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!
It’s summer holidays now for students of the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School after a very successful academic year 2011-2012. Our association is proud to announce and share with you some of the exciting accomplishments that were made possible last year thanks to the help of your commitment and generosity. We would like to say thank you for your contributions and support.
All in all we were able to offer new opportunities and make a huge difference in the lives of underprivileged students in Niger through the innovative approach and quality education being offered at Amadou Hampate Ba Middle School. More and more children are actually staying in school and benefitting from a quality education. Even so, the challenges to advance are still present. We remain confident that with your continued fidelity and generous support, we will meet those challenges, continue to advance, and contribute to the progress of a global community. Thank you.
Fatchima and Abdoul-Rahim : “We count and so do our talents and human qualities!”
LES AMIS DE HAMPATE BA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS IN DIVERSE RANGE OF FIELDS AND ACTIVITIES
Every year the French Cultural Center in Niamey organizes a Spelling Bee contest with the purpose of providing young students with the opportunity to participate in a positive, competitive spelling exchange to improve their French language, spelling capabilities, comprehension and communication skills. This year, one of the 8th graders from our school, was able to go all the way to the semi finals ! We praise and congratulate him for this amazing accomplishment. He did not win first place, but what mattered was his participation and the fact that by doing his best he got that far in the competition. The lessons learned by participating in a spelling bee can last a lifetime and benefit all concerned.
As Alhousseïni, our Spelling Bee candidate, remarked :
“I am just thankful that I got to compete at a National Spelling Bee competition for my school. Next year, I'll try to get further and perhaps even win first place! It'll be good for me, it'll be great for my school."
What do report card ceremonies in this school look like? Each student is honored and recognized for developing his/her unique strengths, virtues, talents, and/or interests. The focus and goal is on EACH student and not just CERTAIN students. The philosophy at Amadou Hampaté Bâ School is to move away from traditional educational hierarchy which values students excelling in French and Math more than those who excel in fine arts or who are leaders of good character. Academically weak students feel just as important as academically strong students. In addition, all students are recognized daily in class and throughout the year.
It is your donations supporting teacher training and quality education that have made this CHANGE possible. THANK YOU for your continued contributions which enable us to make HUGE steps forward and a real difference in all the students’ lives by letting them learn.
Class 6th grade
Ambition I want to join the National Guard.
Hobbies I love sports and music
My story My dad often travels to Benin to buy and sell stuff at markets. He rarely comes home because he has to earn money for the family. My mom is a housewife. I have one brother and two sisters. My brother is unemployed. Our house is very small and very crowded.
I was studying at a public elementary school, but was not able to get a place at a secondary school. So I was staying at home and helping my mom with house chores. Then one day somebody from a private school came to interview me and my family. I showed them my report cards which were excellent. A few days later, my family was told that I was accepted to study at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School for free! I cannot tell you how happy I was. I love this school and I love my teachers. I love the size of our school yard. It is huge! I believe this school is the best! I am working hard so I can make it all the way to high school. Then I will join the army!
Class 6th grade
Ambition I want to be a soccer player
Hobbies I love sports
My story I only have one brother. My father is dead. My mother is a housewife. It is our uncle who takes care of us. I like coming to this school because I like having different teachers and different subjects. P.E. is my favorite subject. I think we don’t have enough hours of P.E. I wish the school could do something about that. I work hard so that I can keep my scholarship. Otherwise I will have to drop out of school. My family cannot afford to pay my school fees. Later, when I grow up, I want to be a soccer player.
Thanks to your donations, Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ is able to do much more than just offer students like Hadiza and Abdoul-Kader a scholarship. In addition to paying school fees, we provide books, school supplies, school uniforms, after-school activities, school trips, academic tutoring and gender equality workshops.
The dream for many of our students is to go to university or to get further training of some sort, but all that is known right now is that thanks to your generosity they have been set on the right track, that they have the aptitude and ambition to one day become educated and ethical leaders for their communities, their country and the world.
We look forward to keeping our vision alive so that Hadiza and Abdoul-Kader, and those who will follow them, will be supported to achieve their dream of changing the outcomes of their lives for the better. Thanks so much for your constant support and generosity.
Fati is 12 years old and lives in a popular neighborhood in the capital city Niamey. Her family is poor. She has 2 brothers and 5 sisters. Her mother is a housewife and her father is retired. Fati obtained her primary school certificate in July 2011 and, like many of her friends, was assigned to a secondary public school which did not have enough classrooms to take them in. And so Fati was stuck at home. Her parents could not afford a private education. Imagine therefore this family’s joy when we announced to them that their daughter qualifies for a scholarship to study at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School. Fati is presently one of the highest achievers in the 6th grade!
"She is one of our best students because she has a will to learn. She is also among the most attentive and participatory pupils,” says the principal of the school.
Fati was lucky: in most cases girls who cannot continue with their secondary education because of financial reasons, stay at home to help their mothers with the household and petty trading, or else they get married at a very young age.
In a country where many parents are illiterate and little value is attributed to girls’ schooling, lack of parental support contributes greatly to children’s under-performance at school.
"My parents were proud of me when I received my certificate of primary education. And now that I have received this scholarship, they are even prouder. Their support motivates me to work hard because I want to become a doctor”, says Fati.
Aziz is also 12. He has 2 brothers and one sister. His mother is a housewife and his father is unemployed. Finding enough money to feed the family is a daily struggle. Aziz is very happy to have been awarded a scholarship for the Hampaté Bâ Middle School. “At my previous school, the teachers kept threatening us and even though I was a good student, I felt scared. Here teachers never threaten us and they even smile! I like that!” says Aziz with a huge big grin on his face. Aziz does not know what he wants to do later in life. “For the time being, I want to study, that is all”.
“He’s a tough little guy”, says his physical education teacher, “His stamina, even compared to the older students, is quite amazing!”
Thanks to your generous donations, Fati and Aziz have started secondary school since October this year and now have the benefit of a quality education in a friendly environment which is apparent to the whole community, teachers, students, and parents. We want to keep them in secondary school for more years to come. We can do it with your continued support. Thanks for helping Aziz and Fati and our other 18 scholarship holders to make it all the way to high school and even further! Your donations count! Thank you so much.
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