Everyone can make a difference.

We believe that youth have the power to change the world. Our Youth Engagement Program combines decades of experience in leading young people in education, service learning, culture exchanges and fundraising. We encourage youth-led projects and involvement from young people of all ages, from single activities to long-term partnerships. Here you will find ideas that will inspire you to take action. 

“Engaging young people in education, volunteerism, service and fundraising makes the world a better place.”

I have seen the great benefits of Ouelessebougou Alliance's school partnership and youth programs, both while I was living in the USA and while home in Mali. Meeting with the students in Utah and Mali I can see how the cultural exchanges, service learning and fundraising activities have improved both school communities.

Our Logo

Our youth engagement logo is significant in a number of ways. Similar to the Ouelessebougou Alliance’s logo, there is a map of Africa. It incorporates shades of green, yellow and red colors found on the Malian flag as a symbol of each level of our Youth Engagement Program.

Each age group is represented by a different color in our map. Our elementary-aged students are represented by the green segment. Although their experience may be limited, like a shoot of fresh green growth, they are the beginning of something incredible. 

The yellow and orange portions correspond to our older students, with the yellow middle grades transitioning to orange in high school. Like an African sunrise, these young leaders are coming to light and transforming their surroundings. 

These colors culminate in a bright red, which represents the vibrant young adults in college and beyond. Red is the signature color of Mali, meaning sacrifice and independence. Our OA Ambassadorship is the pinnacle of our program where young adults are empowered to give generously and change the world.

The fingerprint serves as an additional reminder of our motto: LEARN, LIFT and LEAD. Working together, our youth reach out their hands to Mali. Both our ambassadors and their Mali connections LEARN from each other. They are also using their hands to LIFT one another. They touch lives in Mali and everyone involved connects and leaves a lifelong lasting imprint for good on one another. Finally, our youth LEAD by joining hands with each other and with the people of Mali to envision and work together for a brighter future.

Through our Sister School program, a Utah elementary school is connected with an elementary school in Ouelessebougou for a long-term partnership. We also partner with schools on single projects including Malian education and activities, service learning and fundraising. There are great resources that can be personalized for homeschooling, church or community groups. 5th Graders may apply and participate in the Youth Ambassadors Program.

Junior high schools may also participate in our Sister School Program or partner with us on education and fundraising activities. Students will be able to participate in educational activities, cultural exchanges and fundraisers. Schools are encouraged to pair up with local elementary or high schools schools for a broader impact. Junior high school age students are invited to apply and participate in our Youth Ambassadors Program.

High school partnerships can be school-wide or customized for service groups and clubs. Many of these projects are led by our Youth Ambassadors. High school students may apply and participate in our Youth Ambassador Program and may be selected to serve on our Youth Leadership Council. Youth Ambassadors will be involved in teaching and leading activities and fundraisers at local elementary & middle schools.

College students can partner with OA on class projects, community service, club activities and fundraising. These partnerships may vary and can be personalized to meet the individual’s needs. This program is also open for young adults who are not currently enrolled in school.  Individuals ages 18 – 21 may apply and participate in the Youth Ambassador Program. They will be asked to take an active role in leading and mentoring the younger Ambassadors.

The OA Ambassadorship is the pinnacle of our Youth Engagement Program. This is a limited opportunity which requires an application, interview and acceptance by a review board. Individuals ages 18 – 24 may apply. This is a two-year commitment with advanced leadership opportunities, international development, and hands-on humanitarian experience including the opportunity to fundraise/pay for a trip to Ouelessebougou on an OA Expedition.