Earlier this year I had the privilege of joining the Board of Directors of A Child for All (ACFA), a Washington DC-based nonprofit whose mission is to ensure a brighter future for Mali's vulnerable children by providing a loving family environment, safe shelter, nutritious meals, health care, and education.
ACFA is the realization of a lifelong dream of the founder, Kadiatou Sidibe. Raised by a single father in Mali, she faced a difficult life and was often left in the care of family or friends. Despite the hardships, she excelled in school and eventually graduated high school with the highest GPA in the country.
Unfortunately, many children in Mali are not so lucky. Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is greatly affected by poverty, malnutrition, and inadequate hygiene and sanitation. Every 20 minutes, a woman dies during childbirth in the country, leaving an orphaned infant behind. Often these children and their siblings have nowhere to go, and are left to fend for themselves on the streets. They face a daily struggle to survive, and face a grim future without education or skills needed to pull themselves out of a cycle of poverty.
ACFA was created in 2009 to give these children a chance at a brighter future. The organization incorporates four major programs to help vulnerable and orphaned children:
- Safe shelter. The children reside in a home in Bamako, the national capital. They have a mother and a father figure in the home allowing them to grow in a family-oriented environment.
- Nutritious meals. A healthy balanced diet is essential to the children's physical and mental development. Home-cooked meals and vitamin supplements are provided to the children on a daily basis.
- Healthcare. In coordination with the Primary Healthcare Center of Badalabougou, ACFA-Mali provides the highest healthcare service to our children.
- Education. Education is a key component of ACFA's strategy and programs. It is the way to break the chains of poverty. In coordination with the public education systems in Mali, we provide enhanced curriculum for our children.
The standard educational curriculum is supplemented with additional classes focusing on arts and crafts, critical thinking skills, English language instruction and life skills.
Today, I am writing to announce that we have a great opportunity with the Segal Family Foundation, which has challenged ACFA to increase its donor base and will match any donation of $100 or more given to the organization by September 1, 2011. I hope that you will consider making a gift that will help us provide these vital, life-saving services to even more children in Mali.
You can learn more about the organization at www.acfacorp.org. Even if you can't give at the $100 level today, please know that any gift is greatly appreciated. You can give online at on our website or via mail to ACFA, 21 Arbor Lane, Stafford VA 22554.
Thank you for your consideration!