My name is Meg Dallett, and I’m an In the Field intern with GlobalGiving in Cameroon this summer. I’m traveling around the country visiting all the GlobalGiving-partnered NGOs, and I’m writing this postcard to pass on some of what I’ve seen to the donors who have given to this organization. ...
When I met Alima, she marched right up to me to say hi while other children ran yelling around the playground during recess. She is eight years old, she said, and likes school very much. I asked what her favorite subject is, and she didn’t even hesitate—“Math!” she shouted, throwing her hands in the air. Why? “I have a twenty out of twenty,” she replied proudly. Further conversation was halted by the mob of kids nearly bowling me over to see my camera. Alima is one of about fifteen children ages 5-10 coming to the Bitame Lucia School for free classes during summer vacation, where she’s learning English, math and French as well as arts and sports. It’s a rare opportunity: without this school, most of these kids would probably be working on their families’ farms or walking along busy roadways selling candy or soda to motorists. Instead, we saw them listening attentively to their English teacher and enthusiastically raising their hands to be called up to the board. The school is run by the Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child (CAPEC), which partners with the US-based organization Develop Africa. Ajomuzu Collette Bekaku, Founder and Executive Director of CAPEC, says she started the organization to address a whole host of injustices against children. “I grew up in a community where children suffered alone,” she says. CAPEC works on education, child labor, child marriage, orphanages, leadership, and soon disease prevention. In order to make the Bitame Lucia School as accessible as possible, it’s cheaper than average and many students are on scholarships. Collette also wants to give the kids opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise, so every now and then she organizes an educational outing, such as to the zoo. Collette spends all her time reaching out to international organizations and donors to give her kids the best opportunities possible, and is grateful for everything that’s come to the Bitame Lucia School through GlobalGiving. Recently, the roof of the school caved in during a rainstorm, and GlobalGiving funds were available to repair the damage just in time for vacation classes to begin. She hopes someday some of the donors will come visit the school! Just before we left, we visited the main classroom again and Collette asked the children if they wanted to thank the people in the other countries who helped them rebuild the roof. “THANK YOU!!!” they hollered in unison. Then they went back to sounding out the words on the blackboard.
We regret to inform you 2 weeks ago, the roof of the school was torn away by violent winds and a storm that swept through the area. Thankfully no one was hurt. However as you can see from the photos, the classrooms do not have a roof and are exposed to the wind, rain and elements. This situation as you will realize is not appropriate for the learning of the children. Restoration: We are acting as quickly as we can to remedy this situation and restore the roof. How You Can Help: We would appreciate your support at this time as re-roof the building and get the kids back into school. Could you make a special donation today that would help us get a roof back on the school?Recurring Donation: We would also be deeply grateful if you could consider signing up for a recurring donation of $10.00 or more monthly. This would be a tremendous support as we invest into the lives of these children - preparing them for leadership and meaningful contribution to Cameroon.best wishes
Here's an update on the school: The school is doing very well and has seen a tremendous increase both in registered pupils and partners supporting the children and the school. Thanks to your support and the support of other donors worldwide, we have been able to expand and continue to do so. We also have on a continual basis young German volunteers that spend up to one year teaching in the school. In December, we celebrated Christmas with a Christmas party and you can see photos in this update. The number of children has now increased from 50 to 100 children. Although our school is brand new in the area, the staff's mission is to ensure its promotion at all levels. Consequently, the school takes part in all the activities organized by local education authorities and major ones organized by other International structures. We plan to add additional classroom space this year and welcome your support as we do this. This would enable us to enroll additional children that are on the waiting list. Please share this update with your friends and family inviting them to join you in supporting this noble venture. Thanks for your support!
Dear GlobalGiving friends
School resumed on the 13th of September 2010. We are happy to report that during the summer months, 4 new classrooms and a playground were added to the school. We have identified some disabled and orphan children who will receive free education for this academic year.
We count on your on-going support to help provide these children with school and teaching supplies and school uniforms. We value children as individuals and place them at the center of all we do.
Our school strives to foster an inclusive environment where children feel secure, learning is enjoyed, and good behavior is expected and rewarded. Respect, responsibility, leadership and initiative are actively promoted and all contributions are valued. We strive for excellence in all we do. All members of the school community are encouraged to work to their full potential and achieve to the best of their ability.
We were fortunate to have the support of volunteers and we appreciate their commitment. Our volunteers this year include Max from Germany, Felix from Germany, Adam from the USA and Jamie from Canada. They are all presently in Cameroon and helping us with teaching assignments.
Finally, we thank you all for your general support and donations. We sincerely hope you will continue to support this project. We also invite and encourage you to visit our school one day and give a smile to the children. They will be happy to see you in person and we would warmly welcome you.
We are excited to report that the past 6 - 7 months have been a time of tremendous growth and progress. We are so grateful for this opportunity to invest into the lives of these children, the future leaders of Cameroon, Africa and potentially the world.
Thanks to your support through GlobalGiving and the support of other organizations:
1. We have been able to support more children and increase enrollment from 50 to 100 (a 100% increase).
2. The school children all now have beautiful and colorful uniforms. (see photos)
3. We also have one additional desk for 2 orphan children (who previously we had to send home as we could not accommodate them).
4. The school and children have received teaching and school supplies, clothes and shoes.
5. The school took part in all the activities organized by local education authorities and major ones organized by other International institutions.
We sincerely and gratefully thank you for your donations and on-going support. Thanks for joining us in changing the lives of children in Cameroon. We appreciate you so much.
With your continued support, we will achieve our goal of moving into a permanent structure. This permanent building will provide a safe and conducive learning environment.
We welcome your feedback, school supplies donations (through Develop Africa) and suggestions on how we can attract more support.
cordially and best wishes
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