May 17, 2019

NATIONAL DAY TO CELEBRATE NIGERIEN WOMEN

Hampate Ba students, April 2019
Hampate Ba students, April 2019

May 13th was the national day to specifically celebrate girls and women in Niger. It was a happy day ! But what was there to celebrate ?

Things are changing in Niger !

In spite of Niger being one of the 5 poorest countries in the world, Nigerien girls and women are on their road towards autonomy : thinking independently and meeting the global challenges of our times. That is such a good sign and certainly an excellent reason to celebrate ! 

How are we contributing to girls acquiring this autonomy ? 

At Hampate Ba School, we believe in the potential of our girl students . We promote gender equality with 50% of the students  admitted, being girls. With your help, over the last 10 years, we have been funding full scholarships for those girls who would not be able to attend Middle and High School due to the low income of their parents. We don’t want to refuse any girl who qualifies for entrance to Hampate Ba School due to her financial problems. We also want to avoid drop-outs and keep the girls in school by funding scholarships. We believe quality education is essential to protect girls from early marriages and to break the poverty cycle.

We promote the autonomy of our girl students and empower them through different innovative programs with remarkable results.   

What are some of these Empowerment Projects ? 

  • Media Room for access to library books

  • ICT Tools in afterschool computer club to keep up to date in new skills 

  • Managing Lunch Meals for health and diet awareness

  • Danse classes to improve body exercises and energy 

  • Art classes for cultural awareness and spatial concepts 

All these projects develop human values and skills in critical thinking and decision making. They expand knowledge and strengthen the girls’ confidence to improve the well-being of entire families and communities,  while fighting gender bias.  Benefits gained: later marriage, better dietary and sanitary conditions, improved child care and resistance against radicalism of any kind.

Impact of Empowerment Projects

We are happy to say that during our recent trip to Niamey in April 2019, we  actually witnessed these programs and the progress the girls have made during the last year.  What a change ! Their positive attitude and self-esteem is show-casing their evolution and their will to learn .  

« Through taking initiative to define lunch menus, we have acquired understanding of concepts, skills, and qualities needed to advance social change and promote health in our communities and we are really proud ! » comments Mariama.

«  We love to work afterschool in the computer room to do research, and to learn new skills, but also to keep cool, since it is the only classroom with air conditioning, that makes studying possible in 45 degree weather.» admits Fatouma.

«  Our group of girls who work on art projects with the boys are so happy that we are accepted by the boys, who have realized that we are talented and creative, and they are happy to construct 3 dimensional objects with us. » proudly admits Oumoulkoum

Thanks for making a difference

Our projects put girls first due to their special responsibility to pass on knowledge to future generations. By giving adolescent girls the tools they need to improve their own lives, we are giving them a chance for a better future for themselves and their families. We need your continued donations to support these life-changing projects. You can be part of the change and make a difference in a girl’s life. Thank you for your generosity.

ICT exercises
ICT exercises
Final art projects with teacher
Final art projects with teacher
Dance class
Dance class
Library - Media room
Library - Media room
Managing lunch meal
Managing lunch meal
Feb 25, 2019

COMPUTER LAB ENRICHES STUDY OPPORTUNITIES

Give more to those who have less! This has always been an important objective of our organization, les Amis de Hampaté Bâ.  Our charity is constantly searching for ways to give better opportunities and a quality education to our students who come from under-privileged backgrounds.  Achieving this goal is especially critical for students in the last year of Middle School and High School, as receiving the BEPC Brevet Diploma in 9th grade or the BAC Diploma in 12th grade could make a big difference in their future, giving them opportunities for jobs or continued studies.

Computer Lab gives access to equal opportunities. It is not easy for our students to succeed when they have long distances to walk to school and at home have no electricity to study in the evening when it gets dark, nor support for help with homework from parents who are illiterate.  In addition to a specialized tutoring program set up to help struggling students improve their level, we are now offering the availability of our computer lab after school.  Needless to say, our students DO NOT have computers at home, so this opportunity to use Internet with free access after school is a tremendous gift. Our idea is that through the computer lab, even though Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with the lowest of the UN Human development index out of 187 countries, our students have access to the same tools as students in other countries. 

Computer Lab gives access to new research possibilities. We have opened the computer room after school not only for students to better learn computer skills, but especially to conduct research on various topics pertaining to their studies like history/geography, vocabulary, grammar, natural science, physics, philosophy, etc.  Students are independent and autonomous, have a sense of liberty and freedom. It motivates them to study and they are proud of mastering computer science. 

As Ibrahim, one of our star students, remarked, « I go to the computer lab as often as I can since I want to be sure to have the best chance possible to get my BEPC Diploma. I do research on history and also on geography, which are subjects I am weak in. On Internet after school, I learn better because I can explore these topics calmly at my own rhythm and deepen my knowledge on topics I don’t understand that well in bigger classes, and I can study in a cool place. »

A cool place to be! Of course, the computer lab is not only a perfect place to study and gain knowledge, but it is also an air-conditioned space which beats being at home with 45 degree temperatures common at this time of year in Niger. The after-school computer lab is of course supervised at all times by the computer teacher who keeps an eagle eye on the use of internet, which is restricted to using educational programs and doing research. 

Technology effects on students.  So far our students are often found to be challenged, engaged, and more independent when using technology. By encouraging experimentation and exploration of new frontiers of knowledge on their own, through the use of technology, they seem to gain a greater sense of responsibility for their work — producing higher quality assignments that reflect the increased depth and breadth of their knowledge and talent. And technology energizes students. 

Sidi was proud to observe : « I like to come to the computer lab to improve my skills in typing and making word documents and soon I hope to learn Excel. I feel good about myself because I even know more about using the computer than my teachers! » 

Reading and Writing. Students are able to read texts, find information, organize and evaluate it, and express their new knowledge in compelling ways. The use of technology seems to improve students’ motivation and attitudes about themselves and about learning to read and write. 

Djamila was happy to say: « I feel so good in the computer room, because I am able to explore texts in French and English on my own and verify my knowledge. It gives me confidence in myself and I feel satisfied. I can work independently and I am so motivated to make progress in my studies.  I have definitely improved my capacity to write and express my ideas. »

Hadiza, a young student having problems reading and writing, mentioned: « I love coming to the computer lab, because I can read different texts, improve my vocabulary and check on the spelling of different words which gives me self-confidence. I can also look for definitions and do on-line exercises. It’s simpler than a dictionary, which could be eaten by termites!  Since I can’t stay too long after school, I go to the computer lab during recess.  At first I was alone, but now the room has groups of students working together. Thank goodness the computer teacher is there during our break too! »

Students help Students: Ability to teach others. Razak feels respected since he masters the computer programs better than his peers. « I am really happy that the computer teacher has given me the task of explaining different programs to other students so they understand better and improve their skills. I am proud to share my knowledge and help others. » 

As a result, we believe our students will be far better able to connect with the world through the Internet.  We hope that positive effects of implementing this program will include increasing writing skills, better problem solving and critical thinking skills, greater self-esteem and lower drop-out rates of underprivileged secondary pupils with reading and writing deficiencies. Our dream is to bring underachievers up to level and to turn struggling students into confident above average achievers.

We have been able to create new programs which successfully help our students thanks to your generous contributions. Please give any amount possible. Your donations fuel our projects and really make a difference in our students’ lives. Thank you so much!

 

Feb 19, 2019

NEW YEAR! NEW ART ACTIVITIES!

We are happy to announce that 2019 has brought with it new opportunities for girls at Hampaté Bâ School in Niamey. Our innovative « Girl Empowerment for Change » project is picking up speed and is helping low-income adolescent girls to get more than just an academic basis. The after-school Gender Club expands knowledge and lets girls gain an understanding of concepts, skills, attitudes and qualities needed to become agents of effective social change locally and globally.

Our charity « Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ »  is helping girls stay in school through scholarships. Additionally, our Empowerment Projects help our girls access human values and skills in critical thinking and decision making. Initiation of a Gender Club is helping to promote gender equality through various activities. One of the girls’ favorite activities is art projects.  The girls love their art club, as it enhances their appreciation of artwork as well as giving them practical skills and opening their minds to new knowledge. 

As Farida remarked, « We not only painted drawings of pyramids and learned techniques of painting, but we also learned about ancient Egyptian history. This was a fun activity and I loved learning about history this way. »

« I liked cutting leaves out of paper and painting them green. We are used to desert vegetation in Niger, so to construct trees with leaves helped me learn about vegetation and seasons in other countries and also how to construct an object out of paper. This was really exciting », commented Oumoulkhaire.

«  Constructing an airplane out of cardboard and garlands out of paper was an incredible experience.  It made me realize more about protecting our environment and how recycling material can be useful. » observed Aminatou.

Mr. Desire, the art teacher exclaimed : « I love art ! It is my life ! I am so happy to share my passion with the students and they enjoy working together on projects. Our last art projects were done outside in the open air, and the girls loved having class outside of the classroom. It was really interesting. » 

Mr Desire’s art projects are real eye-openers for the girls. This year started with a project based around ancient Egypt : drawings of the pyramids and the Nile River and construction of a mask of a pharaoh. This was a history/geography class as well as an art activity !  As for art knowledge, the girls learned about realizing objects with a volume, and drawing pyramids in 2D. They also gained knowledge on the notions of triangles, of vertical and horizontal lines, and of perspective. 

Another intriguing project for the girls was making green leaves out of paper, cutting them out, painting them ,and putting them together with glue and wires to make a tree, showing the girls how to transform recycled objects into other objects to be re-utilized in a different way. The girls learned how to fabricate objects in 3 dimensions with recuperated material like plastic, metal,  cardboard and paper.  They became familiar working with adhesive tape, wire, cords, and paint. They became aware, in this way, that each one of them should take steps to protect the environment. Mr. Desire definitely knows how to motivate the girls and give them confidence in themselves through new knowledge, new skills and new awareness.

We could not continue to offer these amazing art projects for these young girls without your generosity. Your donations help them stay in school and avoid early marriages.

All amounts are welcome, and every bit helps. We would be grateful if you could contribute to the purchase of art supplies or help us pay scholarships for girls whose families could not afford an education without our help. Be the change. Help us make a difference!  Thank you so much.

Pyramid project
Pyramid project
Open-air art class with teacher
Open-air art class with teacher
Selecting painted leaves
Selecting painted leaves
Art with a smile
Art with a smile
Success!
Success!
 
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