Students show Songhai and Djerma traditional dress
Reading and Writing Skills count, but not only . . . !
The Hampaté Bà School in Niamey has worked over the years on meeting the challenge to improve the quality of education to underprivileged students entering Middle School and thus to reduce the dropout rate. Happily, the tutoring program of our non-profit has been largely successful in helping to achieve these aims.
Although learning such basic skills as reading, writing, and arithmetics through remediation classes is certainly important, the school’s vision is also based on the guiding principles of human dignity and respect for others. Spreading a culture of tolerance and inclusivity is also important and very much in line with the philosophy of the school’s namesake, Amadou Hampaté Bâ, the well-known writer, historian, ethnographer, poet and story teller.
Unity in Diversity
A vivid image In Amadou Hampaté Bâ’s own words
“Much as a carpet’s beauty depends on the variety of its colours, the diversity of humans, cultures and civilisations makes the world beautiful and rich.”
The Hampaté Bâ School teaches students cardinal virtues such as open-mindedness, patience, tolerance and humility. Instead of our differences separating us from others, they will become sources of complementarity and mutual enrichment.
Celebrating Cultural Diversity Day
In December 2023, some faculty members as well as some alumni of Hampaté Bâ School, including scholarship students now in higher studies, organised a “Cultural Day” to celebrate diversity and to help promote exchange, understanding and respect for traditions and beliefs of different ethnic groups in Niger. This type of celebration can help students learn about the experiences, histories, and contributions of different groups and increase awareness of their diversity, symbol of tolerance and unity.
A Striking Mix of Ethnic Groups and Awards
The event showcased a variety of ethnic groups including Hausa , Djerma, Tuareg, Kanuri, and Peul. Cultural performances by the students infused with folk music, traditional dress and theatre sketches, captivated the audience with unique performances that combined elements with different customs.. During the festival, the organisers gave out gifts to each student who participated ( a novel by Amadou Hampaté Bâ as well as notebooks and pens) in hopes of motivating them to study and encouraging them to follow in the steps of the successful alumni who were present.
A Myriad of colorful activities and Representations
- Many students, including our scholarship girls, represented customs of their ethnic group by wearing traditional dress and adding lines on their faces, making it easy to identify from which ethnic group they originated.
- Other scholarship girls presented a traditional danse from the Djerma ethnic group, which was accompanied by lively music
- Yet another scholarship student was part of a theatre play raising awareness of the disadvantages of early marriage , with the strong message of advice for young girls to stay in school and study before thinking of getting married.
What are the Advantages of Cultural Celebrations?
Deeper Awareness of Unity in Diversity
Cultural celebrations are not only joyful, but foster respect and open-mindedness for other cultures. Celebrating our differences, as well as our common interests, helps unite and educate us. To understand other's perspectives, to broaden our own, and to fully experience and educate ourselves.
Hampaté Bâ School is proud to be home to many different ethnic groups who study harmoniously in a rich and culturally diverse environment. This initiative aims to promote a dialogue between cultures and engage the Hampaté Bâ community in learning more about other traditions and values to expand their knowledge of the world.
Add something extraordinary to what is ordinary
We can never get tired of the lessons learned from the great humanist, Amadou Hampaté Bâ : the happiness to discover new things and to add something extraordinary to what is ordinary.
We want to help our students make a difference in the world. We want to teach students to think critically, be creative and become innovators, and to work collaboratively. What enterprises require from students isn’t just raw knowledge, but skills and competencies.
The challenge comes in determining what a high-quality education looks like beyond the fundamental skills of reading and writing.
What will students need to succeed as learners, workers, and citizens in today’s global knowledge economy ? Now that we are so much closer to the goal of universal education for all children, we must begin to consider the quality of education over its simple existence.
An exciting time for young people because of the opportunities that are opened up in the field of knowledge and communication between people… Be the change ! Thank you for your donations which allow our underprivileged students in Niger to evolve through quality education. With your help, we can do it !
Traditional Hausa face paintings
Gift received for theater participation
Dancing performance Djerma style
Getting ready for the danse
Hausa and Songhai traditional dress