Fati is 12 years old and lives in a popular neighborhood in the capital city Niamey. Her family is poor. She has 2 brothers and 5 sisters. Her mother is a housewife and her father is retired. Fati obtained her primary school certificate in July 2011 and, like many of her friends, was assigned to a secondary public school which did not have enough classrooms to take them in. And so Fati was stuck at home. Her parents could not afford a private education. Imagine therefore this family’s joy when we announced to them that their daughter qualifies for a scholarship to study at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School. Fati is presently one of the highest achievers in the 6th grade!
"She is one of our best students because she has a will to learn. She is also among the most attentive and participatory pupils,” says the principal of the school.
Fati was lucky: in most cases girls who cannot continue with their secondary education because of financial reasons, stay at home to help their mothers with the household and petty trading, or else they get married at a very young age.
In a country where many parents are illiterate and little value is attributed to girls’ schooling, lack of parental support contributes greatly to children’s under-performance at school.
"My parents were proud of me when I received my certificate of primary education. And now that I have received this scholarship, they are even prouder. Their support motivates me to work hard because I want to become a doctor”, says Fati.
Aziz is also 12. He has 2 brothers and one sister. His mother is a housewife and his father is unemployed. Finding enough money to feed the family is a daily struggle. Aziz is very happy to have been awarded a scholarship for the Hampaté Bâ Middle School. “At my previous school, the teachers kept threatening us and even though I was a good student, I felt scared. Here teachers never threaten us and they even smile! I like that!” says Aziz with a huge big grin on his face. Aziz does not know what he wants to do later in life. “For the time being, I want to study, that is all”.
“He’s a tough little guy”, says his physical education teacher, “His stamina, even compared to the older students, is quite amazing!”
Thanks to your generous donations, Fati and Aziz have started secondary school since October this year and now have the benefit of a quality education in a friendly environment which is apparent to the whole community, teachers, students, and parents. We want to keep them in secondary school for more years to come. We can do it with your continued support. Thanks for helping Aziz and Fati and our other 18 scholarship holders to make it all the way to high school and even further! Your donations count! Thank you so much.