What makes the Kerr Alhagi Mallik Scholarship Fund unique?
- Direct impact: Every single donated cent supports the students' school fees, uniforms, books and other required costs. The scholarship administrators volunteer their time to run the program. Donors see the impact of their generosity through the students' report cards. In many cases, donors know the scholarship founder personally, who in turn, knows the students personally.
- Values: A well-known Wolof proverb in Kerr Alhagi Mallik states "Ndimbal ne se feke ci loxal borom" which means "Help comes to those who work to help themselves". What more fundamental tool can a young person have to create her own opportunity or shape his own future than education?
- Balanced incentive structure: Parents who send their children to school make the difficult decision to lose important labor on their farms. They meet the financial costs of school uniforms, books and tuition by exhausting their savings and selling livestock. Rather than handing out funds indiscriminately, the KAM Scholarship Fund leverages the sustained investment of these committed parents who have been supporting their children since they started school. These supplemental scholarships allow more students to be supported while easing parents' challenges.
- Personal and sustained connection to the scholarship students: Scholarship founder Sarah Lee lived in the village from 2005-2007 as a US Peace Corps volunteer and interacted with the students and their families on a daily basis. She visited the village again in 2012 to meet with the scholarship students and their parents. Mbye Gai has been volunteer co-administrator of the Scholarship Fund since 2014. He was born and raised in the village, has a young family there, and knows the students and families very well. He has a Teacher's Certificate and taught for several years before graduating from the University of The Gambia with a BA honors in economics. Basiru Gai served a co-administrator from 2012-2014. Modou Bittaye served as co-administrator from 2008-2012.