEDs. Funded by UNICEF, three different projects are being implemented, targeting:
  1. Kindergartens: To create and empower kindergartens in the region; provide training to the classroom monitors; and link the kindergartens to income-generating activities in order to give their management committees the capacity to invest in improvements.
  2. Formal education: World Education supports the quality of and resources available to the formal basic education sector in Koulikoro. Project components include the distribution of scholastic materials to schools, financial support to the neediest families as incentives to keep children in school, promoting the participation of parents in school management to increase accountability, and community analysis to develop school improvement goals from the bottom up.
  3. Out-of-school youth: Focusing on CEDs, the project works with training teachers and promoting community participation in the CED management.

The Basic Education and Equity Program's aim is to increase literacy and learning by targeting pre-school, in-school, and out-of-school youth through the different educational structures. EBE is implemented through local NGOs in the regions of Mopti, Kayes, and Sikasso. Through EBE, World Education is partnering to improve the access to and quality of education in Koulikoro.

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Batonga Girls' Education Program

World Education has partnered with the Batonga Foundation, founded by the West African singer, songwriter, and UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo. Batonga supports girls in Mali to continue their education through middle school and beyond. Education packages cover school fees, uniforms, and school supplies; after-school tutorials that help girls improve their academic skills; and mentor programs that connect girls to volunteers in their communities who encourage their successes and teach them about important personal health topics, including how to prevent HIV. The program is implemented in partnership with local NGO Aide à l'Enfant du Désert et du Sahel (AEDS), parent groups and mothers (in particular), as well as school administrators. Batonga girls are graduates of the Ambassadors' Girls' Scholarship Program (AGSP) in Mali.

To date, 75 girls have been awarded scholarships in northern Mali, one of the harshest and most isolated places in the world. These girls—all of whom are disadvantaged—have overcome daunting obstacles to pursue their education. Batonga supports the scholars from grades 7 through 12 with scholarship packages. For example, the Kidal region is a particularly challenging environment due to the instability related to rebel activity. Schools are sometimes closed, adding an additional challenge to the girls' opportunity to learn. World Education and Batonga Foundation's support gives them the boost that they need to be able to stay-and learn-in school.

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Integrated Project for Improving Learning through Community Participation and Teacher Training (Koulikoro Integrated Project)

The Koulikoro Integrated Project (KIP), funded by World Education, builds upon our strengths in community participation and teacher training to improve learning in ten schools in Fana, a town not far from the capital, Bamako. The KIP concept developed from an institutional analysis that determined that community participation and teacher training interventions—working side-by-side—improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. In order to improve basic education in Mali, these two interventions must be intertwined. The Improving Quality and Equity in Education (IQEA) program has solidified our view that giving parents ownership of their schools and helping teachers learn from each other is the path to long-term and sustainable improvement of the quality of education.

World Education is at the forefront of promoting community participation in education. Our approaches—including training services to strengthening school management committees and creating mothers' associations (AME's)—have improved participation and have linked participation to improve the quality of schools. Our literacy modules and proven Sanmogoya methodology have been a success in the field.

World Education was the first NGO in Mali to implant communities of learning (CA) in public, community, and medersa schools, which are elementary schools that teach in Arabic (as opposed to those that teach in French or Bambara transitioned to French) and have a religion course. The communities of learning approach is now the Ministry of Education's primary strategy for training teachers who have been deployed to schools. World Education is focusing on multi-grade teacher training through communities of learning. This is an area that the Ministry of Education will want to continue to develop. Through KIP, World Education maintains its on-going expertise in communities of learning.

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Education Project for Peace in the Regions of Timbuktu and Gao

Since 2012, the Republic of Mali has faced a series of armed conflict in the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal. These conflicts, precipitated by separatist groups and foreign terror organizations, have eroded government capacity and destabilized local communities. Over 300,000 people have been displaced, with more than a third yet to return to their homes. Children and youth are often the most effected. In addition to the worsening security environment and threats to personal security, many schools have been closed since the current crisis began and economic opportunities have suffered as well.

To contribute to the creation of a lasting peace and to help vulnerable children and youth, World Education is implementing the Education Project for Peace in the Regions of Timbuktu and Gao with support from UNICEF through the United Nations Trust Fund for Peacebuilding.

This project aims to strengthen social cohesion by improving equitable access to quality education for vulnerable children and the creation of community forums for inclusive dialogue. Working in 21 different communes and 340 schools across Timbuktu and Gao with three local partner organizations, World Education engages 4,500 boys and girls, ages 7-15, to:

  • 1) decrease the marginalization of children and youth through their reintegration to quality education in a conflict-sensitive environment;
  • 2) give children opportunities to participate in peace building and community strengthening activities through their schools; and
  • 3) help school communities to play a more active role in fostering inclusive dialogue as a means to peacefully resolve disputes and promote peaceful coexistence.

To these ends, World Education partners with Accelerated Literacy Programs and local communities to help students recover instruction lost with school closures to get back up to grade level and rejoin the formal education system. The project also trains programs, local schools, community leaders, and community groups on the subject of peace building, life skills development, non-violence, and conflict mitigation strategies and practices. In addition, World Education mobilizes community members to advocate for peace and coexistence, hold constructive dialogues and inter-community meetings, produce and distribute related newsletters and radio programs, and strengthen collaboration and trust with local authorities.

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