Five years ago, in late March 2009, the founders of Make A Mark Australia, Mark Fraser and Paul Singer, were powerfully moved by what they saw at the Sishemo Education Trust Primary School in Lusaka, Zambia.
We saw tremendous adversity and great challenges, we witnessed great courage and optimism, and we learnt that each of us has a responsibility and obligation to do what we can to make a difference. (Mark Fraser, Founder and CEO)
Mark and Paul were compelled to act – to pool their resources and engage their network of friends, families and colleagues to ‘make a mark’. That night, five years ago, inspired by the children of Sishemo and driven by an enthusiasm and commitment to lend a hand to children in need, saw the beginning of Make A Mark Australia – ‘MAMA’.
As we reflect on MAMA’s first five years, we are proud to have completed eight projects with seven different partner organisations. Through our direct assistance to over 7,400 students in five countries, we have been working solidly on our mission to empower children in impoverished communities to achieve their full potential through improved access to education and economic independence.
We recognize that there is still much to be done.
As we look forward to the next five years, we will be focusing heavily on our own region through strategic partnerships with organisations in the Pacific.
Supported by extensive research, MAMA will continue to focus our efforts on improving literacy levels of pre-primary and primary aged children.
Literacy is one of the most important foundations for success in school and life. The early years (from birth to age five years) are critical for developing the skills that form the foundation of literacy in school years and throughout adulthood. (2013 Let’s Read Literature Review)
MAMA is committed to breaking the cycle of poor literacy leading to lower education, employment, income and wellbeing outcomes by working at the grass-root level to implement practical and proven literacy intervention and development programs. It’s going to be an exciting period ahead!
As we celebrate the last five years and look to the future, we pause to acknowledge the important personal support of our Patron, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO. Ms Bryce has been instrumental in MAMA’s early success and we are thrilled that she has accepted an invitation to remain Patron after her term as Governor-General ends later this month. We wish her and Mr Michael Bryce well for their next chapter and look forward to their ongoing support.
MAMA welcomes your support! We need you to make your mark. Donations are tax deductable and can be made online at https://www.givenow.com.au/makeamarkaustralia.
To celebrate our 5th birthday, each new follower on Facebook and Twitter through until the end of March will result in a $5 donation to our next projects in the Pacific. Go on, make your mark and help spread the word – it couldn’t be easier to improve a child’s potential and their chance at a better life.