Empower girls in Niger for change via education

 
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Feb 28, 2012

A Revolution in Home Economics

Mrs Moussa,  Home Ec. teacher, and her students
Mrs Moussa, Home Ec. teacher, and her students

At Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School, a revolution in Home Economics is brewing, but not only inside a pot!

Can these girls cook rice and tomato sauce, hem pants and fix buttons? Of course they can! But they are also learning to budget, come up with a balanced and nutritious menu, respect hygiene and security rules, and make wise purchasing decisions respectful of the environment. And that is not all! These girls also learn the ethics of home economics, based on the values of caring, sharing, justice, responsibility, communicating, reflection and practical reasoning (deciding what is best to do for the long term positive consequences of self, others and the planet). Now isn’t this a most welcome revolution?

 Mrs Moussa is very proud of her class and the subject matter she teaches.

Home Economics is constantly evolving, and there will always be new ways of conducting this class. This is an important characteristic of this subject, linking with the twenty-first century requirement for all of us to be good at learning new things, given that our society is constantly and rapidly changing.”

 At the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School, health promotion, poverty alleviation, gender equality and social justice concerns are a priority of Home Economics.

I want my subject to concretely improve the well-being of families and households. Washing hands before eating or after using the toilet might seem as a very banal thing to teach and yet it is a rule which is making a tremendous difference in our students’ health and rate of absenteeism. 75% of illnesses in homes can be prevented using good hygiene habits such as hand washing”, says Mrs Foureïra Moussa.

The revamped home economics program is helping a shy 14 year old girl like Nana to be able to express herself and say: “Gender equality does not mean you should stop learning child-rearing, cooking, sewing, and secretarial skills. It means learning more than that and in a different way. I want to be able to cook delicious, clean and healthy meals for my husband and children, but I also want to be a radio soccer commentator and feel good about it.”

 Thanks to your loyal donations, you are making a great difference in these girls’ lives.

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