Who we are
Our fundation supports talented children in poverty who live in an area of the world where there is no free education available. We don’t distribute money, we pay tuition fees and ask for excellent achievements in return.
Andrea Morris, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees lived with her family in Bamako from 2010 to 2012. Their house was standing on the edge of an elegant district that was build next to the Sanfil slum. The two worlds were separated only by a tar road. One day she saw a line of children crossing the street balancing tiny little benches, made of boards, on their hips and disappearing among two sleazy buildings standing over the rubbishy swamp area. Guided by curiosity she followed them and reached the rusty gates of Ecolé Cherifoula school. Entering the gates she found herself on a waste court girdled with two low buildings. She looked for the director of the school, Mme Sissoko, and offered her to teach English for the children. Her offer was happily accepted. They mutually got to like and honor each other with the teachers and the students. Andrea organized a collection of computers and appliances among her friends but due to the civil war that broke out in 2012 she could not supply those to the school and Andrea and her family also had to flee from the country.
The connection with the school however remained alive. After the reconciliation of the political situation she started to work on a program. She applied for the help of the African Hungarian Association (AHU) that promoted the idea of starting the program. In 2014, two years after fleeing the country she returned to the school with the intent of finding sponsors for talented children, chosen by the teachers, whose parents are unable to pay the school fees as well as for expanding the school building. She was accompanied by dr. Andrea Gyurácz, a volunteer of AHU and one of the employees of AHU. In two weeks, in the heat of 50°C, from morning to dusk they worked in the slum, visited the families of all children, assessed and documented their living circumstances and prepared the program that in addition to the sponsoring of the children also included the sponsoring, development of the school. (for more information see "Our Programs").
The first seven rooms of Ecolé Chérifoula were built as a donation of a Islamic sponsor living in Bamako due to the fact that there were no other schools within a 20 kilometers vicinity of the slum into which the children could have obtained education. There is no public transport in Bamako, the sole possibility to go to school for the children of the slum is this 'private' school. However, they must pay a school fee for learning here. The school fee equals to the price of 3 big bottles of cooled water. Since most of the parents do not have a job, even paying this sum causes sometimes an insolvable hurdle for them.
The program was very successful, all children had a sponsor within a very short period. One of the largest sponsors, who promoted more than one child was Katalin de Jager and her husband, Jim de Jager, the members of the Board of Trustees. Jim de Jager personally delivered the donations to the school and the children in 2016.
Due to the change in priorities of AHU in 2015 a possibility has arisen for the people who initiated and launched the programs and main sponsors to take over the future management and developments of the programs. It took place in September 2016.
The personal devotion of the founder and the members of the Board of Trustees, and their voluntary work is the guarantee for reaching the maximum effectiveness of the donations to the children and the school.
The Founder and the Board of Trustees
- Andrea Gyurácz
- Jim and Katalin de Jager
- Andrea Morris
- György Szabó
Since 2001 I have been traveling on the roads of Africa with the same enthusiasm. I might say that I know well the continent's problems. As a person in love with Africa I cannot do anything else but help: through presentations about the continent, through my travels books written with the title of "The adventures of the Blonde" and as the volunteer and member of Hungarian-Africa Association (AHU). As part of these activities I got acquainted with Mali in the spring of 2014. AHU has organized a humanitarian mission into the country. During our work in the slum I resolved that I have to do something in order to help to preserve the shine of life in the eyes of the children and help them to be able to get out of their potentially hopeless future. I do believe that the provision of aids is not the best way to achieve this goal. I do believe that it can be reached only through education that will enable the people to find their happiness, future and living in their own country. As Nelson Mandela said, education is the mean for reaching these purposes. The main objective of the foundation is to enhance the possibility of education for children who have no other hope for breaking out from their living circumstances and societies.
Jim and Katalin de Jager
In February 2016 I personally visited Mali a country stricken by poverty,drought and terrorism. During the trip I realized that basic education is not always automatic for every child.
We are of the belief that each child should always have access to good quality education regardless of background, religion, gender or the country ‘s political situation. After the visit it was very difficult not to get involved; my wife and I decided to get engaged by joining the foundation and lend a helping hand.
In 2013, after a decade long business carrier and thirteen years spent on travelling while raising my children, I have finally arrived home. Today I have the opportunity to live for my two passion: children and home making.
The latter one I do through my profession as an interior designer, while the first one I can exercise through the six children I raise and through the foundation, Africa Another Way.
I feel privileged that I could meet personally the sponsored children and their family.
I have lived in several African countries before but it is not without reason that our foundation was set up in Bamako, Mali. This is the country where there is, not just a great need for help but there is also good acceptance, enthusiasm and traceability. This provides an ideal background for us to DO SOMETHING for them and in this way for ourselves, too. I hope you follow me in this activity.
As they say, the world is small. Contacting two separate persons almost at the same time I got acquainted with the education support of African children. One was my 10 years old daughter who spends a part of her monthly allowance for the education of a little girl in Congo who is 10-years-old as well. Her offering was very moving and it filled me with great pride that such a little human being does see and understand that a natural thing in the Western world is elsewhere a treasure and a rarity. Thus my 10-year-old daughter became a “replacement parent” who already is supporting a little girl of her age.
More or less at the same time I was visited by Jim who was collecting supporters for an African school. Without thinking I said yes because there is nothing by chance so I was sure it had a reason that I “stumbled” in this project again and I would have some tasks although yet not clear what they would be. After the rally Jim gave a detailed travelogue about the situation there. Respectively I had the possibility to become acquainted with Andrea who lived and worked out there. The task soon took shape – I should not only be a supporter of this fine program but an active participant as well.