Inspiring news - our second Kids for Kids Kindergarten in Azagarfa!
Thanks to your generosity, our second kindergarten is almost ready for its first intake of children from Azagarfa. We were so excited to see the pictures from Darfur showing the team mapping out the new site and then the building coming out of the ground.
The good news is that our 'local ownership' approach is working. With our support and funding for the bricks, the local community has provided the labour and the local government has agreed to fund the teachers. This school stands an excellent chance of becoming a long term success. The village was adopted by Kids for Kids in 2004 and - following the success of our first kindergarten in Abu Nahla - last year Azagarfa was selected to have our second. The selection process showed us that the villagers had been so successful in running our projects, and working together to improve community life, that we knew that they would relish this new project.
Imagine the possibilities for the children, finally having access to education so close to home. Our aim is to fully equip each Kindergarten. These children have never seen toys, and in schools all they have is a blackboard and writing materials. Our first Kindergarten in Abu Nahla is fully equipped with toys, both indoors and outdoors to encourage learning and physical activity! "There is nothing else quite like it in Darfur" parents told us. We can't wait to do the same in Azagarfa, and there are 2 more kindergartens under construction as I write.
Feeling inspired? How about sponsoring some toys, equipment, or bricks for the next Kindergarten? We have asked the teachers what really works and what the children like best, and their answers have been an eye opener. Indoors the children loved wall posters (birds, animals, human anatomy...), writing materials, cups for drinking water and the little tables and chairs. Outdoors they prefer plastic toys (metal gets too hot), and our hoola hoops and large dump trucks were a firm favourite - imagine the fun with those when everywhere is sand! Other favourites included the sports equipment (footballs, tennis balls, skipping ropes...), and art kits (musical instruments, crayons, modelling clay...) - but the absolute winner is the medical toys. Healthcare is so precious in these villages, it is the height of ambition to go to school and become a doctor - what an incredible sign of hope for the future!
$26 buys an art kit, sports kit, large truck or doctors kit for a class
$35 buys 30 bricks for the next Kindergarten
$120 funds education for a child for one year
$245 buys a strong cross-bred donkey to pull the "school bus"
$305 a latrine for the school
$42,000 funds a whole kindergarten and all equipment
Every penny helps - and your donation goes a long way in Darfur!
Thank you for your support
It is now one year since our first kindergarten opened its doors to 151 children in Abu Nahla, North Darfur. Children now learn through play and because our handpumps are operational near their village, they no longer have to walk for water and can go to school each day. Many of these children had never picked up a toy or book before we built their school.
What has been most impressive is the way in which the community have taken ownership of this building. They helped to build it and it has galvanised their community spirit. Children who faced a bleak future with little or no education, now have the best start possible in life thanks to your support and the hard work of their parents.
We are now planning our next three kindergartens and have funding for two already. This week, we received confirmation from the Ministry of Education, in Darfur, that they have agreed to fund the teachers for the next three kindergartens and land has been allocated in each village. Can you help to support our next school project please? You can choose to donate, books, bricks or even education for a year! Thank you for remembering Darfur.
Following the success of our first kindergarten in Abu Nahla, the State Ministry of Health has now given agreement to Kids for Kids for our next three. There are 70 Kids for Kids villages and we very much hope that in the future, there will be one in each village. In Abu Nahla, where 151 children are already learning and playing together - with toys for the first time! - the results are being felt throughout the community. They are proud of their school and this additional project has added to the already cohesive community spirit that our projects bring. They can see a new future for their children which gives them new hope.
The next Kindergarten will be sponsored by our newest Patron, Joanna Lumley. It will be situated in Azagarfa, a remote village whose mothers have begged us to help. They know the importance of early learning. It is vital to children. Those that start education later really struggle. The inspiration for Kids for Kids was Ibrahim. The Founder of Kids for Kids first met him when he was 9 years old. His village, Um Ga'al, was the first to receive help and although he was able to go to school because of the help that Kids for Kids gave his community, because he started so late he is finding it hard to finish secondary school. But he will, he is now 22 and as determined as ever to learn his way out of poverty and go to university! In fact, all of the children in his village were able to go to school, this would not have been possible without our help. This stresses the importance of a kindergarten education - the earlier we can help these children, the better. Our second kindergarten will open in Ibrahim's village.
The third kindergarten is planned for Abu Digeise. As with our first school, the whole community will be involved in the planning and building of the school. Our fundraising is vital so that these schools become a reality as quickly as possible. The community will form a committee and plan how best to use their collective skills. In Abu Nahla, the home of our first kindergarten, you will remember that they even made their own bricks. The best practise from Abu Nahla will be replicated in the three new schools.
Thank you for supporting this life changing project.
It is scientifically proven that mental and physical faculties develop fastest during a child's earliest years. Without proper attention, their educational development is stunted. “Children’s early childhood learning environments have large impacts on short and longer-term life outcomes” (Bassok D, Jan 2014). Children in the West have attended kindergartens since they were introduced in the 1800s. But not in Darfur where villages lack pre-school facilities – children there are missing out, trapped in extreme poverty.
Our first kindergarten has now been welcoming children for six months and the results are already impacting children's lives in Abu Nahla. Feedback shows that the whole community participated, especially women in the building of this project. They decided to increase attendance at the kindergarten by 50% to 151 children. So the pilot reached more needy families than anticipated and its value-for-money was dramatically enhanced. We will build on this experience for the construction of further kindergartens in other villages.
The process of constructing the kindergarten demonstrated the importance of the full commitment of the community and its ability to manage projects. “I am so proud of what the people of Abu Nahla are achieving. When we discussed the plans for the school, they decided they would make the bricks themselves to save us money. As our funds come from ordinary people in England and elsewhere, that means a lot.” Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids.
The success of the project is already widely recognised. Kids for Kids have been asked to roll out the project across the other 65 villages already supported by Kids for Kids and to each of the 5 new villages who will receive our integrated package every year BUT, it will take time. Each kindergarten costs $33,600 (£20,000) and so we are now fundraising hard so that more children will be given the chance of education - a proven way out of poverty.
The lack of kindergartens in Darfur means that children are deficient in essential stimulation in the most crucial formative years of their lives. Without schooling at an early age, opportunities are lost that can never be regained, and which diminish their developmental potential. Yet education is the only sure way out of poverty.
Our aim is to build three kindergartens in remote villages in North Darfur in 2014 because of the urgent need and because families simply cannot pay for education. The average household income has fallen to below £75 p.a. We are planning to fund five villages this year where we will provide all our grassroots projects in order to safeguard the health of the children. Yet education is essential.
In December 2013, our first kindergarten was completed in Abu Nahla, a small village of 2000 occupants. Already 151 village children have an opportunity to learn through educational play at our school as well as receiving formal education. The educational toys at the Kids for Kids Kindergarten are the first toys in the village and the latrines the first in the region. The State Director of Education has visited and approved our Kindergarten, "there is nothing else like this" were his humbling words.
To save construction costs on our first kindergarten, members of the self-formed parents committee built a kiln so that they could make their own bricks. They also took part in much of the construction, painting and organising themselves. Now that we have funded the project, the kindergarten has been handed over to them. Local ownership is vital for the longevity of the school, and indeed for all of our projects. We are planning to fund 3 more this year. Please help!
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CEO & Chairman of Trustees