The Baobab Learning Center (BLC) began in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) charity in the USA, with programs in
Mali, Africa. Our programs for the empowerment of children, women, young adults, and communities are supported by generous donations from people like you.
A Brighter Future for Children
Children in rural areas of Mali often have little access to education. BLC houses 30 children and provides
meals, clothing, and tutoring to 35 others to ensure their success in school and to prepare them to
contribute to their communities as good citizens, and good stewards of the land and water around them.
BLC has two shea butter processing facilities where over 100 women learned to process nuts they gather
into shea butter to sell in a co-op. We teach women in the village skills that include cooking, childcare,
hygiene, entrepreneurship, and management
Empowering Young Adults
After the Malian army repelled terrorist attacks near our center, we invited vulnerable young adults to hear presentations by educators, health practitioners, and security officials. The youth then chose a program area for vocational training and internships. Without jobs, young adults risk recruitment by terrorists.
Thank you for your Donations
Starting with 13 children, now 65 children, over 100 women, about 200 young adults and whole village communities are benefiting from from your contributions to BLC's work in South Eastern Mali.
In November 2022, BLC gave a briefing to the Malian Embassy. The Ambassador asked for packets to share with their government and the US Embassy in Mali. The Minister Counselor said they have not seen this kind of impact before.
Over a ton of shea butter made at BLC by the 105 women in our cooperative was shipped from Mali to the U.S., arriving in December 2022.
All of the 11 candidates for the national 9th grade exam passed and can enroll in high school.
Agro-Pastoral Project: Five acres of donated land was cleared by volunteers. We are seeking funds for wells, fencing, and seeds.
Radio Program: BLC’s weekly radio show shares ways to protect the environment and improve agricultural sustainability. Each program features a species of tree and its nutritional or health benefits and other topics of value to families. There is a noticeable decline in cutting of trees. We were delighted to learn that even 200 kilometers away, women and men gather around the radio each week to listen to the program.
Women’s Conference: BLC hosted our annual conference for women in our coop and others. The theme was Women’s Role in Society and Politics: entrepreneurship, microfinance, and building a peaceful environment. All speakers were women — including the city mayor, school principal, and president of a women’s church group.
Women's Coop: Sadly, due to drought, shea trees did not yield nuts this year. BLC led our women’s coop to use entrepreneurial training and microfinance, to work together to buy wholesale goods to sell in village markets and support their families.
U.S. – Mali Student Exchange: BLC students have an exchange program with students in a New York high school. Exchanges of letters in French from Mali and in English from the U.S. helped children expand language skills. An unexpected benefit was the fund raising the school undertook to support the Center.
BLC Meeting on Security: BLC sponsored a robust meeting on community security with officials and leaders of all religions. A team shared the information in the rural communities. We have seen positive results.
Youth Empowerment: We hold weekly meetings to empower young adults with skills and taking responsibility for their futures and the well-being of their communities.
Thank you for making this impactful work possible! Donations of any amount help BLC programming and unanticipated expenses.