Mar 5, 2018

There is More to Sewing than Meets the Eye!

The Home Economics classes that our Charity Association finances at the Hampaté Bâ School in Niamey introduce underprivileged girl students to the world of sewing. Besides encouraging their creativity, sewing strengthens their focus, fine motor skills, and hand-eye co-ordination. It is also exciting and empowering for the girls to create an item from scratch all by themselves!

By nature, sewing is the perfect tool to fight poverty: it can be done at home and it requires little investment. As a business, it serves the family as well as the local community. Therefore, the sewing classes we support at Hampaté Bâ School also focus on entrepreneurial issues, conveying basic concepts of pricing and business development. The goal being for the girls to acquire enough confidence, knowledge and autonomy to be able to start their own textile-based business if they wish to do so.

But there is more to these classes than meets the eye: the girls also learn to follow directions and practice math skills. The embroidery classes are especially very demanding. Students are required to follow detailed instructions to learn the different embroidery stitches and the precise techniques needed for each one to obtain different effects. Regularity is essential as well as skills in positioning the needle and the thread and also the way to hold the fabric tight or loose in relation to the needlework, We are talking about artistry and precision at a high level!

Following directions is critical to any employment environment, essential in education, and basic in life. The measuring skills that come into play in planning fabric needs, placing a pattern on fabric, understanding body space, etc. help girls acquire practical math skills.

The sewing classes we sponsor at Hampaté Bâ School have recently had another unexpected spin-off: the girls’ enthusiasm for sewing rubbed off on the boys and, very quickly, the sewing sessions became co-ed!! Boys were learning to embroider and even though, at the beginning they had a harder time to learn (their small hand coordination not developing as soon as in girls), they soon got the hang of it and rose to the occasion! So, as Mariama put it : “Can boys sew? They sure can !”

Soon the entire school will benefit from this newly gained skill. The upcoming project is to stitch new covers for the school’s 20 laptops in the computer room!

We are very proud of this wonderfully rewarding project which has given opportunities to the girls and has given them the opportunity to be leaders and coach the boys ! We thank you so much for your donations which allow us to give our underprivileged students ideas for their future and an opening towards jobs to support themselves and their families. We need you to keep these projects going!

With your help, we can continue setting up worthwhile projects like this one. Please continue your donations and give now! All donations help us and the students immensely. A little goes a long way. We are so grateful for your generosity and kind gestures to give these students a better life.


Mar 5, 2018


We are pleased to announce some exciting BREAKING NEWS !


 The Bakaye University Group in Niamey, Niger has recently organized a championship of mathematical and literary skills. Students from designated schools were chosen to represent one of two categories : Middle School or High School. Teams were selected by the qualifying schools for the Championship of numbers and letters which took place on February 24th . Individuals were selected by each school for the Championship of Mathematics and Logic which took place on March 3rd.


Hampate Ba School was admitted as one of 15 schools in Niamey to participate in this championship !


Hampate Ba School chose 3 students for its team, and 2 out of the 3 students, were our scholarship students !!


For the Team championship, Hampate Ba came in 5th out of 15 schools in the Semi-Finals, and even better, our team came in SECOND OUT OF FIVE for the Finals !!! UNBELIEVABLE!

 The results for the Individual Championship of Mathematics and Logic are not known at this date, but we will soon let you know the results of our 2 girl students!


At the Hampate Ba School, there are all kinds of social background. But the girls that we give scholarships to, are from very poor backgrounds, which is the case of our two scholarship girls participating in the Championship. Both Nafissa and Attica live in straw huts, with NO electricity, and outside cooking, one hour of walking by foot to get to school, and no one at home to help them with their schoolwork, as their parents are illiterate. Also, an essential item for students, notebooks and books, are not possible for them, since they do not have the means.

 WHAT DOES “Les Amis de Hampate Ba” DO TO HELP THEM?

We specifically help our scholarship students to meet the challenge by buying them notebooks, and school books. We also set up tutoring in small groups after school, so they can be guided by teachers who help them several hours a week with their homework.


It does work ! Nafissa and Attica were able to meet the challenge thanks to the books and tutoring we offer them. They were chosen by the School and were courageous enough to participate in the Championship and ended up being #2 out of 15 schools.


Our help to our underprivileged students is so important.

Without our aid, they would not be in school.

Without your donations, they would have no books and no tutors to push them forward.

 WE NEED YOU ! Please continue your donations so we can continue buying books and providing tutoring. This is essential for these deserving students who are working hard to have a better future.

 Our students our meeting the challenge.

We must also meet the challenge and KEEP DONATING!

 THANK YOU for letting them meet their potential.

THANK YOU for giving them the gift of an education and a brighter future.





Dec 6, 2017


Many of the 6th graders who come to Hampaté Bâ from public primary schools are reading on the 1st grade level and struggling with even the most basic math concepts. Students who are struggling to keep up in school can easily become discouraged. By the time they reach 9th grade, they are at risk of dropping out.

The Read and Write program jump-starts underperforming students into learning necessary concepts and vocabulary before their classmates even begin the new lesson. Rather than being stuck in the remedial slow lane, students move ahead of everyone into the fast lane of learning. Read and Write provides a fresh academic start for students every week and creates opportunities for struggling students to learn alongside their more successful peers.

I did not know that sentences begin with a capital letter and that one must add an ‘S’ to make things plural. Now, I do!”says Boubakar, an outgoing 6th grader.

“When you see some of our teachers at the front of the classroom doing an entire circus act as they explain how to add an ’s’ to make things plural to a group of adult-sized students, please don’t judge. We are doing our best to bring students who are woefully behind up to grade level”, explains Mr Barro, the principal. 

Read and Write classes increase student confidence and participation. This is because prior knowledge and new vocabulary are placed directly in students' paths just in time for new learning in their main classrooms. Students' newfound knowledge increases the odds that they will know the correct responses to questions. They now feel safe to raise their hands and their fear of embarrassment diminishes.

“I can now answer certain questions and I’m less scared of making mistakes”, says 12 year old Moussa.

“This is not traditional tutoring. Our mission is to get struggling students ahead of the game. We accelerate them in their trouble courses of Math and French by teaching them concepts and vocabulary directly linked to the lesson to come. This enables them to understand new content much better,” adds Mr Barro.

Help us move struggling students in the right path.

All donations, big and small, are welcome ! We thank you so much for your constant support which is greatly needed and appreciated !

Together, we can help these students out by bringing them up to level and ultimately providing them a better future.

Thank you so much for provoking those smiles!

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