Not long ago, Aminata Yattara sat at home on a stool in the dirt, pounding millet and dreaming about the day she could toss the pestle and pick up a pencil. School dominated her thoughts on her way to pull water from the well. She thought about it when she helped her mom wash dishes, day after day, always jealous of her older brother who was able to attend school.
But with four siblings and a poor family, Aminata’s chances for school seemed slim. And in this hot, dusty district in Mali, where only about a third of girls go to school, the deck was stacked against her.
But Aminata was lucky. Her father, a rice and millet farmer, had once been to school, but quit early on. Fortunately, he remembered the value of education. "At that time, I did not know the importance, and I didn’t have someone behind me to make me go. So I dropped out," Haba Yattara says. "I want my girls to go to school so that they don’t take the same path as me."
Catholic Relief Services has played a key role in the revival of education in Mali. We work with 80 schools in Mali to reward primary-school girls with a jug of vegetable oil every three months if they attend school 80 percent of the quarter. Vegetable oil may seem an odd incentive, but in Mali, where it is a major part of the diet, two gallons of oil cost nearly half a month’s income. Students like Aminata also receive a hot lunch at school every day.
Sharing the Dream
Like so many fathers and daughters, Haba and Aminata shared a dream of an education. Thanks to the generosity of CRS donors like you, Aminata is on her way to the kind of future an education can bring.
Now you can thank your father for the dreams he has made possible for you. Make a donation to CRS to honor Dad on his day. It is a gift that will touch his heart while it enables Catholic Relief Services to help God’s most vulnerable children in more than 100 countries around the world.
If you’d like, we will e-mail a special Father’s Day card acknowledging your gift.
On behalf of CRS and all the fathers around the globe who are touched by your compassion and prayers, I thank you.