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This year in April, I celebrate my 50th birthday. I have certainly been blessed to be married to the love of my life, Jackie, and to have two amazing sons, Benjamin and Daniel, as well as the most wonderful friends, family and business associates a man can ask for.

While on a 50th birthday trip to realize a long-held dream of visiting Timbuktu, Mali, my friend and guide, Amadou Maiga and I had a chance encounter with a small village of Tuareg nomads in the Southern Sahara. Fascinated by their culture, I learned about the challenges they faced trying to provide education for their children in a broken down school, a non-functioning well, non-accredited teachers and unusable toilets. I returned to the U.S. with a dream of celebrating my 50th birthday year by rebuilding their school.

While large international aid organizations have done an admirable job of dealing with large scale problems in Africa, malaria, starvation, lack of access to clean water, basic problems in thousands of villages across countries like Mali remain. As I started to plan for Caravan to Class, it hit me that for a reasonably modest amount of money, $60,000, we could solve a real and serious problem, for a real village (Tedeini) of real people, some of whom I met.

I hope you will join me on this, my 50th birthday year, to share in the celebration of bringing educational Opportunity to the village of Tedeini.

Overview of the Project
Caravan to Class will work through a respected and accredited Malian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Nor-Dev with wide experience in building and administering schools in the Timbuktu area. We will realize the following objectives:

1. Renovate the interior of the existing three class school building.
2. Build a new three class school building so that the 1-6 grades can each have a separate class and teacher.
3. Hire 4 new qualified teachers so that each grade will have its own teacher.
4. Rebuild the school canteen so that we can provide lunch for the children.
5. Pay for lunches for the children.
6. Repair the well at the school so that there is fresh water in close proximity to the school.

For more details look at: