JANUARY 10, 2020

Dear friends,

As Caravan to Class starts our 2nd decade of investing in literacy through our work in education in one of the world’s most interesting yet underserved places, (Timbuktu, Mali), I reiterate my gratitude to you for joining me on this important journey! With your support, over the years, we have been able to provide the opportunity for thousands of children to attend French-based schools through our main “school construction and support program.” More recently we have added a Female Adult Literacy program for mothers in the villages where we work, to teach basic literacy in the local language. Last year, we launched our “Bourse Jackie” program that very selectively provides scholarships to female high school graduates, from Timbuktu, to attend university in Mali's capital of Bamako. I personally met with these incredibly bright young women in Mali in February 2019. I was so impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of three of these women towards learning English, that Caravan to Class funded an intensive English language course for them this summer in Accra, Ghana. Caravan to Class is currently working on our 14th school construction project, in the village of Bokoi-Koiria near Timbuktu.

MARCH 23, 2019

Image of the village people of Bokoi-Koiria enthusiastically greeting the Caravan To Class team
Image of the village people of Bokoi-Koiria enthusiastically greeting the Caravan To Class team

The Bokoi-Koiria school construction and operational support project:

Caravan to Class will build our 14th school in the village of Bokoi-Koiria and provide operational support for three years. Operational support will include paying teachers’ salaries, providing basic nutrition for school lunches, and school supplies. In addition, Caravan to Class will provide school uniforms to all children and also implement our award-winning Female Adult Literacy program. The school will follow Malian standard instruction in French. The Timbuktu Ministry of Education will send a director, at their expense, to run the school and certify teachers for class instruction.

Make a donation now to Caravan to Class to help fund the Bokoi-Koiria school construction project.

Image of Barry Hoffner and Hamadou Toure with the 2019 recipients of the “Bourse Jackie” Scholarship
Image of Barry Hoffner and Hamadou Toure with the 2019 recipients of the “Bourse Jackie” Scholarship

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 17th, Hamadou Toure, local partner of Caravan to Class, and I met with the five recipients of the “Bourse Jackie” Scholarship in the courtyard of my B&B. The five women were selected by ranking the highest on our scoring system, which included their school grades, a writing sample, and a test we administered. It was important for us to have an objective determination of the final recipients so as to completely rule out any favoritism. The initial applicant pool was roughly 50 young women, and we administered an exam to the 12 finalists. The average score of the 12 twelve finalists was 70.2, with the lowest at 47.1 and the highest at 98. The average score of the 5 scholarship recipients was 81.2.

I was very impressed with all five of the Bourse Jackie recipients, and with two of them in particular. As they warmed up, the level of engagement was very high and their enthusiasm, motivation, and intelligence definitely made a strong impression on me. Our process seems to have chosen the perfect recipients.
 

FEBRUARY 14, 2019

Image of Barry Hoffner surrounded by students in a classroom of their new school in NangaWhenever the question pops into my head about how long I might continue to move Caravan to Class forward, a day like today answers the question very easily. It is no exaggeration to say that my favorite day of the year is the day I spend touring the villages where Caravan to Class has built schools. Today, on Valentine’s Day, I did just that. Specifically, I visited the village of Nanga where Caravan to Class just finished building our 13th school, and also the village of Bokoi-Koiria where Caravan to Class plans to rehabilitate a school in 2019.

Image of Barry Hoffner surrounded by students in a classroom of their new school in Nanga

Dear friends,

Whenever the question pops into my head about how long I might continue to move Caravan to Class forward, a day like today answers the question very easily. It is no exaggeration to say that my favorite day of the year is the day I spend touring the villages where Caravan to Class has built schools. Today, on Valentine’s Day, I did just that. Specifically, I visited the village of Nanga where Caravan to Class just finished building our 13th school, and also the village of Bokoi-Koiria where Caravan to Class plans to rehabilitate a school in 2019.

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Read the interview with CTC founder Barry Hoffner,  catch up with progress on literacy programs and Caravan-to-Class press releases.

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Drone footage of the Kokonji school newly-built by Caravan to Class in Mali