Since 1300’s until today the word “Timbuktu” in western cultures has been a synonym for “The Ends of the Earth” – the most remote and most difficult to reach location on this planet known to Europeans until Columbus sailed west to discover America. Even today, if you want to say that you are going very, VERY far, you say you are going to Timbuktu. Some mums, to control misbehaving kids will tell them – “I’ll send you to Timbuktu” and the kids know from cartoons that Timbuktu is the most distant location in this world from their home – in Tom and Jerry, Jerry ships Tom to Timbuktu, in Loony Tunes Tweety sends Sylvester to Timbuktu as well. In some Disney cartoons, Donald Duck uses the city as the perfect hide-away. In The Aristocats, cats are threatened with being sent to Timbuktu. In some movies it is a place where persons or goods cannot be traced – they are as good as “off the planet”.
Just about everybody in the world heard about Timbuktu. The name is a big attention grabber. Our founder reasoned – If I will start the first centre in Timbuktu, any prospective sponsors that I might approach to help with funding another centre elsewhere will be more willing to listen to my requests, if they hear that I travelled to the ends of the Earth to bring my dream to life and to help some of the most disadvantaged people in one of the poorest places on the planet.