Hi, my name is Laurel Chor and I am visiting all of GlobalGiving's projects in Cameroon this summer...
Here's what I learned during my visit to the project that you donated to!
It was impossible to leave Bitame Lucia School without a huge smile on my face. Right outside the hustle and bustle of the country's capital, the children had a beautiful view, space to play, and new friends from all over the world to learn from. Although regular school is not currently in session, the Cameroon Association for the Education and Protection of Children (CAPEC) is currently running a lively summer school for free. With little to no summer activities available or affordable for children in these parts, most would be selling food or trinkets on the streets instead.
Right now, there are four summer volunteers from around the world, in addition to two Cameroonian teachers--an excellent teacher-to-student ratio by any standard! French is the language to learn if one wants to advance in Cameroonian society, but parents are still aware that English is the key to success in the world outside. Hence, this school is instructed entirely in English.
Many of the children are on scholarships, and for those who can pay, the tuition is very affordable. The classrooms are spacious, and had more than enough room for all of the maximum of 30 students per class. Money raised through GlobalGiving provided the school with a shiny new roof after the old one collapsed during a rainstorm. Many of the children here are only able to attend thanks to GlobalGiving donors like yourselves!
Children here are presented with an amazing array of opportunities and support: a uniform, some school supplies, an annual field trip, after-school activities, mentoring and counseling, and even opportunities to become pen pals with students in the UK! Ultimately, CAPEC's dream is to acquire computers and install internet access for their students.
The solar panels would enable them to have a reliable power supply while allowing them to save costs. CAPEC has not been able to acquire enough funding for the solar panels or computers yet, and is anxious for the day when their students have access to their very own lab. We have visited several schools in Cameroon, and met teachers struggling to teach their students the computer skills they need without even an electricity supply. Cameroon is phasing in a computer science section in their national exams, and schools like Bitame Lucia are desperately trying to keep up.
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