UPDATE: Check out the news story on KARE 11 about Mohamed.
Two years ago, May 22, 2013, 10 year old Mohamed Fofana was killed in a landslide in St. Paul’s Lilydale Regional Park. Nearly 50 fourth-grade students were on a field trip with Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park. They were searching for fossils when the unthinkable happened — a waterlogged cliff collapsed, sweeping up four children who had no time to react or escape. Mohamed wasn’t found until the next day buried under four to five feet of mud, dirt, sand, and rocks. Another boy, Haysem Sani, 9, was also killed in the tragedy.
In the heartbreaking task of going through his belongings, Mohamed’s mother Madosu Kanneh discovered a journal where the 10-year-old wrote about what he’d do if he were president.
“‘I would do everything, and I would give money so school kids can read. And I would give money to the poor people. I would build soccer fields for schools to play in,'” Madosu read from Mohamed’s small, handmade book on her dining room table.
She said the boy had been to visit his father’s hometown in Guinea in 2010. He found kids without clothes, playing soccer barefoot in town. He recounted the trip for a school project.
His writing inspired his family to make something good of his tragic death.
Mohamed’s father, Lancine Fofana, has just returned from West Africa where they laid a cornerstone this month for a school that will teach as many as 400 children in Siguiri, a small gold mining town in northern Guinea. The town doesn’t have a school now and parents must send their children away if they want them to have an education.
“Children of that area have to go to town to live with somebody so they can go to school,” Lancine Fofana said. “When we have this school in place, those children will have the chance to live with their parents and go to school. That’s why we chose that place.”
There will be a soccer field, a basketball court and a library. Mohamed’s family has established a nonprofit foundation here in the U.S. to help organize and fund the effort.
“It was very heartbreaking for me,” Madosu said after discovering Mohamed’s wish to help children. “I called my husband, and I showed him this book. I said, ‘We have to work to make his dream come true.'”
* 501c3 status is currently pending IRS approval. A provisional receipt will be issued following your donation. Upon final approval (anticipated soon) , a duplicate, tax deductible receipt will be issued.
* Portions of this summary are from an MPR article, 5/20/15
We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.