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Class 16 (2017-2019)

Alhousseyni Maiga, Mali

Duke University – Master in International Development Policy

Peace & Conflict Resolution

Born in Bamako, Alhousseyni is from the Timbuktu region, in the north of Mali. He started his schooling in Mbouna, a village in the Timbuktu region, continued his high school and college education in the Mopti region, in the center of Mali. In 1996, he graduated from the ENSUP (Ecole Normale Superieure) located in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, with a BA in English to work in both secondary and high schools, as an English teacher. A few months after graduation, he started to work for a Malian local NGO called Grade Banlieue. He was in charge of the supervision of all activities related to their Community School Program, including building community schools in the neediest communities, identifying and training teachers and Project Support Committee members for the new schools.

In January 2001, he joined buildOn, a US based NGO working in the field of education in developing countries, including Mali. He began as a translator, then, worked his way up to the position of Country Director. He Lead all buildOn Mali Programs, including construction of schools in Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Under his leadership, they also developed an Adult Literacy Program, where buildOn trains locally literate people to teach parents and grandparents literacy and numeracy. Through this innovative methodology, community members decide on curriculum topics and focus lessons on relevant subjects such as micro-enterprise, gender balance, prenatal care, improved agriculture and more. More than 60% of all their students are female. Alhousseyni is particularly proud of the fact that in 2002, he developed a post-literacy program for high-achieving students to ensure sustainable skills.

In 2012, a civil war broke out in Mali, which ultimately left Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in charge of two thirds of the country where they enforced sharia law. Since the war began, Alhousseyni has continued to lead the team to build more schools.

He likes travelling, interacting with villagers, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. Our world faces incredible educational and development challenges. A Master in International Development Policy (MIDP) will prepare him to help give the most appropriate response to these challenges, especially in the interest of the rural population of some of the poorest countries of the word.

Applied Field Experience

CIESIN, Columbia University, New York, NY