Education
 Sudan
Project #10020

Kindergartens for Vulnerable Children in Darfur

by Kids for Kids
Vetted
Time for a moment of childhood fun!
Time for a moment of childhood fun!

Last year was a very hard year in Darfur, but we have not given up and now there is good news.

You might know that Darfur suffered terrible drought--and then flash floods. There was great loss of life as well as crops and goats. There was even the loss of the village latrine at one of our schools. Loosing the school latrine may not sound like much, but along with education, a Kids for Kids kindergarten also brings the start of basic sanitation to a village.

The overall devastation slowed building plans, but now we are back on track--to replace that latrine and so much more. We have ambitious plans for 5---yes 5 new kindergartens.

First things first, we much determine the villages that will be most likely to make a success of running the new schools. We never want to waste one penny of your kindness. When Kids for Kids adopts a village, we help them set up a democratic process for the management of the goat loans, maintenance of the water pumps and more. When the commitment is there from the whole village, we know the school will be successful. Where we have built our current 4 schools, they are oversubscribed by 400% and a huge success.

One of the most important things for any of our projects is to ensure sustainability. If the community takes ownership then we know a project will last. For a Kindergarten we need to be sure there will be teachers. To do this we have to come to agreement with the State Ministry of Education in Darfur that they will provide, and pay, teachers. We will get that agreement before we spend on bricks. First things first!

Two classrooms, an office for the teacher and assistant, a veranda for shade that can serve as an extra classroom, books, chalkboards and educational toys, both for inside and outside. These toys will be the first and only toys the children have ever seen. Oh yes, and with the schools, come latrines and the model for sanitation that will make such a difference for the whole village—another empowerment for a better life.

And there is more really good news, in some of our villages, where the goat loan project has been successful enough that the poorest families now have goats milk to share, and income from the extra, we have had our first scholarships. Consider this, those who used to be the very poorest have in some cases been able to help pay the $150 per year tuition for a neighbour. What an extreme kindness from the families who had nothing. And what a success for the Kids for Kids basic goal of self-sufficiency. In Abu Nahla, were we built our first Kindergarten, the PTA (yes they are forming them in Darfur too!) decided to provide bursaries so even the children of the poorest families could start school.

Our local managers in Darfur are confirming agreement on those teachers and evaluating which villages are ready to successfully manage their own schools. We expect to have news for you this spring on which villages will be granted their first Kindergarten. We are gathering the money for the bricks and books now, so we can start the building asap. Would you consider sending a few bricks so we can get underway the minute we have the teachers assigned? $35 will buy 20 bricks. Would you be able to send the tuition $150 for a year's schooling or, even better, do you know anyone who would adopt a whole Kindergarten – it could be named after your school, your church, your company, or you!

You most likely will never meet the child whose life you change with the gift of reading and writing, but you will be that hero today.

Thank you for your help.

What it looks like when the building starts
What it looks like when the building starts

Links:

Celebration at Kindergarten opening, Abu Digeise
Celebration at Kindergarten opening, Abu Digeise

When we dug our first handpump in 2001 in Um Ga'al, one of the poorest villages in Darfur, it enabled every boy and girl to go to school because they no longer had to spend every hour of every day collecting water.   "I went back six months after my first visit to Darfur to check that the money I had raised had been spent properly - providing the hand pump and goats and donkeys for 36 of the poorest families, and to make sure that the volunteers who had set up the first Kids for Kids committee were running the projects properly" said Patricia Parker who founded the charity when she came across a small boy walking seven hours to fetch water.   There were aid agencies in Darfur but not one was helping.

Sixteen years later, thanks to you, we have installed nearly 70 handpumps and repaired over 500, and transformed the lives of over 340,000 people.  And now our first four Kindergartens are up and running.  "They are so successful that the teachers are overwhelmed with mothers begging them to take their children" said Patricia.   "Our aim is to provide a Kindergarten in every one of our villages.   Please can you help?    It is touching to see the children's faces when they see toys for the first time in their lives.   Can you imagine - a life without toys?   But in Darfur, it is a life without a bed, without electricity, without health care, without shoes, and so often, without food or water."

In 2017 Kids for Kids is planning to build 5 new Kindergartens, 5 Health Centres and 5 Veterinary Centres.    Please can you help.   "Despite the tragic isolation of Darfur, and the continued violence, we are showing that you can help, one village at a time, even one child at a time.   It makes a difference.  It is slow, but to see a child grow up healthy, happy and able to stay in his own home is a small miracle.  Please will you help us give a future to the children in the villages of Darfur.   Let's fulfill their mother's dreams by giving them an education to help them find a way out of poverty."

New School gives chance to children
New School gives chance to children
Chance of a better future at last
Chance of a better future at last
A blackboard and straw shade was the best they got
A blackboard and straw shade was the best they got

98% mothers in Darfur are illiterate, they beg us to help their children

From the start mothers have begged for help in educating their children.  They know it is the way out of poverty, but they also know that if a child starts school late it is hard for them to catch up.  This is why our kindergartens are so important.  When the Director of Education in the State Ministry visited our first kindergarten at Abu Nahla he said it was unique in Darfur.  Not only do we provide classrooms and a veranda for shade and a play area, we provide latrines - the first in the village.  Children who have never seen a toy now have indoor and outdoor toys, suitable for both boys and girls.  Outlying huts can be miles away.  Our school bus – a donkey cart – is the first in Darfur.  We are now planning school libraries.  Children need books – there are none in any village. 

We have been given the go ahead to adopt five new villages (children have starved to death in each of them THIS year) plus five new kindergartens. Funding a Kindergarten and giving children the chance of an education is of immense, probably primary, importance in Darfur. People know that education is their best way out of poverty. It is an enormous privilege to be able to help!

Please help us to equip villages with educational equipment and towards building a kindergarten to help educate children to break out of poverty

$35 will provide 30 bricks to help build the school

$42 will provide books, crayons, uniform and an education toy for one child

$50 will provide 20 story books

$140 will provide notebooks, pencils and coloured pencils for 50 children

$500 will train a kindergarten teacher

$1,600 will provide 2 blackboards for the classroom, educational toys and games for 50 children

$42,000 will build one whole kindergarten with latrines, veranda, two classrooms and equipment

Thank you so much for your support.

A veranda can be another classroom and shade
A veranda can be another classroom and shade
Toys and play are vital for development
Toys and play are vital for development

Kids for Kids Kindergartens – News from Abu Degeise

“Kindergartens are game-changers, giving a whole generation new hope for a brighter future.“ 

Patricia Parker MBE – Founder Kids for Kids

 We were delighted to receive our Kindergarten Report from Abu Degeise last week.  This is submitted in part by the teachers, and in part by the Village Development Committee, who are volunteers considered wise by the community.  Here is an extract from that report so you can see first-hand what feedback we are receiving. (The translation was sent from Darfur): 

"First  special thanks to Patricia Parker MBE, and Joanna Lumley from all Abu Degeise peoples children, mothers, women, men and youth for the great services provided by Kids for Kids since 2007   goats loan, donkeys, blankets and mosquito nets, finally, the kindergarten, which caused a change in the village kids  in the past students are sitting on the ground in buildings of local materials and now children came in early morning happy and delighted, the kindergarten building attracted children and changed the concepts of many parents insisting to register their children and the number of children increase from 90 to 170 students. 

 

We need other Elements even kindergarten lead its purpose:-

1-      We need another teacher because more children need school

2-      And a way to carry water for drinking and irrigation of trees

3-      We need to store

4-      We need to nutrition feed children

5-      We need new uniforms

6-       Bus cart  to transport students

7-      More seats please

 

Suad Suliman Abud Allah Bahar

Kindergarten Headmaster"

 

As you can see, the Kindergarten is growing and making a big difference, and we have more to do to help this Kindergarten to flourish. Can you help us to meet these needs please? 

 

$35 provides 20 bricks to help build a kindergarten or add a classroom

$305 provides a latrine to keep schools clean and healthy

$75 provides 20 trees to provide shade and food at school

$150 pays for one child to be educated for one year

$42,000 provides a whole Kindergarten including boundary wall, latrines and all equipment

$51 provides a First Aid kit for the school

$22 provides shoes for 5 children so they can walk to school

 

Thank you for your support.  

Our Goat Loans help children flourish
Our Goat Loans help children flourish
First Pupils inside a new kindergarten
First Pupils inside a new kindergarten
Abu Degeise Kindergarten
Abu Degeise Kindergarten
Lessons in progress
Lessons in progress

Links:

Children at their Kindergarten in Darfur
Children at their Kindergarten in Darfur

3 new Kindergartens in 2015 and more to come in 2016! 

Happy New Year!  We are proud to tell you that a total of 3 new Kids for Kids Kindergartens opened in North Darfur in 2015.  You have already heard about the Kindergarten in Abu Digeise, which opened in September thanks to our Patron Joanna Lumley.  Now we can share more news about Kindergartens in the villages of  Azargarfa, Abu Nahla and in Um Ga’al, the village where the little 9 year old who whose soul destroying walk for water inspired the foundation of Kids for Kids 15 years ago.   Ibrahim only started school when we installed a handpump close to Um Ga’al.   But starting school so late has meant that it has been a struggle for him to learn – but his determination is a real credit.    We were determined that children should have a better start in life than poor little Ibrahim and the other children in his village.  Three new Kids for Kids Kindergartens opened their doors at the end of the year.  This is a dream come true for mothers in North Darfur.  98% of women are illiterate, so to give hope to their children through education is life-changing, and will change the future for many generations.  Thank you for being part of this miracle. 

Imagine a childhood with no toys, no play, no mental stimulation – unthinkable to us, but a very real prospect for thousands of children in Darfur who walk for water every day instead of going to school.  Kids for Kids adopts villages in Darfur, and works hand in hand with the villagers to implement essential projects to stop starvation, improve children’s health, and free up time for them to go to school.  Villages who run projects well are invited to apply for a Kindergarten (funds permitting) to provide the best possible schooling for their children.  This way we ensure that our projects benefit as many families as possible.   Mothers have to pay for schooling and although it is a small amount, it is huge when you have nothing to sell.   You need your crops to feed your family.     Our goat loans not only give milk for the children so they don’t go to school hungry, but the little flock mothers build up over two years provides a livelihood – and every mother’s first ambition is to pay for her children to go to school.  

Kids for Kids Kindergartens offer a unique service - nothing else like it exists in Darfur.  There is a huge contrast between the learning materials available here at the Kindergarten and the basic blackboard previously used in the old ‘school’ (a straw hut with a blackboard).  Mental stimulation in the early years is vital for developing life-long learning skillsKids for Kids asks help to provide educational toys which transform the cognitive ability of children.  We of course must also provide desks, chairs and reading & writing materials, but the children’s favourites are musical instruments, bricks and counting toys.  Imaginative play is encouraged through such things as toy doctor’s kitsExercise is also important and it is a joy to see these small children, who have never seen a toy before, playing on slides, swings and roundabouts.   Hula hoops are popular but of course footballs are the favourite with the boys! Thanks to this Kindergarten my children and their whole generation here in the village have a chance to have a better life”  says the village leader of Azargarfa.   “You can see on their faces that they have new hope and great ambitions.  They are determined to study hard and get a good job to support their families.The State Director of Education in Darfur was astounded when he visited the first Kids for Kids’ Kindergarten at Abu Digeise.   He said his own children who go to school in El Fasher, the regional capital of North Darfur, do not have as good equipment as we have been able to provide, thanks to our wonderful friends on Global Giving.

Building resilience in a time of conflict:  You may know that the region has long been a conflict zone, which is why so few charities and aid agencies are able to operate in Darfur.  Our projects are run by local steering committees of volunteers from the villages, and teaching staff are supplied by the Government of Darfur.  Building these relationships and negotiating local ownership has proven to be a successful approach for all our Kids for Kids projects, and Kindergartens are no exception.   This is sustainable change, and with your help we can do much more.  There are 78 Kids for Kids villages so far, but only 4 Kindergartens.   We can only promise a Kindergarten to a community once we have all the funds in place as we are determined never to make promises we cannot fulfill.  Please help us to secure the next Kindergarten by donating today, or why not plan some fundraising in 2016 with your colleagues, family and friends?  

$25 provides uniforms for 2 children 

$35 buys 20 bricks to help build a kindergarten

$75 provides 20 tree seedlings for shade outside the school

$150 pays for education for one child for one year

$245 pays for a strong cross-bred donkey (to pull the school bus!)

Thank you for your support, you are transforming lives in Darfur.     

Learning through play
Learning through play

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Organization Information

Kids for Kids

Location: Dorking, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.kidsforkids.org.uk
Project Leader:
Patricia Parker
CEO & Chairman of Trustees
Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom

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