Building on the skills gained during their American experiences, Malian alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs continue to garner a strong community reputation. Alone or in groups, each and every one in his field of competence contribute to the sustainable development of Mali and their communities.
Recently, three of them, all former participants in the Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program #PAYLP in 2019, have become involved in voluntary and charity-related activities in their neighborhood in Kati, outside of Bamako. They utilized their talents in different ways and in accordance with the needs and vision of their communities.
With a grant from U.S. non-profit and global leadership organization Meridian International Center, Oumou Coulibaly and Aichata Djikine held awareness sessions on hygiene and medical screening days in some high schools in Kati, delivering sanitation kits to students. The long term goal of the two alumni is to achieve a healthier environment in Kait’s high schools and a better quality of life for students and their teachers. They have made a plan to visit all the high schools in the area at least once, to conduct their activities.
With a slightly different approach, their mentor Toumany Sidibe created an English club, helping students to build their listing and speaking skills using certain resources from American English. The approach is to prepare the students find better jobs and opportunities, as enhanced communication skills in English can result not only on an improved social life, but also better job opportunities in the future. Since its inception, the English club has become very popular among those who dream of studying in the United States and to embark in an international career.
The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program #PAYLP allowed Coulibaly, Djikine, and Sidibe to acquire leadership, entrepreneurship, and community engagement skills. Their common objectives, after participating in this life changing experience, is to share their knowledge and extend the impact of this educational and cultural exchange programs through continued engagement in their communities.