Our Malian Friends' Contributions Make a Huge Difference!
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BOTH IN-KIND AND MONETARY DONATIONS ARE EXTREMELY VALUABLE TO ACFA.  

In-Kind contributions that further ACFA's mission include supplies to support our children's daily food consumption, school supplies, professionalservices and expertise, and so much more!

On 14 August, Foundation Orange Mali donated 6 bags of sugar valued at $272.  This will support the children's consumption for the next 4 months.  ACFA has been a partner of Foundation Orange for over 5 years, and we are extremely grateful for their continuing support both monetary and in-kind!

On 01 October, in preparation for the first day of school, Mr. Boudoul Berthe donated school materials to ACFA's children valued at $305.  This will cover 3 months of daily material usage, and the book bags will last for the entire school year!  ACFA is extremely grateful to Boudoul for his support to our children for the past 7 years!

 
 
 
Kadiatou Sidibe
July's Fundraiser was a hit!
 
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Our Summer Fundraiser was as much fun to attend as it was to plan and execute! Our fundraising planning committee included many of ACFA’s board members and volunteers, chipping in and helping in any role needed. Truth be told, the planning part was the most fun of it all: imagine our team sitting together in a meeting with everybody pitching ideas to raise the target $50k we needed to expand our facilities to accommodate 25 children! The brainstorming sessions and various fundraising ideas that came out of them were just an example of how devoted our team is towards our Malian protégés. The fundraiser took months to plan, but we spared no efforts. The team relentlessly worked behind the scenes to make sure we sent enough invitations, called as many friends and family members as we could, reached out to other organizations for support, called in favors, etc.. All that to ensure that we have a successful fundraiser!.

ACFA is fortunate enough to have many supporters and champions for our cause.  Café Citron in DuPont Circle graciously provided the venue for our fundraiser once again this year. Weeks before the event, Café Citron went to bat for ACFA and promoted the event regularly via social media in order to bring in as many patrons as they could to support us.

When the day finally came (Friday, July 21st 2017), all ACFCA team members converged to Café Citron hours before the official start time and started setting up for the big event! The mood was euphorically hopeful. While some of us frenetically set up the room to showcase African arts, draperies, jewelries and miscellaneous wares, others were busy connecting electronics for the live Skype call with our founder Kadidiatou Sidibe (who could not attend in person due to her overseas deployment).  Others were frantically testing devices for the convenient use of PayPal and Square during the event.

By the time many of the guests arrived we had everything under control and could devote all our attention into mingling and entertaining them. Albeit over Skype, our founder jumpstarted the event by warmly greeting the guests, thanking them for their continued support, and renewed her commitment to making ACFA a household name in Mali along with their generous help and that of the many ACFA champions who could not attend the event.

Immediately after our founder’s keynote address we all took to the floor and it was the beginning of a night of fun and dance! AFCA members definitely know how to “party” and have fun! They tirelessly entertained the guests with captivating conversations and sophisticated dance steps! Thrown into the mix was the Café Citron salsa dance instructor who took the party to a much livelier level by keeping all ACFA guests and members on their feet all night. When our feet were thoroughly taxed we took a break to cheer on the winner of our raffle followed by more dancing.

In the end we did not reach the $50k target we expected to help us tackle our projects, however, it’s a work in progress and we are hopeful that all the ACFA champions out there will reach out and help us raise as much funds as needed to continue to give hope to our Malian protégés. 

 
Teresa Jones
Hear Her Story: Bassan
 

Astan Doumbia, also known as Bassan is an orphan who came to ACFA after living with her mom on the streets of Bamako, near the Grand Mosque. Bassan was found surviving on the streets by another organization called Center for Listening and Guidance (CAOE), which focus on providing temporary shelters and providing guidance to kids in the streets. After CAOE's initial assessment of Bassan, they determined that she was extremely vulnerable and needed permanent shelter immediately. Bassan's mother was forced into a life begging in the streets to survive and Bassan never knew her father. CAOE referred Bassan to ACFA so that she would be provided with permanent shelter and a receive a proper education.

Early in her time at ACFA, Bassan struggled academically but with some mentoring and tutoring from ACFA staff, she has began to excel both academically and in extra curricular activities. With courage and determination, she ranked first in her class and was selected to the National Junior Tae kwon do team. Since her admission to the ACFA center, she has had no further contact with her mother. All efforts to find her mother including by agents from CAOE have proved unsuccessful. Even though Bassan longs to see her mother, she continues to be a model student at ACFA. She dreams of being a teacher when she grows up so that she can give back what she learns and help other children achieve quality education.

Bassan is much appreciated by the staff at ACFA for her determination and her respect for everyone at the center. ACFA is proud to have her at our center as she continues to be a success story for other vulnerable street children in Mali.

 
 
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We're on a mission.

Help support our kids through to a future they deserve.

 
Teresa Jones
Hear Her Story: Diakassan

This is a story about Diakassan.

Diakassan is one of the success stories of the ACFA program in Mali. Since arriving at ACFA, Diakassan has excelled in both her studies and her extra curriculum activities. Like so many other children in Mali, Diakassan's family could not provide her with basic human needs such as education, proper nutrition, and health care due to extreme poverty. Many young girls like Diakassan are forced to quit school due to financial constraints. When Diakassan came to ACFA, she barely had two meals a day and was not attending school since there was no one to pay for her fees. In poverty stricken families where help is needed, girls are often the first ones withdrawn from school and reduced to child labor, making them extremely vulnerable to exploitation. They may be coerced into unsafe labor practices where they are often forced to work long hours under dangerous conditions in exchange for food. Some are sent away from home, exposing them to stigma and stress. ACFA gave Diakassan the opportunity to attend school and engage in sports programs.

Since coming to live at ACFA, Diakassan has excelled in her studies (earning outstanding grades) as well as her Taekwondo practice (earning 5 medals in competition to date). Thanks to the support of ACFA and her performance in martial arts, Diakassan earned a spot with the national team. Without ACFA, Diakassan would have been sent by her impoverished parents to work or to beg for sustenance.  ACFA has provided Diakassan a safe, comfortable place to live and she now has a future that has been re-written and is filled with hope. Diakassan is particularly happy that all of her major worries have been resolved since joining ACFA, particularly when thousands of little girls just like her are still homeless and uneducated. ACFA’s education, and recreation programs have provided Diakassan with a valuable foundation for bridging the gap from probable street life to formal education, helping her to regain her self-esteem and allowing her to have dreams about her future.

 
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We're on a mission.

Help us support our kids through to a future they deserve.

 
Teresa Jones
Mali’s Minister of Economy, Finance and Budget Visits D.C.

Spring of 2016

On a visit to Washington D.C., Mali’s Minister of Economy, Finance and Budget, attended IMF and the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.  Meeting with leadership of both institutions discussions ventured on the progress of the latter’s interventions in Mali and some regional programs. The Minister took this opportunity to reinsure all partners on the efforts Mali is making to stabilize the country’s situation, and the transitional government’s commitment to organize Presidential elections in July of this year. The Minister re-iterated the same to other partners whom he has met during his stay in the National Capital.

Meeting with Diaspora under the hospice of the Ambassador Al Maamoun Keita, the Minister provided fresh news from Mali. According to the Minister, Military is still engaged with terrorists in the North. In the meantime, the Government and all stakeholders are discussing ways to ensure fair and transparent elections in July. The good news is that most partners have or are in the process of reestablishing their cooperation with Mali.  Fortunately, ACFA’s activities have never stopped, including the Zorokoro Complex Project which is on track for a completion this summer. This project will enable to support more vulnerable children.

The United States’ authorities have pledged to support Mali in organizing elections which will lead to reestablishing full cooperation.

Teresa Jones
A Safe Mali

After having been occupied for months by rebels and extremists, Mali went to war to re-conquer two-thirds of its territory.  As President Obama once said, ”… no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy”.

In Mali, that human tragedy is exponentially extended because (1) the country is one of the poorest countries in the world, and (2) the vulnerable children of Mali are now even more marginalized and used as child soldiers.  The socio-political and economic situation in Mali in 2012, the military coup, and the rebels and the Islamist extremists’ occupation of two-thirds of the country have all shaken ACFA’s vision of “A Mali where all children are protected, safe, healthy, well-nourished, provided a home and an outstanding education that will allow them to be productive and contribute to the social and economic development of the country.”

ACFA has adjusted its strategy to support more vulnerable children in the country.  Your donation will go a long way to help us expand our capacity so that we can achieve our mission “To bring hope to Mali's Vulnerable Children by securing for them a brighter future through the delivery of our programs: nutritious food, health care, safe shelter and education.”

Construction is underway for our new complex which will allow us to quadruple our capacity.  Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share our web- link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on our website to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.

Teresa Jones