Mina and Salmou are over the moon! It is the first day of school at Hampaté Bâ Middle School and these two deserving students are the proud recipients of a scholarship from "Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ".
“ I think that my experience in this school will be very magical.”
"If I did not have this scholarship, my father would probably need to choose which of us nine children goes to secondary school, or send us all to bad schools where none of us would pass our exams."
Life in Niger is tough for girls. Poverty, culture and tradition often keep them at home while their brothers go to school. If a girl convinces her family to send her to a “free” government school, she often cannot go because she lacks the funds for a uniform or supplies.
Mina, Salmou, and 38 other of our scholarship recipients will each receive textbooks and two sets of uniforms this academic year. But most importantly, Mina and Salmou will receive quality education in a girl friendly learning environment. Our association is driven by the belief that a quality secondary education can transform the lives of students and their families.
At the Hampaté Bâ Middle School, extra time is allocated to numeracy and literacy, as these are areas where Nigerien students who have studied at poor quality primary schools struggle. A citizenship education curriculum also teaches students important life-skills such as CV-writing, as well as information about HIV/AIDS. Students will therefore gain more than academic skills at Hampaté Bâ and become responsible and well-rounded citizens.
Please help us keep Mina, Salmou, and our other 38 scholarship holders in school. Thanks for believing in them and believing in the programs that we are funding. With your help these girls can get a quality education and fulfill their potential. Your donations will give them a chance to go to school and to stay in school.
Thank you for making a difference!
With the right support, even the most vulnerable students can achieve!
One famous speech began with “I have a dream”. Well, our progress report this month will begin with “we had a dream”.
Our association had a dream for the disadvantaged students at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School in Niamey, Niger.
We said that we wanted to improve academic achievement across the school we did !
We said we wanted to help illiterate sixth and seventh graders learn to read and write we did !
We said we wanted to provide students with greater ICT opportunities we did !
We said we wanted to provide students with textbooks we did !
2012/2013 has indeed been a year of positive change, growth and development for Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School. 73% success at BEPC, new remediation teacher for tutoring weak students likely to drop out without personalised help, new computers, software, and classes with guidance by computer expert, brand new textbooks to start new school year ! You, our supporters, have made all these achievements possible and we thank you !
People who visit the school comment on the ‘positive vibe’ and ‘feel good factor’ the school has in both its physical environment and the relationships between the administration, the teachers, and the students. Here are some comments that the parents made during the end of year ceremony:
In this school, the students are well looked after by the staff and teachers. Here everyone is happy.
This is a good environment for learning, there is a good atmosphere to learn in.
We need to keep up and improve these results In October 2013, thanks to generous contributions of our members, a new group of disadvantaged students will enter the school and many of them will need extra help. Our association also wishes to continue to promote the use of computer technology across the school as well as providing the school's new library with more books. This we cannot do without your commitment, your support, and your generosity. Walt Disney once said you can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful idea in the world, but it requires people to make the dream reality. You are the people we need to help us make this wonderful dream reality for students such as Mahamanne and Rakiya.
THANK YOU !
A 40 year old school teacher, Mr Abdourahmane, at Hampaté Bâ Middle School in Niamey, is really making a difference. He has been able to ignite a spark of interest in previously discouraged learners who otherwise would have continued to struggle with even the most basic literacy skills.
In Niger, teaching children to read and write is a significant challenge. For the majority of students, French is their third or even fourth language. Often, they are being taught by teachers who lack the skills and resources to create inspiring or creative opportunities for students to interact with written texts.
Amadou was getting D's and F's in most of his school subjects. Like other low skilled readers, he was very self conscious of his reading ability and tried to hide his poor reading skills. But very quickly, his teachers realized that, even though this shy young boy was in sixth grade, he could barely read or write. He was thus referred to the special remedial sessions taught by Mr Abdourahmane.
"This program is giving Amadou the opportunity to significantly improve his reading skills. He has grown in confidence", says Mr Abdourahmane, and his results have improved not only in French, but also in all of the other subjects. If students cannot read, they cannot be independent learners. That is why I take my work so seriously."
Without this remedial program, Amadou would still be struggling with a strong chance of failing the 6th grade. And because of this, his parents would most likely have taken him out of school.
Your donations are important to us and are a big help to these worthy students. Your generosity enables us to fund special courses for students like Amadou and keep them in school by improving their results and bringing them up to level. By teaching them to read and write, we avoid student drop-out. Thank you for helping us to help these students to get educated, improve their future and contribute to Niger as a whole.
Testimony made by one of these smiling children’s father who shows his amazed gratitude!
“My concerns for my children are, in order: feeding them, taking care of their health and then finding the means to send them to school. I have 12 children. Ten are grown up, and two are babies. Currently five of them are in school. We tighten our belts and pay little by little. Most of my oldest children ended up dropping out of school. They were performing poorly so they didn’t want to continue. The Hampate Ba School is different: it does not get rid of those who perform poorly. They get extra hours with good teachers. That is why my children are progressing well in this school. They might even finish it! And if they do finish it, they will either continue their education or get a job that will allow them to take care of themselves and to help us. But I can also see the immediate benefits of being in this school. For example, because my children can read, they can sort out all of my family papers like birth certificates. And, my daughter tells me what is good for us to eat and what is bad for us to eat. We now try to use less aromatic cubes in our sauces because they are far too salty and bad for our blood pressure!”
Thanks to your generous donations, we are bringing literacy to children in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries. We humbly thank you for your continued contributions and constant support. You are helping us write a story of hope in the battle for global literacy.
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!
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