Since getting back from my Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso, many people have asked me how they can offer some contribution the the people of Burkina, knowing it will have a direct, personal, and meaningful effect. This is your opportunity:
As many of you may know, I have had the incredible privilege of knowing Abibata Sanogo, from the village of Tin. From the beginning of our friendship, she stood out to me as exceptional. She has been met at every stage of her life by roadblocks that would defeat the average person- constant bouts of malaria, pressure to marry since age 15, and extremely limited financial resources. Despite all this, she has always seen the value of education and persevered in a way that very few young women from rural Burkina do. She passed the exam that thousands of students take per year, gaining a coveted spot at the national university in Ouagadougou.
Her parents couldn't afford to pay her tuition, and frankly saw little point in educating a woman to that level. I was so grateful to be able to give a relatively small amount of money to fund her entire first year at University. Despite the challenges of adjusting to life in the "big city" on her own, and the serious academic demands of University, Abi passed her first year with impressive marks. She is spending her summer taking a basic computer course, and working to save money for this coming year. I can't express how proud I am of her or how much admiration I have for what she has accomplished.
Unfortunately, as a new grad student, I have very little of my own to pay for Abi's expenses in the coming year. To cover her tuition, books, room, and board for an entire year costs around $500. About 1% of the cost of a year at Dartmouth, to put that in perspective. I've been saving to send her what I can, but if any of you are willing to send even just $10, it will go a long way in helping this exceptional young woman. Burkina is one of the poorest countries in the world, and Abi is one of those young people that will undoubtably play a role in bettering her nation and people. But only if she is given a chance.
If anyone is willing to help, please send a check to me at the address below. I apologize that I don't have an easier way to donate, but please rest assured that every cent will go towards Abi's education, and I'll keep everyone updated on her progress who is interested. Thank you all so much for reading this far and ANYTHING you can give is hugely appreciated. Let me know if you have any questions.
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