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September 22, 2017

US Ambassador to Mali Paul A. Folmsbee Visits a Mali EESA-Supported School

US Ambassador to Mali Paul A. Folmsbee recently visited a Mali Education Emergency Support Activity (EESA)-supported school for students in grades one through six in the village of Saréma, Mopti. The Mali EESA project trained the school principal and teachers in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); psychosocial support; and gender and gender-based violence in a school setting. Additionally, the Mali EESA project provided the school with school kits, student kits, and recreation kits. The school administration and the Mali EESA team were honored to host Ambassador Folmsbee and delighted to share with him the progress of the project.

Ambassador Folmsbee had the opportunity to meet with the school board, the parent-teacher committee, teachers, and students. Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

Ambassador Folmsbee met with members of the Comités de Gestion Scolaire, CGS (the School Management Committee; equivalent to a school board), Association de Mères des Elèves, AME, (Student-Mothers Group), and Association de Parents d’Elèves, APE (Parent-Teacher Association). The Mali EESA project has trained CGS, AME, and APE representatives on their respective roles and responsibilities; and has stressed the need for the CGS to be democratically elected and to hold regular meetings with the participation of the AME. Furthermore, the Mali EESA project has raised awareness among community members on how to maintain the water pump and how to raise financial resources for the school; stressed the importance of keeping children, especially girls, in school; trained school officials on how to manage school resources; emphasized the need for community involvement in the development of the school; and reforested the schoolyard.

Ambassador Folmsbee toured the school and addressed the school board, faculty members, and students. Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

During his visit, Ambassador Folmsbee toured the school and addressed school stakeholders about the importance of improving school performance.

To express gratitude to each other, Ambassador Folmsbee and school stakeholders exchanged cross-cultural gifts. Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

He and school stakeholders also exchanged cross-cultural gifts as a gesture of respect and gratitude. The exchange of gifts and ideas further fostered cultural ties and understanding between the United States and Mali.

The shirt reads, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

In addition to meeting with the school board, parents, and teachers, Ambassador Folmsbee met with students. In the picture above, Ambassador Folmsbee appears with a student with whom he discussed the statement on his shirt, which states, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader,” a quote commonly attributed to Margaret Fuller, a journalist and women’s rights advocate. 

Each student at the primary school in Sarema received a student kit, which included a notebook, pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, box of tissues, schoolbag, and other items.  Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

The Mali EESA project provided each student at the school with a student kit, which included a notebook, pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, box of tissues, schoolbag, and other items. It provided the school with a school kit that contained a dictionary, globe, box of chalk, ruler, compass, and protractor.

Ambassador Folmsbee distributes soccer balls provided by the Mali EESA project. Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

Ambassador Folmsbee helped distribute soccer balls, included in the Mali EESA-provided recreational kits, which also contained a volleyball, volleyball net, jump rope, and whistle.

Ambassador Folmsbee enjoyed partaking in a traditional Malian dance. Photo by Nyka Kwon/USAID.

The Mali EESA team, school board, and community were honored to welcome Ambassador Folmsbee. It was a fun-filled day of community engagement activities, which included a traditional Malian dance.

More Information on the CAMRIS Implemented, Mali EESA Project