Les amis de Hampate Ba

Improving Learning Outcomes, Fighting Girl Dropout Rates, and Promoting Human Excellence is the mission of Les amis de Hampate Ba for students at the Amadou Hampate Ba Middle School in Niamey, Niger. By promoting and financing the development of the school, and providing grants, we help underprivileged youth in Niger become a positive and responsible force within the community.
Jun 17, 2016

From Garbage to Goods

Hampaté Bâ School in Niamey (Niger) has found an extraordinary way to make the best of waste : a way to nurture both the students and the environment!

 Opposite the school, there is a food market. Waste from that market gets dumped on a street not far from the school. Seeing the heap of garbage each morning on his way to school, Mr. Cyrille Agbodaze, the French teacher, came up with an idea: organize an end of year exhibition called « From Garbage to Goods ».

 He asked students to take discarded objects, transform them, bring them to school for the end of the year show and talk about them, thus improving their French vocabulary of mundane objects.

 Many of my students are weak in French and have limited opportunities and resources, but they all have unlimited creativity. That heap of waste allowed me to tap into their creativity,” says a very proud Mr Agbodaze.

 The “From Garbage to Goods” exhibition took place beginning June on the school grounds and it was a total success. Students were able to showcase their talents and creations. Aminatou, for example, presented her embroidery. And Ibrahim, Mahamadou, and Taleb-Sidi their wheelbarrow, car and humidifier.

 The four main goals of the exhibition were the following:

  • Sensitize students to environmental issues
  • Promote activities other than academic
  • Instill an entrepreneurial mindset in students
  • Improve their oral skills in French

The school authorities believe that those objectives were achieved. This is what the happy and proud participants had to say.

 Maybe in a near future, I’ll be able to generate an income and support my family by building and selling humidifiers. (Taleb-Sidi, 9th grade)

I really enjoyed taking part in this exhibition. When my mother and my sisters clean the house, they come across old things that are no longer of any use. Instead of plunking them out, they give them to me and I try to re-utilize them in a new way. (Mohamed, 7th grade)

I love the idea of converting waste and chuckable items into useful products. I very much enjoy working with metal.You can shape it and, with little effort, a simple piece of metal can become something else. Look at my wheelbarrow! (Ibrahim, 7th grade)

Sewing is one of my favourite pastimes. Perhaps with some help I could turn my pastime into a business, a huge big business! (Aminatou, 7th grade)

I got the idea of making a car by watching cars go by. This is the first time I have fabricated a car. My French teacher, Monsieur Cyrille, organized this exhibition and I hope that next time he’ll organize a competition because I’d like to win a prize! (Mahamadou, 6th grade)

“From Garbage to Goods” has even given ideas to the school manager. “Next academic year, the students could build a playground with discarded materials such as pallets, tires, garbage bags and plastic drums. That would be such a great project for our students especially those who do not excel academically.”

We have always appreciated your kind donations in the past. You have helped us to keep our students in school and give them the gift of education. Your continued support will help us to continue innovating and setting up new ways to motivate and boost our students.

Be part of the change! Make a difference in a child’s life and help out the environment too. Give young students a chance for a better future!

All donations are welcome! Thank you so much!

Ibrahim with his wheelbarrow
Ibrahim with his wheelbarrow
Mahamadou with his car
Mahamadou with his car
Aminatou with her embroidery
Aminatou with her embroidery
Taleb-Sidi with his humidifier
Taleb-Sidi with his humidifier
Monsieur Cyrille with his creative students
Monsieur Cyrille with his creative students
Jun 17, 2016

Enterprising Girls!

Meet our future chefs and restaurateurs!
Meet our future chefs and restaurateurs!

Our girl empowerment program has many facets including promoting an entrepreneurial culture. The most important step to fostering such a culture is to teach our girls to question since this is something that does not come naturally to them. In their families and at home, they are not encouraged to question. Instead they are encouraged to comply without questioning anything or anyone. Yet, the essence of entrepreneurship is the habit of asking why and then coming up with a better solution.

Our program’s initiative has nothing to do with changing the national curriculum, but everything to do with strengthening the manner in which the curriculum is taught and bringing the content to practical life. The goal is to make our girls think as opposed to merely memorize and execute. We want them to be able to do something useful with the information and knowledge they receive at school.

We put a few questions to the Home Economics teacher about promoting an entrepreneurial mindset and this is what she had to say.

So work, resilience, and creativity are important? Yes, you have to keep on working regardless of mentalities and taboos. We need more female success stories!

More women helping one another? Yes, because when some girls succeed, they don’t necessarily want to help other girls! We need to break this jealousy barrier if we want to really move forward.

Do the girls want to become entrepreneurs?Absolutely! They really want the change to happen in their lives.

What about gender inequalities? Education of women is the key and also how we women educate our sons. We have to bring up our sons differently, to teach them equality at home in a concrete way. As women, it is our responsibility to change our sons’ mentalities. Yet, very often we demand gender equality at our work places, but at home we are not even aware of the fact that we are bringing our sons up the old way, the way our mothers and grandmothers did!!!

Admittedly, not every one of the girls we sponsor will become an entrepreneur, however the characteristics of entrepreneurship – problem solving, action orientation, creativity, being socially-conscious and responsible – are important for their everyday lives. Hence the target of our girls’ empowering program is to see all of our girls employable, studying further, or equipped to start their own businesses in the future. We are counting on your generous donations no matter how big or small to help us do that!

Thank you for joining us and supporting the development of this great program for such a worthy cause!

Our future women entrepreneurs!
Our future women entrepreneurs!
Mar 22, 2016

Hampate Ba holds first Parent/Teacher Meeting!

Parent engagement in school is nurtured when parents come to understand that their involvement in their child’s studies is a key part of what it means to be a responsible parent, when they are confident enough to make meaningful contributions to the school’s efforts and when they realize that the school administration and teachers, as well as their own children, value their participation in the school.

Our organisation, “Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ”, has been encouraging our teachers and administration in Niamey to work more closely with parents in order to identify goals, problems, and potential solutions to create more successful partnerships to assist more students. 

During the first Parents/Teacher Meeting this week, the principal emphasized the importance of good health from a balanced diet and a hygienic environment that enables the students to work better. “Poor health and unhygienic environments are important underlying causes for absenteeism and poor academic performance,” he explained to the mothers and fathers present at the meeting.

The teachers also asked parents to show more commitment towards supporting their children’s learning and treating learning as a priority.  Almost all of the parents present at the meeting admitted NOT giving their children the time for study, homework, and other learning tasks at home. They also said they did NOT control time allowed to watch television, drink tea, chat with friends, and play cards at the expense of doing school work. Mothers recognised the fact that their daughters spent a lot of time helping them with housework. School work came second, and NOT first.

Once again, the principal intervened asking the parents to provide their children with a suitable place to study at home and to monitor their study time. « These practices make your child understand that his/her academic success is a priority for you and that you put effort in monitoring progress towards this goal ».

Parents were also asked to take the lead in fighting violence against children. As corporal punishment is deeply rooted in cultural and social practices in Niger, it is important for the school authorities to explain to parents why the Hampate Ba School has opted for NOT practicing corporal punishment at school. « We want your children to enjoy a peaceful, safe and protected environment from which fear is banished. We cannot achieve this goal if we physically hurt and psychologically humiliate your children.»

The meeting ended with parents thanking the school staff and our humanitarian association , for doing so much for their children.

« We are very grateful to the school and Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ for taking such good care of our children. We have heard what the teachers and the principal have said and will try to give more of our time and attention to the school work of our children to help them be more successful in their studies and have a better chance in life », said a very happy father. 

Your donations help us promote a quality education for underprivileged students. Thank you!

 
 

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