Les amis de Hampate Ba

Improving Learning Outcomes, Fighting Girl Dropout Rates, and Promoting Human Excellence is the mission of Les amis de Hampate Ba for students at the Amadou Hampate Ba Middle School in Niamey, Niger. By promoting and financing the development of the school, and providing grants, we help underprivileged youth in Niger become a positive and responsible force within the community.
Nov 26, 2012

The New School Year

Some schools help you pass an exam, others get you through life.

In October, the beginning of the new school year for students in Niger, we asked our girl students who receive scholarships from us to continue school, how they felt about coming back to the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School and here's what they had to say!

  • I'm looking forward to math. I like numbers. I'm looking forward to lunch as well. I love sharing my condensed milk sandwiches with my friends.
    Amina, 13
  • I'm looking forward to recess and making new friends and seeing my old friends. I like science because our teacher is very good and I want to become a botanist.
    Ousseina, 14
  • I'm looking forward to changing classes and making new friends. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting my teachers. Teachers here care about us. I'm not looking forward to waking up so early in the morning though.
    Salamatou, 15
  • I'm looking forward to French. It's my favorite subject. I'm not looking forward to the English class because it's going to be new and perhaps difficult.
    Nana, 12

Ordinary words from ordinary girl students? No, not really. In Niger, the rate of early marriage is of 77 percent. Without your donations, Amina, Nana, Ousseina and Salamatou would NOT have come back to school. Not being able to afford their school fees, their parents would have most probably married them off. At 14 and 15, they would have been talking about their difficult pregnancies, their babies’ health problems, their relationships with their co-wives, their lack of independence, and their difficult economic situation.

 Thanks to your donations, these girl students won’t be taken out of school once they hit puberty. At the Hampaté Bâ Middle School, Amina, Nana, Ousseina, and Salamatou will not only benefit from an education that will provide them with factual knowledge and technical skills, but they will also learn social skills and develop self-esteem and the confidence needed to access resources and opportunities, and to voice opinions.

 Thanks to your generosity, Les amis de Hampaté Bâ will be able to give girl students more years of schooling which will result in many positive outcomes, including later ages of marriage, lower fertility, and healthier and better educated children.

 If that is not making a difference in someone’s life, what is?

Nov 26, 2012

Keeping Windows of Opportunities Open

A day in the life of Ousmane, a fifth grader at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School

Ousmane, tell us about yourself, your life at home.

I live in Niamey, in a suburb called Bobiel, I am from a polygamous family. My father is married to two women and we are 12 children. My mother is his second wife. We live in a modest home, which is built from packed earth with a straw roof. I share my room with 6 other children.

How do you travel to and from school?

I walk to school every day. We begin at 7:30 and end at 13:30.

What subjects do you take at school?

The subjects taught in my school are French, English, Mathematics, Natural Science, History, Geography, Civics, and Physical Education.

When you first arrived at this middle school as a sixth grader could you read and write?

No, I couldn’t and so I had problems with all of the subjects. Everything was difficult for me.

How did the school help you?

They put me in a special class called “We can do it!” This class helped me a lot. The French teacher taught us how to read and write. Before, I was not at the same level as the other sixth graders and I suffered from low-self esteem. Now I can read and I’m working on my writing as well.

Did your parents have to pay for this special class?

No, they would not have been able to afford it. I would have most probably repeated the sixth grade and then my parents would have taken me out of school.

And now as fifth grader, are you doing well in your classes?

Now that I can read, I’m doing well in certain subjects. I still have problems with my writing, but I can read and understand much more. My favorite subjects are biology and character education.

What do you think about the climate in your school and your relationships with your teachers?

For me, the climate of the school is very good because teachers do not hit us and they try to do their best for us. They listen to us and don’t embarrass or humiliate us.

What are your expectations regarding your future?

Once I finish school, I want to set up my own business. Maybe I’ll open a garage to fix cars or maybe a restaurant or an Internet Café.

Thanks to the generous donations we have received, we were able to give a full scholarship, uniforms and books to Ousmane for two consecutive years, as well as special tutoring sessions to bring his reading and writing up to level. We hope to keep him in school for the next years too.  Your contributions will keep him and 19 other underprivileged students in Amadou Hampaté Ba Middle School for the coming years. This particular group of students need to be fully sponsored since their parents are unable to pay anything. So without your donations, they would not be able to continue going to school at all.  Thanks for offering them the chance to not only go to school, but to get a quality education.

Your donations are making a real difference in their lives. Thanks for helping us to help them!

Aug 29, 2012

YES, GIRLS DO COUNT!!!

The academic year 2011-2012 is over and we are grateful that les Amis de Hampaté Bâ succeeded in making a step forward in supporting girls’ education in Niger.

 As you know, our organization is backing the innovative approach of the Hampaté Bâ Middle School, which is offering quality secondary education to underprivileged students in Niger, especially girls, and we are hoping that more and more children can benefit from such an education.

 To repeat figures: two-thirds of the world’s uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. It has been shown that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.

 In view of that, we are trying to inspire change in the emerging world and are working on ways to highlight and empower girls in Niger. Our mission through the new Home Economics program is to raise awareness about the issues adolescent girls face and focus on gender equality, revealing practical pathways that can help them pursue their education and improve their life.

 This change in attitude will come on gradually, but we are proud to say that the beginning of the program showed very positive results.

 The Girls

The girls started to realize that a woman is actually worth something, that she has a value, and that she is able to do many things to help herself, her family, and her country. The girl students gained confidence, started asserting themselves and gained knowledge about different tasks that a woman can perform. Some of them even declared that they would like to be a doctor or a football commentator and felt this could become a reality. THIS is inspiring!

The Parents

Impoverished parents started reflecting on the education of their girls, and began to realize that an education could be important and that a girls’ plight is not only to be at home to help them out and to be married young.  They were in fact grateful that their daughters received scholarships from our organization, and a committee of parents made a special trip to the school to express their gratitude. THIS is a real breakthrough.

 The Teachers

Teachers became conscious of their previous habits to favorise boy students, and started to correct this attitude, by paying attention to girl students also. They realized through teacher development courses and also through working with the girls that the girl students had much to offer. THIS was a revelation.

 Your contributions have brought a smile to the girls’ faces and we sincerely thank you for your generosity. Your fidelity will allow this program to continue to thrive, keep the girls in school, and help us keep this project going with unfolding chapters and new exciting computer projects to expand their skills and knowledge. THANK YOU for continuing to help them!!

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