“Every morning, when I get up, put on my uniform and walk to school, I think of the persons who are giving me this scholarship. I really cannot thank them enough and hope not to disappoint them."
Saratou Oumarou, who is 16 years old, was granted a scholarship by our non-profit, “Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ” two years ago and is now in 8th grade in her third year at Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School. Without this scholarship, she would not have been able to continue her studies after primary school. She is second in a family of six children. Her father is a small ambulant salesman and her mother is a housewife.
Saratou’s dream is to be a doctor.
Two years ago, Saratou was wondering if she would ever be able to go to secondary school, and today, thanks to your generosity, her worries are different : she is wondering how to simultaneously pursue sports and academics!
That is because Saratou, who aspires to be a doctor, is also a rising athlete. She has recently won the local Junior Athletics Championship in Niamey ! She loves running, and her favorite subject is mathematics. "I love calculating. It relaxes me", she says with a shy smile on her face.
Saratou intends furthering both her studies and athletics career as far as she can. She wants to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor in order to offer her family a better life.
"If I have to choose, I will go for education. Sports may be a career option for just a few years, but what after that?" Also, career opportunities for athletics in Niger are limited. "I may become a national champion but it will be hard for me to have a career outside of sports without an education and qualification. I think the best path for me would be to continue my studies and become a doctor."
Your continued support of our program for girls will give Saratou and our other girl students a chance to continue their education, to have a career and job opportunities and help their community.
Your donations represent a gift of education to our girl students.Your participation WILL make a difference in their lives, and give them an opportunity for a brighter future. Help these girls reach their potential and make their dreams come true. Make the change.
At the Hampaté Bâ Middle School, quality education goes beyond addressing basic literacy. Today whoever doesn’t get involved in Information and Communication Technology is missing out on a valuable resource and will eventually get left behind. This is why, in this school, ICT is part and parcel of the special girls only program.
“I enjoy introducing complete beginners to computers. My course is intended to build confidence and remove the girls' inhibitions around computers. Girls will be able to use the skills I teach them to improve their learning now and to increase their chances of employment or entrepreneurship in the future,” explains Mr. Ousseini, the young and enthusiastic ICT teacher. According to him, the girl students are showing more interest in acquiring computer skills than the boys!
"Unlike most of my friends, I love physics and sports. When I grow up, I want to create a better life for my family. I love spending time at the computer in the library and maybe one day I'll become a computer science teacher ", says Malika, a bubbly fourteen year old student.
Giving girl students like Malika new opportunities and opening them to new possibilities is an adventure that is giving very satisfactory results. The girls are realizing that they are actually capable of succeeding in technical domains and new perspectives are in view !
Thanks for helping these girls out! Your donations really make a difference in their future, to know their value as a woman, to be proud to raise a healthy family, and to be an important part of their community. When you keep contributing to this worthy cause, you are giving them hope. Every one of your donations gives another girl a chance for a better future. How wonderful is that !!! THANK YOU !
No, this is NOT a l'Oréal advertisement, but Rakia, Djamila, and Mariama are our "top models" in a reimagined home economics class that, among other things, teaches girl students at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School to be self confident and to respect themselves.
Rakia , Djamila and Mariama live in a country (Niger) and come from homes where they are automatically considered and unconsciously treated as second class citizens. But this is not the case in this school.
"We are very gender sensitive here and do our best to change our teachers' mentalities regarding the way they treat our girl students" says the school's principal, Mr Hassane Moussa Baro.
The girls only home economics class builds self-esteem and empowers girls to make healthy choices. The home economic teacher, Mrs Moussa says :
"The goal of working with girls at the critical ages of 12 to 14 is to help them build self-esteem, develop life skills and positive motivations so they are equipped with the tools to help them achieve their goals and avoid getting into trouble as they physically and developmentally mature and change."
Specifically addressing the needs of girls in this age range fills a need in the Nigerien society where sexism and classism persist at institutional and individual levels and affect girls and women, especially those living in poverty. Girls can be exposed to domestic violence, relationship violence, unplanned pregnancy, and abuse. This state of affairs is motivation enough to pay serious attention to girls.
Our association believes that girls who are engaged in positive activities such as school prevention programs are more likely to complete school and positively serve their communities, and reach their potential for future success.
We are able to keep underprivileged girls in these programs and help them get an education with your donations. Thank you for your kind support ! You are making a difference !
The girls at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School in Niamey, Niger are lucky to be able to attend a girls-only program and discuss questions like this:
Does being a girl limit you?
Does it have to limit you?
What do you like about being a girl?
What don’t you like about being a girl?
Do you ever wish you were a different gender? Why or why not?
In Niger, as in many other countries, it is hard to be a girl. Our association is lowering the hurdles that stand in a girls’ way, by helping the Hampaté Bâ Middle School run a girl empowerment program, thus giving the girl students an outlet to discuss issues concerning them, their aspirations for the future, giving them room to spread their wings, and providing them with an opportunity to shine.
Amina : I had fun learning in this class and felt an important part of the group.
Hadizatou: The program has helped me enjoy school more. I hope I'll be able to participate in this class next year again.
Not only Amina and Hadizatou, but all the girls attending the program unanimously agreed that the program had helped them become more confident and more positive about their future.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION
For the school year 2013/2014 we have 14 new girls who have obtained scholarships to attend the Hampaté Ba Middle School and will attend our girl empowerment program for the first time. Want to know more about this project and why it is important? Read on !
- Special Girls-Only Class Part of the Curriculum allowing girls to discuss with a specialized teacher and have a voice about issues concerning girls and health, hygiene, families, child-raising and learn skills such as cooking and sewing. The girls-only program addresses issues such as gender inequality with the goal of promoting self-confidence, self-esteem, and critical thinking . as well as reinforcing the capacities and worth of a woman in society.
- School environment This project creates a supportive school environment which is a key element in ensuring that girls are able to succeed academically and socially. By expanding our program over the past several years, we have acquired the ability to improve the girl-friendliness and academic achievement levels and make our school an enriching environment
- Teachers have been trained to ensure gender equality with all the girl students and are aware of gender equality in the classroom.
- Parents Goals help parents understand the benefits of educating their daughters, such as health and high earning potential.
- Goals Helping girls to stay in secondary school has always been a primary goal of our Girls’ Education program. Helping girls develop the skills they need to make key life decisions is even better!
- Proud and dreaming big! Some of our girl students are now speaking about how they are succeeding in school despite overwhelming obstacles. Many of the girls in our program are the first in their families to attend secondary school. This encourages them to dream big.
- Theatre Project The barriers that keep girls from going to secondary school in Africa at the same rate as their male peers because of tradition and cultural bias often stands in the way. We encourage the boys in our school to join the conversation and become active participants and we hope to use the power of the theater in the near future to support gender equality.
We believe it is possible to effect long-term change on the educational landscape for girls.
We know you believe in the importance of keeping girls in school. Your contributions have already helped support our achievements in Gender Equality with our program so far.
We are counting on you to help us to turn the tide ! We need your continued support in giving these girls the joy of a quality education. Thank you !
In the "girls only" class held once a week at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ School, Rahina and Aichatou, two bright and lively sixth graders, learn things that really matter to them.
Last week, our teacher talked about early marriages and pregnancies. For example, I learnt that too-early childbearing is not good for the mother's health and that it can even be dangerous for the baby.
I now have very good arguments against early marriages. I like traditions, but I think this one is not good for us, or for our families, or for society as a whole.
In Niger, gender gaps in education are real: Girls face greater hurdles than boys in getting an education and are more likely to leave school long before boys. Focusing on schools that specifically support girls' education is one way to overcome the barriers girls face.
Amadou Hampaté Bâ is one such school. Our association supports this school because it helps girls get a quality education -- essential for alleviating poverty, and breaking down the social and political barriers that exclude girls from fully participating in the future of their country.
Rahina and Aichatou are lucky to be studying in a school where there are separate sanitary facilities for girls, where teachers are encouraged and trained to treat boys and girls equally, and where a special "girls only class" addresses issues like early marriage, HIV and AIDS awareness, puberty, pregnancy and parenting.
Thanks for continuing to support this worthy cause and give these girls a chance for education and break the poverty cycle.
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