Our MissionEmpower African Youth
BAGEP aims to be an instrument of change and empowerment for the younger generation in Africa–starting in Mali, West Africa. The program is devoted to improve the lives of African children, particularly those who are disenfranchised, by teaching them essential life-building skills. BAGEP works to help young people overcome the effects of marginalization by developing their self-esteem, catering to their mental and physical health, and supporting their education. BAGEP is motivated to encourage the younger generation realize their true potential as future leaders who are able to change their communities and their country.
Why We’re Getting Involved
In Mali, children are not viewed as having the ability to contribute to society. In addition, there are virtually no organizations or social clubs for them. Most Malian children do not spend time participating in any type of organized activity or pursuing interests in music, dance, sports, or art. Such activities are also not provided in schools. Children essentially do not develop their interests until they enter college, though for most, an opportunity to further education does not happen. According to The World Bank’s 2011 data, half of Mali’s population live in poverty (less than $1.25 a day) and only 33% of the people ages 15 and above are literate.
Teaching Malian Children to Pursue Their Dreams
Tradition still dictates the destiny for many Malian children. The road for females is typically early marriage, childrearing, and household duties while males provide for the family as a street merchant or laborer. BAGEP works to inspire the younger generation to change their lives and their communities through workshops that encourage entrepreneurship and gender equality so that they might understand and achieve their true potential.
Already Making an Impact
Many adults have taken notice of the work that BAGEP participants have done in communities, which has not only improved aesthetics, but has also contributed to better health. Volunteer efforts are rare in Mali, especially by children. Adults have been amazed that young people are taking the lead on such serious issues. Interestingly, according to Index Mundi 2013 data, 66.7% of Mali’s population is under the age of 24. Of that, 47.7% are 0-14 years of age.
Though young people ages 0-14 make up nearly half of Mali’s population, their prime years go untapped. In its work with Malian children, BAGEP is changing cultural attitudes and inspiring children to be the conductor for change.
How You Can Help
There’s a lot of work to do, and we can’t do it alone. BAGEP needs your help to ensure the success of the children in Mali. View the “Get Involved” section of our website to learn how you can help further the cause and shape the lives of