Education  Benin Project #36763

Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education

by Fondation Graines de Paix
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Empower 100,000 children in Benin with Education
Workshop on non-violent education for parents
Workshop on non-violent education for parents

Dear friends,

In northern Benin, the school dropout rate is one of the highest in the country (18%), mainly due to violence and discrimination. Outdated and sometimes violent disciplinary approaches to teaching continue to be perpetuated through generations as teachers have never been trained in alternative methods. Violence in schools is often perpetuated outside of schools and throughout life.  It is imperative that we provide teachers and students with the skills to live, work and contribute to society in a positive and peaceful manner.

Samuel*, a teacher at Gogounou, recently told us that he was well known at school for being violent.

“Since the beginning of my career, I was infamous for beating up students. Those around me thought of me as the strictest teacher. This has earned me the nickname "Mr. hothead". I was proud of it without knowing it was affecting my students. During the Graines de Paix training, I regretted all the acts of violence that I committed against my students out of ignorance. I bitterly regret all the harm I have done to these innocent souls, and I am happy that I have managed to get myself to gradually abandon this bad practice. "

Over the last 3 years we have been providing training in peace culture education, giving educational advisers, teachers and parents the skills to teach using positive approaches and avoiding violence and disciplinary actions.  And we are seeing results like the transformation of "Mr Hothead". 

Despite the challenges associated with Covid, since the start of this year we have succeeded in training more than 900 preschool teachers, 1,200 elementary school teachers, more than 1,200 parents and reached more than 60,000 children. Over the next few months, we will focus on completing our planned teacher training, follow-up and evaluation activities for teachers and parents in Northern Benin.

Thank you for your interest and support! We could not accomplish this educational transformation without our community of generous, committed supporters. We invite you to continue to follow the progress of this program on our Benin Facebook page and to visit our website.

 

* Name changed to protect the individual's privacy.

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Version en français ci-dessous

Dear friends,

We are pleased to provide the latest update on our education programme in Benin - a major Ministry-backed program that is transforming how  teachers reach out to their students and help them grow and develop. 

Following the teacher counsellor trainings, we are now focusing on training the primary and preschool teachers of the target region to transform their educational approach. To date, nearly a third of the beneficiaries have already been trained in the 3 departments. We are very proud of the results: participants have become acutely aware of the violence of some of their practices in the classroom, but also at home and in society. Which was precisely our hope. The effect was such that they did not hesitate to share their feelings with us.

“I have been transformed by the training offered by Graines de Paix" said one School head from South Benin. "Previously, I was rather aggressive and demanding, both at school and at home. At school, I was impatient with the children and with the teachers. Now, I know that I must take the time to understand what my students are feeling before acting prematurely. Such an approach is the only way to ensure that we win the trust of both students and their parents. Without such trust, children abandon school and end up excluded from professional training later in life.” 

At the start of this year, once the first cohort was trained, the counsellors began in-class monitoring using our tailored teaching guides. The results have been impelling: going from school to school, the counsellors have been able to genuinely support the teachers in implementing experiential school activities - despite the stark difference with rote teaching. Changes in teachers’ skills and approaches have been quick and substantial: “What struck us in the classrooms" said one trainer "was the high degree of attention that teachers were now giving to their young students. Teachers also told us that the activities were having a positive effect on their lives in general. They have asked that Graines de Paix’s training sessions be provided more regularly to ensure a full transformation of their behaviour.”  And another trainer stood up and stated " I can say that this has had a strong and positive impact on the children of these classes."

The next phase of teacher training should commence end February. In preparation, we held last week a workshop for exchanging good practices between the trainers of the different regions. It will serve to identify the best-adapted practices, to gain from the combined experiences of the first cohort of counsellors and to supplement the training syllabus, if need be, to maximise its impact for Benin.

We thank you for your interest and your support! We could not do such a transformational project without the Graines de Paix community. Please stay informed about Graines de Paix's activities in Benin on our Benin Facebook page and about all we do in West Africa, in Switzerland and elsewhere on our website.

 

VERSION EN FRANCAIS

Chers amis,

Nous sommes très heureux de vous fournir les nouvelles les plus récentes sur notre programme de transformation de l'éducation au Benin - un programme en soutien au Ministère qui est en train de modifier de fond en comble comment les enseignants agissent avec leurs jeunes élèves et dans quel but: les faire grandir et s'épanouir.

A la suite des formations des conseillers pédagogiques, nous nous focalisons maintenant sur la formation des enseignants du primaire et du pré-primaire dans la région cible: il s'agit de rien moins que de transformer leur approche éducative. A ce jour, quasi un tiers des beneficiaires ont déjà été formés dans trois départements. Nous sommes particulièrement fiers des  résultats: les participants sont devenus pleinement conscients du degré de violence dans certaines de leurs interactions en classe, mais aussi à la maison et dans la société. Ce qui était justement notre espoir. L'effet a été tel qu'ils n'ont pas hésité à partager leurs sentiments avec nous.

“J'ai été transformé par la formation menée par Graines de Paix" nous a confié un directeur d'école du sud Benin. "Avant, j’étais plus agressif et exigeant, que ce soit à l’école ou dans mon foyer. À l’école, j’étais impatient avec les enfants et les enseignants. Désormais, j’ai compris qu’il faut bien prendre le temps de comprendre ce que mes élèves ressentent avant d’agir hâtivement. C’est aussi la seule manière de garantir leur confiance envers nous, et réciproquement celle de leurs parents. Sans cette confiance, ils ne sauraient rester sur les bancs scolaires et espérer avoir une formation professionnalisante ». 

Au début de cette année, une fois la première cohorte formée, les conseillers ont commencé le suivi en classe en se basant sur nos guides de formation, conçus pour la situation.  Les résultats ont été à la hauteur de l'enjeu: allant d'école en école, les conseillers ont pu amener les enseignants à adopter les postures visés pour mettre en oeuvre des activités scolaires experientielles - ce malgé le fort contraste avec l'enseignement magistral habituel. Les changements dans les comportements et approches ont été rapides et substantiels: « Ce qui nous a marqués dans les classes », nous a dit l'un des formateurs sur le terrain « c’est le degré d'attention dont font soudain preuve les enseignants envers les élèves. Ils nous ont aussi rapporté que les activités ont un effet positif dans leur vie. Ils souhaitent donc que les formations Graines de Paix leurs soient fournies plus régulièrement afin qu’ils accomplissent un changement total de comportement ». Et un autre formateur s'est levé pour dire « Je dis que ç'a eu beaucoup d'impacts positifs au niveau des enfants dans les classes ». 

La prochaine phase de formation des enseignants devrait commencer fin février. Pour la préparer, nous avons tenu la semaine dernière un atelier d'échanges de bonnes pratiques entre les formateurs des différentes régions. Cela nous permettra d’identifier les pratiques les mieux adaptées, de capitaliser sur les expériences croisées des conseillers et d'apporter d’éventuels compléments pour décupler l’impact des formations sur le bon développement du Bénin. 

Nous vous remercions vivement pour votre intérêt et vos soutiens! Nous ne pourrions pas mener un tel projet transformationnel sans la communauté Graines de Paix. Nous vous invitons à suivre nos activités au Bénin sur la page Facebook "Graines de Paix Benin"  ainsi qu'en Afrique de l'ouest, en Suisse et ailleurs sur notre site web.

Effective education imagery also on young boys
Effective education imagery also on young boys

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Dear followers,

In September, Graines de Paix teams in Benin and Switzerland prepared all the necessary resources to deliver the planned trainings. Due to the Covid-19 crisis and impact we had to adapt our project activities to the new context: we recruited two additional trainers in Benin to replace our Geneva based trainers who could not travel because of the restrictions and we organized an innovative distance training of our local trainers including experiential activities with our Geneva based experts.

In total 60 counselors were trained on two sites, in the south and in the north of the country. According to testimonies, the participants appreciated the experience of the training, they learned much about the impact of violence in education and feel transformed.

“The atmosphere was cheerful… it was new for them to discover their sensitive identity. They admitted that they do not know the vocabulary of congratulations at all in the teaching profession. They were eager to absorb it. They recognized the added value of Graines de Paix experiential activities and the quality of the resources” Deborah Hounkpe Graines de Paix trainer in Benin

Soon after these first trainings the Counselors went in several schools of the countries with their Graines de Paix trainer guides and activity kits to deliver the training to the teachers. We are proud to announce that, thank to this “cascade system”, already 576 teachers have been trained.

The next steps are the in-classroom follow up of the teachers by their counselors and the training of more teachers in the country. In our next report we will tell you more about how the activities of the project are experienced by the teachers and their pupils. You will also learn more about our actions to reach families and communities, who play an important role in education and are associated to the changes that we are bringing in the schools.

We thank you for your interest and your support! We could not do it without the Graines de Paix community. Please stay informed about Graines de Paix's activities on our Facebook page and visit our Webpage.

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Dear followers,

During the first months of the year, the Graines de Paix’s team worked on the design of new pedagogical activities. All documents were finalized in time for the training in the south of the country: the Trainer Guide to be used by the educational advisors to train the teachers; the Educational Kit to be used by the trained teachers with the beneficiary children; the Trainer Guide for social workers; a Picture Set for awareness-raising with the beneficiary communities. The field training was about to start on March 17th. Unfortunately, our trainers could not reach Benin because of the Covid-19 crisis. The activity had to be rescheduled.

As we could only do office works during this period, our team focused on the preparation of the other training planned in the north of the country. The training aims to prevent violence in education at primary level. The objective of this component of the project is to foster a more inclusive school system with less dropout. It addresses the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism.

We hope that it will be possible to deliver both trainings to advisors and social workers, in the south and the north, in September 2020. These beneficiaries will then be able to train teachers and their communities according to the project objectives and within the planned timeframe. However, there are still many uncertainties about the international context.

We thank you for your interest and your support! We could not do it without the Graines de Paix community. Please stay informed about Graines de Paix's activities on our Facebook page and visit our Webpage.

Links:

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Dear followers,

Thanks to the workshops held in 2019 we could gather enough information about the context as to develop an adapted training program. This program was approved by the partners authorities from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs

During the last three months the Graines de Paix’s team worked hard on the conception of the new pedagogical activities. Our experts in Geneva collaborated closely with their colleagues in Benin to design the experiential activities to be conducted during the training and then in the classrooms. The activities are constructed  to develop the expected peace skills for the teachers, their students and the community at large. Our graphic designer and illustrator are busy, preparing the educational tool, considering the continuous feedback from the field.

Four documents are in the process of being finalized: the Trainer Guide that will be used by the educational advisors to train  the teachers  ; the Educational Kit to be used by the trained teachers with the beneficiary children ; the Trainer Guide for social workers ; a Picture Set for awareness raising with the beneficiary communities. These resources will soon be ready and available for the field training that are planned to start on March 17th.

In collaboration with the partner ministries, the Graines de Paix team in Benin has already started the recruitment of 20 pedagogical counselors and 20 social workers who will be involved in the first batch of training.

We are excited to see that the key period of the first field training is now very close, and we look forward to sharing this experience with you.

Thank you for your interest and support! We could not do it without the Graines de Paix community. Please stay informed about Graines de Paix's activities on our Facebook page and visit our Webpage.

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Organization Information

Fondation Graines de Paix

Location: Geneva - Switzerland
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @grainesdepaix
Project Leader:
Christophe Viltard
Geneva, Switzerland
$10,691 raised of $10,000 goal
 
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