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

Dear supporters,

We would like to thank you for your extremely precious support of our work to provide children in Benin with a fulfilling, peaceful future through our full quality education programs.

With your support, we have been able to work with the Ministry of Education in Benin to train nearly 3000 pre-school teachers in the southern regions of Benin and over 2000 primary school teachers in the north of Benin in pedagogical approaches that reduce violence in schools, introduce culture of peace concepts and practices and ensure the fulfilment and achievement of both teachers and students.  This training affects the lives of thousands of children.  Class sizes in the country can be as high as 100 students per class.  Once trained, the teachers are using the guides and tools to integrate the concepts and activities into their teaching approach and plans.

The north of Benin is particularly fragile. It is bordered by highly unstable and violent countries.  Our program has helped to ensure that children in this region develop the skills to avoid violence now and throughout their lives.  The training of teachers has reduced the use of violence as a disciplinary measure which is helping to keep children in school for longer and enabling them to learn better.  

Throughout this program we have worked hand in hand with the education ministry.  Our pedagogical experts have trained pedagocial counsellors in our methodology so that they can carry on this work indefinitely.  With their new expertise these staff are already conducting training for teachers, providing ongoing support and carrying out evaluation activities.  

Following on from this program, we have developed Better School for Girls which addresses many of the gender based violence issues affecting girls participation and success in education and professional life.   We hope you will continue your support of this extremely important work.

We are extremely grateful for the collaboration of the Ministry of Education in Benin and the support of our major funders, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and SmartPeace Foundation, but also to you, our loyal individual supporters whose contributions make it possible for us to develop, enhance and conduct the training which is so important for ensuring that children attend school, succeed and go on to live positive, peaceful and successful lives.

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Dear Friend,

It is with great joy that we share with you the final stretch of our project. Since 2019, we have been working hard to develop appropriate learning resources, train trainers, manage the roll-out of cascade training, conduct workshops with our partners to improve the quality of our interventions, produce and deliver media awareness messages, etc. 

Our project to introduce culture of peace education in the target departments is coming to an end in December. Despite the health crisis, we have now reached all of the project's beneficiaries as planned: more than 4,500 teachers have been trained and accompanied and more than 2,400 families have attended awareness-raising activities. Have we made the desired changes in education practices? Many testimonies allow us to anticipate this, but we want to measure it.

Measuring such behavioural changes with rigour is a challenge: each of the project’s objectives is associated with a choice of indicators; each indicator is measured by crossing several sources of information. The formulation of the questions themselves must not induce bias, for example desirability bias. We will compare the responses of our beneficiaries with those of people not affected by the project in order to highlight the changes brought about by the project. Our trainers are currently travelling around the country with surveys for teachers, and conducting interviews with groups of parents and children.

We are looking forward to the results of these evaluations, which will allow us to learn more about how to improve our projects as we continue our work in Benin. We will make sure to share them with you.

We thank you for your interest and your support! 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.



Cher·ère ami·e,

C’est avec une grande joie que nous partageons la dernière ligne droite de notre projet. Depuis 2019 nous n’avons pas ménagé nos efforts pour concevoir des ressources pédagogiques adaptées, former des formateurs, gérer le déploiement des formations en cascade, mener des ateliers avec nos partenaires pour améliorer la qualité des prestations, produire et diffuser des messages de sensibilisations par les médias, etc.

L’introduction de l’éducation à la culture de la paix dans les départements ciblés par ce projet arrive à sa fin en décembre. Malgré la crise sanitaire, nous avons maintenant atteint comme prévu l’ensemble des bénéficiaires du projet : plus de 4500 enseignants ont été formés et accompagnés et plus de 2400 familles ont suivi des animations de sensibilisation. Avons-nous bien apporté les changements souhaités dans les pratiques d’éducation ? De nombreux témoignages nous permettent bien de l’anticiper, mais nous allons le mesurer.

Mesurer avec rigueur de tels changements comportementaux relève du défi : chacun des objectifs du projet est associé à un choix d’indicateurs ; chaque indicateur est mesuré en croisant plusieurs sources d’information. La formulation des questions elles-mêmes ne doit pas induire de biais, par exemple des biais de désirabilité. Les réponses des bénéficiaires du projet seront comparées avec celles d’une population qui n’a pas été concernée par le projet pour mettre en évidence les changements apportés par celui-ci. C’est pourquoi les chargés de formation de Graines de Paix sillonnent actuellement le pays avec des questionnaires pour les enseignants et mènent des entretiens avec des groupes de parents et d’enfants.

Nous sommes impatients de connaître les résultats de ces mesures, ils nous permettront d’en apprendre davantage dans la perspective d’améliorer nos projets pour la poursuite de notre travail au Bénin. Nous ne manquerons pas de vous les présenter.

Nous vous remercions vivement pour votre intérêt et vos soutiens !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.


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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.



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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Organization Information

Fondation Graines de Paix

Location: Geneva - Switzerland
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @grainesdepaix
Project Leader:
Christophe Viltard
Geneva , Switzerland

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