“Ce que vous avez fait, c’est formidable” (It is wonderful what you have done). Perhaps the most gratifying thing anyone has ever told me. Samba Cissé, a program director at the Parlement des Enfants told me this after my class in Computer Systems. He said he wanted to be able to deliver the same lesson to children at the Parlement throughout the year. I gave him a copy of my lesson plan, it contains everything Semba will need to know to accomplish this.
I felt this was worthy of a blog entry, not because I am gloating over praise. Our entire iNERDE team worked to make this happen. What I want to say is that is exactly what we came for, exactly what we hoped to do. We aimed this year to completely integrate into the local school system, using the dedicated and excellent educators here in Mali, to have a long term effect on education. Coming from a part of the world steeped in technology, with a vast array of resources, we aimed to share experience that Malians don’t have yet and that will be useful to them in giving their children access to opportunity.
Another objective of iNERDE that has not progressed as far yet is our objective to create partnerships between schools in Mali and institutions like the Parlement des Enfants and mentors in the countries with high levels of STEM development. The seeds have been sown in Mali. Our next step is to build bridges between committed educators like Mr. Cissé and partners that will help us nurture these seeds and tend them until they blossom.