Timbuktu, Mali

Sister City since 1991

Tempe’s partnership with Timbuktu marked its first with a developing country and was the start of the organization’s large-scale philanthropic humanitarian efforts. Click here to read more about TSC’s humanitarian involvement in Timbuktu.

Tell me more about Timbuktu

  • Mali is a developing nation with a population of more than 20 million people. Timbuktu is home to over 32,000 permanent residents and additional refugees.
  • While the official language of Timbuktu is French, in Mali, the majority of the population also speaks a variety of dialects.
  • Dubbed the “Athens of West Africa” in the 15th century, historically Timbuktu was known as a place of learning and riches, and to this day, scholars come to study ancient manuscripts. The city, however, lacks basic necessities to educate the youth, including teachers, facilities and school supplies. For this reason, Tempe Sister Cities has donated funds, over the years, for drinking water wells, an elementary school, school supplies, blankets and mosquito nets, sewing machines, a millet grinder, and an addition to a Women’s Center. Medical supplies have also been sent, including 240 wheelchairs. Some of these gains were off-set by the invasion of Islamic rebels who invaded the North of Mali, including Timbuktu, in 2012. When they were driven out by French forces the following year, they left behind much destruction. Many people lost their livestock and possessions when they were forced to flee from Timbuktu during this period. Now having returned to their homes, most residents are still in the process of rebuilding.
  • In 2014, Tempe Sister Cities started inviting students from Timbuktu to participate in the Summer Youth Program each year. These students contribute a great deal to the international richness of the program.

Where is Timbuktu?

Timbuktu is sandwiched between the Sahara Desert and the Niger River.

You can donate to Timbuktu!

Would you like to feel the joy of helping a family or child in need in Timbuktu? You can designate to which program (Goats & Sheep, Scholarship Fund or Blankets and Mosquito Nets) you would like to donate OR you can make a general donation to the Timbuktu fund, which will be designated to the highest level of need. Please help make a difference today.

Help make a difference today by donating online.

Or donate by mailing your check payable to Tempe Sister Cities to:

Beth Berlage and Rich Bonelli
TSC Country Directors for Timbuktu, Mali
1326 E. Carmen Street, Tempe, AZ 85283
Ph. 480-371-0712
[email protected]

Photos of Timbuktu

Have a question?

Tempe Sister Cities