About the Fund


Our goal is to assist village schools across West Africa and further educate the children by providing them with a library.  Each library will also be furnished with solar panels, a television and the means to watch educational videos and DVDs.

Samayana Village Library 

In February 2012, I used the funds raised at our last fundraiser to furnish a library at the village school of Samayana, Mali. Samayana is 35 kilometres from Bamako – it is a functioning school with students, teachers and several classrooms. I found an empty, neglected room that was perfect for our library project. The students washed and scrubbed the walls, floors and window shutters while we went shopping for paint supplies, books and book shelves.We located a young carpenter and commissioned him to make many shelves to house the books.The next day we went back to the village and proceeded to paint in two cheerful colours. I rented a big truck and the following day we delivered and installed the shelves and books.To view this project from the beginning right through to the end result, watch the slide show below.

Jane Drew is the founder of the MALI FALA FUND – a non- profit corporation established to benefit the women and children of  West Africa.

DSC00170.jpgWhile initially being drawn to Mali’s incredible music, she also has a strong desire to do something positive for Africa. After raising $6,500 at a benefit in Los Angeles, where she lives, Jane made her first visit to Mali in October 2005. There, she used the funds to help provide clothing, basic medical needs, and school supplies for an orphanage in Bamako, as well as rice, millet, and sugar for the local villages.


DSC_1417.jpgAfter organizing the Mali Fala Fund’s 2nd benefit, a silent auction held at the Ghettogloss gallery in Silver Lake, she returned to Mali in March 2007 where she purchased much needed school supplies for the village of Kangola, which is 35 kilometres from Bamako. It was during this trip Jane recognized her efforts would best be served by starting a learning centre for women: One where they could acquire skills, enabling them to pursue a trade, and thus help to provide for their families.

CIMG3371_2.jpgIn September 2007, Jane organized the Mali Fala Fund’s 3rd fundraiser. Held at Rudolpho’s Bar and Grill in Silver Lake, this silent auction and music event featured local musician Robert Berryman. Along with some of his original material, Robert and his band performed traditional Malian music.


IMG_0327.jpgJane’s 4th fundraiser, in January 2008, was a guided tour of Mali. Escorting eleven persons on an extensive adventure, Jane covered several major cities, including Essakane, Timbuktu, for the Festival of the Desert, the most remote music festival in the world.


IMG_0775.jpgThe fifth fund raiser was held at Fix Coffee Shop in Echo Park on October 10th 2009. African Cowboy played Malian music to the well attended event of friends and supporter. For more entertainment there were Senegalese drummers lead by Pape Diouf. The money raised from the silent auction and tickets sold was used to buy sewing machines and tables and chairs which Jane purchased on here visit to Mali in January 2010.


DSC_0041_2_2.jpgOnce again African Cowboy and their ever advancing musical talents, performed for the 6th fund raiser. Yacine Kouyate played traditional Malian music captivating our guests with his guitar and voice, his music and verse. The drum circle with Malik Sow was a big success! With all these incredibly talented musicians this made for the best fund raiser yet! The money raised from generous donations will be used to purchase needed supplies for the Centre Pour le Developpement des Femmes in Mali.

Jane met co-founder, Oumar Diane, on her first visit to Mali in 2005. Together, they organize all events and oversee all aspects of the Mali Fala Fund. A native of Mali, Oumar lives in Bamako with his wife Assie.


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