“Bourse Jackie” Scholarship Program
In 2018, shortly after the passing of my dear wife, Jackie Hoffner, Caravan to Class launched a new program, "Bourse Jackie," to selectively provide full university scholarships to female high school students from Timbuktu.
Bourse Jackie is a competitive university scholarship given to five female high school students from Timbuktu. A successful Bourse Jackie recipient will have provided the strongest application in order to be selected to take an exam given by the Timbuktu Ministry Education specifically for this program. In order for the selection process to be perfectly objective, the top five scores from the exam receive the scholarship. The Bourse Jackie scholarship includes four years of university tuition including fees, books, room & board, transportation to university in Bamako, Mali, and also a 3-month intensive English program in nearby Accra, Ghana.
The selection process is managed in Timbuktu by Caravan to Class’ administrator, ONG Nord et Developement. Once the recipients begin university in Bamako, 1,000 kilometers away from Timbuktu, the program is managed by Caravan to Class’ staff Ms. Doussouba Konate, a university graduate from Canada who is the Global Program Officer for monitoring and evaluation for the Accountability Lab, Mali.
Four from of our 1st cohort of scholarship recipients, selected in 2018, are well on their way to completing their university education. One of them already has a full-time job offer from a company she interned with in logistics. Another has started her own business making and selling specialty soap under her own brand, and a third has an internship with a virtual learning company with hopes to work with them full-time after graduating from university. In addition, these women, who did an intensive English program in Ghana in 2019, are already using their newly acquired English-language skills, something uncommon, particularly for women, in Timbuktu.
It is incredibly gratifying for Caravan to Class to support these woman in their quest for a university education, something attained by less than 1% of women from the Timbuktu region. They have all overcome significant cultural, financial and other hardships to get to where they are now, and are unbelievably enthusiastic, hopeful and grateful for their futures.
Pictured (L—R): Ms. Sira Sangare, Ms. Djeneba O Maiga, Ms. Maimouna Maiga, Barry Hoffner, Ms. Bintou Dicko, Hamadou Toure, and Ms. Faouma Toure.