Mali Wellness Foundation: Empowering Communities through Health, Education, and Sport

When Michael Clayton established the Mali Wellness Foundation, his aim was to make a positive impact by offering free eye care services, including cataract surgeries and prescription eyeglasses, to those with poor access to such resources in Mali, Africa. Over time, the foundation expanded its reach, providing essential resources to villages in Mali, such as health centers, schools, solar-powered wells, and sanitation facilities. In addition to these vital community services, the Mali Wellness Foundation found another avenue for giving back: sports.

The 2023 Elite Skills Camp, organized by the Mali Wellness Foundation, helped 250 children from Mali villages get the resources they need and meet the players whom they idolize. They had the privilege of learning directly from Malian basketball stars Mady Sissoko of Michigan State, Moulaye Sissoko of North Texas, Oumar Ballo of Arizona, Keba Keita of Utah, and Fousseyni Traore of BYU in person, while Adama Sanogo of UConn taught over FaceTime. These Malian players, in addition to BYU guard Richie Saunders, were paired with kids from their own villages, providing training sessions and precious moments of interaction. Thanks to the contributions of the athletes and their respective universities, all 250 children received new shoes, a significant gesture given that some of them traveled for hours to attend the camp. Alongside the shoes, they were gifted camp shirts, socks, basketballs, and medals. The camp also featured exciting prizes, such as NBA shirts, AirPods, and exercise gear.

Beyond the extraordinary humanitarian efforts in health services and the Elite Skills Camp, Fousseyni Traore and Richie Saunders have embarked on a fundraising campaign for a remarkable sports complex. This expansive facility, encompassing 10 acres, will include three indoor basketball courts, four outdoor courts, and training facilities. In the future, the Malian government plans to add a soccer field, an Olympic pool, and housing. NCAA NIL rules prevent international players from directly receiving compensation for their name, likeness, and image. However, Traore has leveraged his NIL opportunities to direct donations to foundations he has created, channeling support toward funding the sports complex.

Each year, the Mali Wellness Foundation continues to build schools, provide hundreds of children with school supplies, provide eye care services, educate pregnant women on prenatal nutrition, and facilitate access to clean water and sanitary health care facilities. PROLOOK is proud to support the foundation’s endeavors by providing camp shirts for all the volunteers and donating jerseys to a local club team striving to reach the international competition level in Mali.

If you wish to contribute to the Mali Wellness Foundation and be part of this transformative work, please consider making a donation. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of those in need.

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