Aug 27, 2018

Special Computer Training rejoices Scholarship Girls !

Dear Friends,

A new intensive extracurricular Computer Training Course will open on September 3rd at Hampâté Bâ School and it’s especially for girls!

This creative initiative is being offered exceptionally for two weeks only in September just before the new school year starts by our Association “Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ”. The lucky Recipients are our Scholarship Girls in their last year of high school and those who just received their Baccalaureate Diploma.

Why did we decide to offer this new training course?

- First of all, to congratulate our scholarship girl students for their excellent results!
Their amazing success deserves to be recognized. Breaking news: 44% of our girl scholarship students who applied for the Baccalaureate Exam succeeded in obtaining their Baccalaureate diploma. This is a huge success compared to the national average in Niger, which was only 28% and especially since only 1/3 of the 28% were girls, which means only 9% of girls in Niger who registered for the examination, actually succeeded. And our girls were part of that 9%!
- Second of all, we wanted to advance and enhance the ICT skills of our girl students so they can be more efficient in their studies and up to date with the latest computer programs.
- Third of all, our aim is to continue promoting gender equality and giving these girls tools to improve their own lives. We thought this was a good idea for our girls to make them more competitive as they move towards superior studies and searching for a job. We hope to open career opportunities through ICT which will give them a better chance on the job market, more typically taken by men up until now.

What advantage to this new computer course? You have been supporting an ICT class in the school curriculum for our girls one hour a week in the computer lab we financed, which has helped them develop basic computer skills and understand how a computer functions, whereas this special course would be more intensive with 2-hour classes, every day during 2 weeks outside of the regular school curriculum. It would be a great follow-up to re-enforce current skills and would be one more step forward to learn new programs with individual attention to each student.

The students’ reactions to our risk-taking idea? Our daring bright idea for these courses at the end of summer vacation was indeed a risk. Would students actually want to give up their vacation days to come to the school’s computer lab, some of them having one hour to walk to get there? We asked the General Supervisor to check with each student beforehand. To our great surprise, the students were overjoyed.

Mr. Hassan, the school supervisor happily reported: ”All the girls I contacted said with no hesitation that they wanted to come to the class, even if they had to walk far. Each girl immediately accepted the proposition with enthusiasm”.
The summer is too long! I want to learn new skills and have more of a chance to excel next year “, remarked Karima, a “Terminal” Class student.
I have been trying to study at home, but with 7 younger brothers and sisters in one room, it is impossible. I am really eager for this computer class to start!” exclaimed Roumanatou who received her Bac end July. Mr. Namata, the computer teacher is also anxiously waiting for the class to start: “ I am looking forward with pleasure to this project which could be very useful, inspiring and important to these young ladies as future leaders.“

What type of content in this special course? Our dream is for our girls to become young leaders, ahead of other students in their ability to use computer programs: Excel to analyze data, PowerPoint to make compelling presentations, and Google tools to organize meetings and share documents. They can use their new access to conduct research and to apply for jobs by making a CV. We cannot wait to add this
technological class to their student experience!

They have succeeded so far due to your past support. Thanks to you, our girls were able to persevere, continue their education and obtain diplomas. In a short amount of time, you provided very impoverished girls with confidence, new skills, and ideas for future jobs. As a result of your generosity towards quality education and empowering our girls through ICT training, they will now be able to better connect with the world!

To everyone who has so kindly supported our Girl Empowerment Program, thank you so much! Your contributions have paid off in improving their lives. You can be proud!

We look forward to your continued support. We are presently raising funds to continue ICT classes and give more opportunities to a larger number of deserving girl students. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Jun 4, 2018

DETERMINED AND GRATEFUL!

Dear Friends,

 We came, we met them, we met their families, & we met their needs!

Who are we talking about? We have an amazing story to tell about 9 of our scholarship students at Hampaté Bâ School who are presenting their baccalaureate this year. We had the honor of meeting them during our recent trip to Niger in February.

Some years ago… We founded les Amis de Hampaté Bâ to provide a quality secondary education to unprivileged youth in Niamey, and especially girls, who had no access to secondary education, without our help. We fully supported the Hampaté Bâ School’s philosophy to give more to those who had less and we wanted to give girls opportunities for a brighter future than being married at 12.

And so our adventure began… with giving scholarships to a group of young students with low levels of reading and writing skills and with illiterate parents who couldn’t help them with homework. Thanks to you all, we were able to provide school fees, books, uniforms, meals and especially high-level tutoring classes taught by motivated, trained teachers in small groups to bring the students up to level and avoid drop out. This same group of students who barely knew how to read and write, has now acquired excellent literacy skills through our accelerated tutoring programs at our Middle School and also through our newly opened High School in Niamey. Attending Hampaté Bâ has become a game-changer for them!

Here is the good news: After almost 7 years of perseverance and diligent hard work, we are proud to announce that 9 of our current 60 scholarship students have reached their Senior Year of High School and are presenting their baccalaureate in July 2018! Seven years of pursuing remediation classes after school have paid off! And 8 of the 9 students presenting their baccalaureate are GIRLS! Many other scholarship students are feeling encouraged by the testimonies of these 9 who have succeeded in reaching their senior year thanks to their after school remediation classes. Mission well accomplished!

Courage and Drawbacks : Getting a baccalaureate in Niger is not easy. Only 27% of those who apply, actually succeed. We congratulate heartily our 9 students for their hard work and bravery to have come this far despite the many drawbacks: the 45 degree heat, the long distances on foot, no electricity to study at night, strikes by student unions cancelling classes. The road to success demands, indeed, lots of courage. Next step: one full month of intense, relentless, concentrated preparation, requiring energy and hope. We wish these amazing students good luck and the excellent results they deserve.  

Encouraging Actions taken on site: We could not remain insensitive to the many needs of our 9 baccalaureate candidates on the last leg of their long road to graduation. To help them out, we immediately took action to provide exercise books, upscale private tutoring 7 days a week, orientation counseling, evaluations to target weaknesses, solar lamps to provide light at night to study, and shared transportation to get to remediation classes every day.

Thank you so much for your support. The students wouldn’t be where they are today without you!

Thank you all for participating in this worthwhile and uplifting cause and believing in us and the students! We are very encouraged by what we have seen during our trip this year, and there is still a lot to be done! We are also setting our sights on the next few years, as the challenge is still on for 51 more scholarship students currently in Middle School and the first of years of High School. Thanks a million to all of you who encourage these students to realize their dreams and seek a more productive life. Their future success will be possible because you continue to support them. Your donations count!

Our scholarship students applying for their baccalaureate are determined and grateful. As Fatchima expressed with great pride: “This is my 7th year here and I am now a candidate for the Scientific Baccalaureate. I WILL SUCCEED this exam. It is the least I can do to thank you for everything you have done for me. I am proud to be a scholarship student at Hampaté Bâ School.”   

You, our many donors, can be proud too!

May 31, 2018

DISCOVERING NEW HORIZONS THROUGH ART

Dear Friends,

Our new Art Program for Girls has been rising to new heights :

- The art classes have expanded both in number and in the variety of projects over the last few months since March and we are so pleased with the results !

- In February, during the visit of the Association’s President from Paris to the Hampaté Bâ School in Niamey, we stopped by the after school optional art classes on site that we are financing, to deliver art supplies that we wanted to donate to the program. At that time, we noticed that the art classes were overcrowded due to the growing popularity of this new art program and the talented and enthusiastic Art Teacher, Mr. Désiré.

« I have so many ideas and so many techniques to show to the students. I want
to teach them more than just simple drawing. I’m so amazed to see the progress
the students are making ! » remarked Mr. Désiré.

« I never held a paintbrush before and I never knew how to draw. I feel relaxed
when I come to this class and I like to see the artwork of my friends too. » Farida mentioned to us.

« I like this class because I am calm and concentrated and I discovered that I
can do things I didn’t know how to do before. I like to share my drawings with my
friends . It makes me feel good. » commented Aminatou.

We pointed out to Mr. Désiré that the art projects needed more space and less students per class, and he accepted with glee to double the number of classes, allowing more students to participate in smaller groups. This gave the students more ease to carry out their projects and now there are never more than 20 students per class. The classes are given at three levels : 6ème, 5ème and 4ème. (6th, 7th and 8th grades).

We are moving ! We are active! The supplementary art classes filled up very rapidly and new art projects took off very fast as their novelty had a large appeal. One week after our visit, there were 3 new additional art classes set up, with inspired students coming to attend those classes despite the 45 degree heat in May!

What are these new art projects that have attracted so many of our girls?

Mr. Désiré did not disappoint us with his innovative ideas. During the next 3 months, one group of students decorated their own t-shirts, learning the technique of batik. Each student came with their own white t-shirt, which became a beautiful colorful t-shirt with great designs. The students were delighted to learn the technique of batik which requires a lot of patience.They were also proud to wear the t-shirts on the last day of class.

Another great project was oil painting on canvas. The students had done drawings before, but never had actually painted on a canvas, which required new techniques, dexterity and concentration.

« I like to paint because it is relaxing and I am in a world of silence, concentrating on my artwork. I don’t think about how hot it is and I have a feeling of accomplishment when I leave. And Mr. Desire is always giving us good advice to improve » observed Fadimata.

With the end of the academic year approaching, we are happy to see that students have their own hand-made t-shirts and are ending the year with new skills. The students proudly displayed their t-shirts and canvasses to the delight
of the school community on the last day of May, just before the final exams took place.

There is still a lot to be done and yet this project has proved its worth already in a short amount of time by providing the girls with confidence, with new skills and with ideas for future jobs.

We are presently raising funds to be able to continue the doubled number of art classes next year to give opportunities to a larger number of deserving students.

Thank you so much for your continued support which means so much to us all, in France and in Niamey. We wouldn’t be able to provide this opportunity to our girl students today without you . We are very grateful.

 
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