It is said that when Sultan Mansa Musa made his pilgrimage from Mali to Mecca in the 14th century, he brought with him so much gold and treasure that for centuries the legend prevailed that the roofs of Timbuktu were covered with gold and its rivers ran over beds of precious metal—a far cry from the Mali of 2011, with 73 percent of its 14.5 million people living on less than a dollar a day.

The courses and seminars of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour in Mali provide tools to help overcome economic and educational barriers and their oppressive consequences.

A Mali student recently completed all 19 Volunteer Ministers courses at the Tour’s bright yellow tent, and wrote:

“These courses are the life and the love that a person in public life or a civil servant cannot do without. …[They] have given me the tools not only to mobilize people, but to organize them to perform the actions that lead to success.  I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to learn basics which can be used to make dreams come true."