Project #6111

Help 80 Secondary Pupils in Niger Read and Write

by Les amis de Hampate Ba

A big challenge for our non-profit, “Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ” is to help kids whose parents have to make tough choices between sending their kids to school or putting food on the table.

 One of our main goals is to offer an education at the innovative Hampaté Bâ School to some of these underprivileged youngsters. However, it is difficult to increase the literacy rate amongst students who have not learned to read or write adequately in their first years.

 They therefore carry a heavy handicap as they try to progress to higher levels, where literacy and numeracy become tools for learning rather than ends in themselves. Their grasp of basic cognitive skills is also very low. Many of them struggle endlessly and parents who witness such low achievement levels often decide that the added value of schooling is not worth their sacrifices and pull their children out of school.

 Our charity’s objective is to put a stop to this vicious cycle. We want Ali, Zara, and Alassane to stay in school and learn, not to struggle, suffer and be pulled out. We thought perhaps, in addition to our tutoring program, that ART could come to the rescue of our struggling students and much to our surprise, it has !

 With our help, the Art Teacher at Hampaté Bâ, Mr. Ati Komi has developed strategies that harness the power of observation, analysis, and communication through his art lessons. Students observe the visual content of a picture, and then add new ideas and information from their personal experiences to create newly invented narratives. Using this three-step process of observing, interpreting, and creating, the students are able to generate ideas, organize thoughts, and communicate more effectively.

« I choose an image with many details, with people and/or animals, and colors and I show it to them. "It is nice. I like it" is not the answer I am looking for. I look for answers to such questions as:

  • What shapes do you see? Do they remind you of anything?
  • What colors do you see? How do those colors make you feel?
  • What is the focal point of the image? How did the artist bring your attention to the focal point?
  • If you were living in the picture, what would you see? What would you smell? What would you hear? »

 Alassane, a shy 6th grader. mentions : « Writing used to be very hard for me, but now it is not that hard. All I have to do is to look at the picture our art teacher shows us and describe some things I see. »

 The director of the school, Mr Hassane Baro, has this to say about the art classes at Hampaté Bâ.

 «These art lessons, which I was initially very skeptical about, have placed several of our struggling students where they've never been before: in a position of power! »

 We hire some of the best and most experienced teachers who understand the root causes of the education problems and how to tackle these problems. We need these teachers to engage students through more effective tutoring practices and improve learning conditions for these underserved students. We need your donations to support these teachers and their tutoring and art programs.


You will help introduce underprivileged children to the power of artistic expression.

You will help them learn and do better in school through experienced tutoring.

You will give them a chance to change their lives.

You will give them the precious gift of education.







































Our School Library Bigger and Better !

At Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ, we work towards helping underprivileged Nigerien children to attend school and we supply Hampaté Bâ School with educational materials to reduce costs.  Our aim is to give young Nigeriens access to a good education allowing them to attain a better quality of life than their parents and grandparents.

We are proud to announce that thanks to your donations for 250 new books and shipment costs and thanks to a gracious gift of beautiful books from the personal collection of one of our teenage supporters in France, we were able to send 7 cartons of fabulous books this summer to the Hampaté Bâ School to enrich their library even more than before!

Our students are lucky! Just think that by comparison, most Nigerien students who attend school have never owned a book of their own. In many classrooms of other schools, 10-20 students share one textbook. And the majority of schools do not have a functional library within their walls. The now very well furnished library at Hampaté Bâ will help create a culture of literacy within the school and will provide the tools of empowerment to students and their teachers.

It's pretty amazing because our students need more influence from literature, said Hampaté Bâ Principal Hassane Baro, who started sorting the books the moment he saw the cartons.

As Mr Baro was going through the books, the school secretary, Haoua, squealed upon spotting books from Mariama Bâ and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because she had seen those two women authors on TV!

Previously, Hampaté Bâ students paid visits to the French Cultural Center library, but the visits were stopped because of the distance and the difficulty of organization, Now Hampaté Bâ students have a well-furnished library inside their own school.

I think that the soul of any school is its library, says Haoua, the secretary with a huge smile on her face.

Mr Baro says he is hoping that the teachers will also learn how to make good use of the library, thus improving the learning process. These donations will encourage teachers to do more interesting things with the students. What a great way to begin our new school year. What a wonderful surprise for our students!

This donation of books will encourage the reading habits of the learners and develop in Hampaté Bâ students the ability to learn from books in their library with and without teachers. It will also breakdown the strict divisions which the school timetable often creates between different subjects and thus enhance social training.

Thank you for helping us move ahead in our challenge to provide a quality education and to give more to those who have less ! Keep the donations coming and we will find ways to keep underprivileged students in school ! Your help is precious and vital to us and to them !

We could not have done this incredible library without your help!

Thank you so much !

Hampaté Bâ School in Niamey (Niger) has found an extraordinary way to make the best of waste : a way to nurture both the students and the environment!

 Opposite the school, there is a food market. Waste from that market gets dumped on a street not far from the school. Seeing the heap of garbage each morning on his way to school, Mr. Cyrille Agbodaze, the French teacher, came up with an idea: organize an end of year exhibition called « From Garbage to Goods ».

 He asked students to take discarded objects, transform them, bring them to school for the end of the year show and talk about them, thus improving their French vocabulary of mundane objects.

 Many of my students are weak in French and have limited opportunities and resources, but they all have unlimited creativity. That heap of waste allowed me to tap into their creativity,” says a very proud Mr Agbodaze.

 The “From Garbage to Goods” exhibition took place beginning June on the school grounds and it was a total success. Students were able to showcase their talents and creations. Aminatou, for example, presented her embroidery. And Ibrahim, Mahamadou, and Taleb-Sidi their wheelbarrow, car and humidifier.

 The four main goals of the exhibition were the following:

  • Sensitize students to environmental issues
  • Promote activities other than academic
  • Instill an entrepreneurial mindset in students
  • Improve their oral skills in French

The school authorities believe that those objectives were achieved. This is what the happy and proud participants had to say.

 Maybe in a near future, I’ll be able to generate an income and support my family by building and selling humidifiers. (Taleb-Sidi, 9th grade)

I really enjoyed taking part in this exhibition. When my mother and my sisters clean the house, they come across old things that are no longer of any use. Instead of plunking them out, they give them to me and I try to re-utilize them in a new way. (Mohamed, 7th grade)

I love the idea of converting waste and chuckable items into useful products. I very much enjoy working with metal.You can shape it and, with little effort, a simple piece of metal can become something else. Look at my wheelbarrow! (Ibrahim, 7th grade)

Sewing is one of my favourite pastimes. Perhaps with some help I could turn my pastime into a business, a huge big business! (Aminatou, 7th grade)

I got the idea of making a car by watching cars go by. This is the first time I have fabricated a car. My French teacher, Monsieur Cyrille, organized this exhibition and I hope that next time he’ll organize a competition because I’d like to win a prize! (Mahamadou, 6th grade)

“From Garbage to Goods” has even given ideas to the school manager. “Next academic year, the students could build a playground with discarded materials such as pallets, tires, garbage bags and plastic drums. That would be such a great project for our students especially those who do not excel academically.”

We have always appreciated your kind donations in the past. You have helped us to keep our students in school and give them the gift of education. Your continued support will help us to continue innovating and setting up new ways to motivate and boost our students.

Be part of the change! Make a difference in a child’s life and help out the environment too. Give young students a chance for a better future!

All donations are welcome! Thank you so much!

Ibrahim with his wheelbarrow
Ibrahim with his wheelbarrow
Mahamadou with his car
Mahamadou with his car
Aminatou with her embroidery
Aminatou with her embroidery
Taleb-Sidi with his humidifier
Taleb-Sidi with his humidifier
Monsieur Cyrille with his creative students
Monsieur Cyrille with his creative students

Parent engagement in school is nurtured when parents come to understand that their involvement in their child’s studies is a key part of what it means to be a responsible parent, when they are confident enough to make meaningful contributions to the school’s efforts and when they realize that the school administration and teachers, as well as their own children, value their participation in the school.

Our organisation, “Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ”, has been encouraging our teachers and administration in Niamey to work more closely with parents in order to identify goals, problems, and potential solutions to create more successful partnerships to assist more students. 

During the first Parents/Teacher Meeting this week, the principal emphasized the importance of good health from a balanced diet and a hygienic environment that enables the students to work better. “Poor health and unhygienic environments are important underlying causes for absenteeism and poor academic performance,” he explained to the mothers and fathers present at the meeting.

The teachers also asked parents to show more commitment towards supporting their children’s learning and treating learning as a priority.  Almost all of the parents present at the meeting admitted NOT giving their children the time for study, homework, and other learning tasks at home. They also said they did NOT control time allowed to watch television, drink tea, chat with friends, and play cards at the expense of doing school work. Mothers recognised the fact that their daughters spent a lot of time helping them with housework. School work came second, and NOT first.

Once again, the principal intervened asking the parents to provide their children with a suitable place to study at home and to monitor their study time. « These practices make your child understand that his/her academic success is a priority for you and that you put effort in monitoring progress towards this goal ».

Parents were also asked to take the lead in fighting violence against children. As corporal punishment is deeply rooted in cultural and social practices in Niger, it is important for the school authorities to explain to parents why the Hampate Ba School has opted for NOT practicing corporal punishment at school. « We want your children to enjoy a peaceful, safe and protected environment from which fear is banished. We cannot achieve this goal if we physically hurt and psychologically humiliate your children.»

The meeting ended with parents thanking the school staff and our humanitarian association , for doing so much for their children.

« We are very grateful to the school and Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ for taking such good care of our children. We have heard what the teachers and the principal have said and will try to give more of our time and attention to the school work of our children to help them be more successful in their studies and have a better chance in life », said a very happy father. 

Your donations help us promote a quality education for underprivileged students. Thank you!


Hampaté Bâ School was recently commended by the UNESCO Representative and by the local education representatives for delivering a program on equity, bullying and prejudice as part and parcel of its curriculum. At a meeting convened by the regional education directorate of Niamey on the 9th of December, the regional director praised Hampaté Bâ’s unique program and asked other schools to follow suit.

 Mr Baro, the school principal, further explained this worthwhile program:

 “We have students from different ethnic groups speaking different languages, we have boys, we have girls, we have albino students, we have students who can’t take part in sports, we have poor students. We need to address these differences because the one thing we don’t want in our school is the ”us and them” mentality. At Hampaté Bâ, it’s all ‘us! ‘”

By the time they enter middle school, many students hold negative stereotypes of people different from them. Teachers at Hampaté Bâ school help reduce prejudice by talking about it directly. They try to serve as role models and give students the tools and strategies needed to form healthy attitudes and foster cooperation and understanding.

My friends and I used to tease a classmate by calling him “little mouse” because he was so tiny. Before I didn’t realize what was wrong with making fun of him, but now I can understand why it is not a nice thing to do.”

To reduce such prejudice, teachers at Hampaté Ba School receive an on- going and bespoke teacher training program. Our charity believes in this vital and very worthy program and we need your help so we can continue to support it.

In a world torn by violence and wars, schools such as Hampaté Bâ can become models of hope for the future.

Your donations will help us make a difference in the world.

Thank you so much for your generosity!


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Organization Information

Les amis de Hampate Ba

Location: Paris - France
Website: http:/​/​​home_en.htmlg
Project Leader:
Thierry B
Paris, France

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