A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.

We aim to link two Malian women’s co-operatives to a Western market in Middlebury in order to empower the women so that they can fund their children’s school and education costs.

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Dollars Raised: 117%

Funding Details

Deadline: Jun 30, 2011
Total needed: $2,000


Stephanie Rademeyer ’11, International Studies and History, London, UK

Mehdi Prévôt ’12, Political Science

Mandy Poon
’11, English, Hong Kong, China


Our goal is to bring Malian mothers’ handmade products to a Western market with the hope that these women can fund their children’s schools and educations.

Stephanie spent her junior spring semester in Bamako, Mali, studying gender and community empowerment. While studying women’s co-operatives, two in particular struck her: one specialized in cloth-products, the other in shea butter goods. The first co-operative was created by thirty women who were determined to fund a school for their children. They chose to make and sell quilts, dolls, bags, mudcloth (a traditional tapestry), waist beads and clothes. One of the women was a politician who utilized her contacts to obtain land and engage non-profit organizations, including the Red Cross, to help fund and build the school and store. The second co-operative is nation-wide women’s cooperative that sells shea butter products, ranging from soaps to creams, to shampoos and conditioners. Recent threats from Al Qaeda in the North have limited tourism to Mali, thereby limiting potential sales for these women’s co-operatives.

Stephanie, Mandy, and Mehdi have a thoughtful, dynamic plan to connect these women’s co-operatives to a Western market by bringing their products to Middlebury, Vermont. The women’s co-operatives could greatly benefit from additional income, which will be made possible by the generous assistance of local businesses including: Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe, The Middlebury College Bookstore, and Vermont Folk Life Center. With additional income from a broader market, these Malian mothers will be able to ensure the education and well-being of their children by continuing to make their handmade products.

For specific details, please see the Plan of Action, which a MiddSTART grant will help them accomplish.

5 Responses to “The Mali Mothers’ Project”

  1. Stephanie Rademeyer says:

    Hi everyone!

    I have started a website that we’ll be using to sell the products. It will also be regularly updated so that you can follow the project as it develops. Feedback is most appreciated! You can access it here:


    So much love,

    Thank you for your support,


  2. Stephanie Rademeyer says:

    Hi there! I have just started a blog so that you can have access regular information on the Mali Mothers Project. Please visit here:


  3. Stephanie Rademeyer says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!!!!!!!! We made our goal!!! I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for your support!!!!
    Thank you, I ni ce, Merci!!!!!!!!!

    I am already in Bamako, Mali as a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Save the Children, working on their Every One Campaign. I plan
    on spending my year giving back as much as I can to this wonderful country, as Malians have given so much to me. Thank you
    so much for giving me the support to be able to do so! Since Middstart first put this project online, I have made numerous more
    contacts and I hope to make many more, to ensure that your money and faith are put to good use.

    Thank you so much for believing in us.

  4. Stephanie Rademeyer says:

    I ni ce, I ni ce kosebe kosebe! (Thank you, Thank you so much in Bambara)!

    I feel incredibly overwhelmed by how generous you all have been!

    Thank you very, very much for your support. In doing so, not only are you empowering communities and
    giving these women a chance to offer their children a great education, but you are training Mehdi, Mandy
    and I to hopefully become great leaders who will give to the world as much as we have so generously been given.

    Ala ka su here caya! (May God grant you increased peace!)

  5. Amelia Mango says:

    Stephanie (et al)

    Iris Braunstein is a mutual friend of ours (I’m working with her on Jutta Shoes, which I assume she’s told you about but is also listed here: http://bit.ly/jutta-shoes-funding)and she told me about your project. It sounds awesome!

    Unfortunately I can’t offer much in the way of funding at the moment, but I DO work for a web development company doing social media marketing and SEO. So when it comes time to build a website and open up to larger sources of funding, I’m happy to help in any way I can.


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