For over 12 years our non-profit, Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ, has been offering educational scholarships to worthy under-privileged youngsters in Niamey whose families could not afford to keep them in school. Our goal is to give them equal opportunities The road has not been easy, since these students who start Hampaté Bâ Middle School at 6th grade level have come from primary schools with overcrowded classrooms and virtually no skills, like reading, writing, speaking and maths. Therefore, they have a lot of catching up to do !
Tutoring Classes : good as gold !
To curb these difficulties that the students are up against, we have implemented tutoring classes after school with a small number of scholarship students in our efforts to bring them up to level in these basic skills. It’s an enormous task and we accompany the tutoring sessions with a good nourishing meal, to encourage the students even more. The tutoring sessions are geared to give individual attention to each student according to his particular needs. These classes are efficient and motivating, so much so that in a grand majority of cases, the students make great strides and end up being able to read and write proficiently after some time.
Remember: the scholarship students come from very poor backgrounds, most of them with illiterate parents, and no electricity at home to do homework at night. So the tutoring sessions in a comfortable environment after school with reassuring and experienced tutors are like gold for them.
Sometimes we even have extraordinary cases where the student’s interest is sparked to the hilt and they want to be more than just “average”. They are actually so inspired that they want to go over and above and surpass all our expectations. We see prior struggling students turn into prime students.
This is the case of Abdoul, for example, who was one of the candidates for graduation from Hampaté Bâ High School this year in July. He comes from one of the lowest-income families, living in extremely poor conditions, and raised by a kind, but illiterate grandfather. His family has no means whatsoever to support him.
Practice Makes Perfect To our great surprise, ever since he entered Hampaté Bâ Middle School, Abdoul improved his level, year after year. He never had to redo a single class. In High School, he was always the top student in the very challenging Bac Scientific track, excelling in all subjects with an average of 18/20. Contrary to some of his fellow students, his attendance was more than regular in every class as well as in the tutoring sessions.
He never missed a class. He made it a point to always be present and learn as much as he could. As for Computer Studies, his great passion, he would not only come to the regular classes, but would spend extra hours after school to practice his skills. He became so talented and so far advanced that he taught other students and also did programming on his own time, having already brilliantly mastered all the basic software programs.
Needless to say, Abdoul proudly received his Scientific Baccalaureate Diploma in July 2022 with high grades and honours.
The cherry on the cake : he received a State Scholarship.
So what next ?
Same Passion/ New Direction
Abdoul’s ambition was to become an airplane pilot, as he had picked the path of something he loved, but unfortunately there is no civil aviation school in Niger, since Niger has no airplane company.
Through orientation sessions, we were able to convince Abdoul that he had the perfect profile to become an engineer, with his high grades at the Bac Exam being the very subjects needed for a career as an engineer : He was strong in physics, chemistry, maths, computer studies, French and English. What could be better?
More Surprises and Congratulations ! Once again Abdoul surprised us by fearlessly filling out applications and taking difficult entrance exams to enter two of the most prestigious Engineering schools in Niger. Apparently he courageously overcame the challenges with flying colours because he was accepted into BOTH of these well-reputed schools and was confronted with a difficult decision. He finally chose “Ecole des Mines” because it offers more job opportunities and is a boarding school fully funded by the State.
Well done, Abdoul !
We are obviously very pleased to have witnessed the tremendous success of one of our courageous and determined scholarship students. We are especially happy that Abdoul was able to realise his full potential. His success story is improbable when we take into account his poor background and consider that he barely knew how to read and write upon entering 6th grade at Hampaté Bâ Secondary School.
It is thanks to your wonderful donations that we have been able to support school fees and tutoring sessions for underserved students continuously for more than 12 years. We can never thank you enough for your generosity which has allowed us to give students the chance to learn to read, write and count. We need your continued donations to help many more underprivileged students get equal opportunities for a better future. THANK YOU !
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