"In Niger, manual work is considered as unprestigious and is frowned upon. But this stigma is changing because Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School has made a success of its brand new garden and the students love taking care of it ”, says proudly the director of the school.
Thanks to the well that our association had built for Hampaté Bâ in 2013, the school now has its own garden which grows tomatoes, green peppers and chilies. Everyone was involved from the beginning: the director, the teachers and the students. When they started, there was nothing but sand. Look at it now! The school director says the students are passionate about the garden and that taking care of it is teaching them the notion of responsibility.
"Without proper care and maintenance, the plants could die or the garden could become overgrown. Giving students the responsibility to water and care for the plants they grow instills in them a sense of accountability. Patience is another virtue that students learn through garden participation, as plants do not grow, flower, or fruit overnight." explains the director.
Some of the teaching staff are also involved in this project.
• The home economics teacher advises on nutrition, food hygiene, food preparation and food conservation.
• The biology teacher uses the garden as an observatory.
• The French teacher teaches the names of different fruits and vegetables and their correct spelling.
"Hopefully, in a near future, other teachers too will be able to create meaningful learning experiences for their students as school gardens can be used to teach practically every subject taught in secondary school. I have asked the social studies teacher to use the garden to teach students about other cultures and how they grow their food and what they eat, as well as where our own food comes from", adds the director.
Thus, thanks to your generous donations we were able to start cultivating both the garden and the students at the Hampaté Bâ Middle School.
Help us keep this exciting project going. Your continued donations can make this dream become more and more a reality. We need more contributions to plant more and nourish new ideas.
With our humble thanks,
Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ Team
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.
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