It’s a shocking statistic: In Africa, where nearly 50% of the population is under age 15, seven out of 10 rural children have never set foot in a school―nor will they ever do so.
In the West African country of Mali, 69% of children are enrolled in primary school. However, only 34% continue to secondary school. Reasons for this steep drop in attendance include an inability to pay school fees, a lack of middle schools accessible to rural populations and gender inequity. But with evidence that each additional year of secondary schooling increases a student’s future income by 10-20%, providing better access to middle schools is key to creating a lasting impact.
The Mali Rising Foundation was formed in 2004 to provide accessible, quality education for children, focusing on middle school education. The foundation’s goal is to establish a middle school within walking distance for every child in every rural village.