What would you do if you won the lottery? For a North Carolina man, the answer is simple: he would help others by supporting education.
Meet Souleymane Sana, a 39-year-old dance instructor from North Carolina who originally immigrated from Mali, a war-torn country in West Africa.
Hoping to help the children of his native country, he bought a scratch ticket.
Fortunately, luck was on his side and he won $100,000.
Now, he is planning to use it for a noble cause.
“This was my dream,” Sana said after winning. The winning card was issued by the North Carolina Education Lottery, which collects $2.5 million per day on average for education.
“That was one of the main reasons I bought that scratch ticket so I could continue to help them.”
With a deep understanding of the cultural weight of dance, Sana created a non-profit organization. Called Kono Gnaga, their mission is to provide opportunities for young Malians, as well as teach them about the dance and music of Mali.
“Traditions are vital to the fabric of a community, as they define who people are and where they come from,” the organization’s website states.
“Kono Ganga’s mission is to not only preserve traditional dance and music, but to keep it alive for generations to come by using the culture itself to create opportunities for local West African artists and help communities in Mali.”
Sana is interested in giving back to her community, particularly future generations who will hopefully keep the traditions alive.
“I love to dance and I want to teach the children of Mali to love it too,” she admits.
“If you talk about culture and education, both go together.”