Project #8785

Empower girls in Niger for change via education

by Les amis de Hampate Ba
Meet our future chefs and restaurateurs!
Meet our future chefs and restaurateurs!

Our girl empowerment program has many facets including promoting an entrepreneurial culture. The most important step to fostering such a culture is to teach our girls to question since this is something that does not come naturally to them. In their families and at home, they are not encouraged to question. Instead they are encouraged to comply without questioning anything or anyone. Yet, the essence of entrepreneurship is the habit of asking why and then coming up with a better solution.

Our program’s initiative has nothing to do with changing the national curriculum, but everything to do with strengthening the manner in which the curriculum is taught and bringing the content to practical life. The goal is to make our girls think as opposed to merely memorize and execute. We want them to be able to do something useful with the information and knowledge they receive at school.

We put a few questions to the Home Economics teacher about promoting an entrepreneurial mindset and this is what she had to say.

So work, resilience, and creativity are important? Yes, you have to keep on working regardless of mentalities and taboos. We need more female success stories!

More women helping one another? Yes, because when some girls succeed, they don’t necessarily want to help other girls! We need to break this jealousy barrier if we want to really move forward.

Do the girls want to become entrepreneurs?Absolutely! They really want the change to happen in their lives.

What about gender inequalities? Education of women is the key and also how we women educate our sons. We have to bring up our sons differently, to teach them equality at home in a concrete way. As women, it is our responsibility to change our sons’ mentalities. Yet, very often we demand gender equality at our work places, but at home we are not even aware of the fact that we are bringing our sons up the old way, the way our mothers and grandmothers did!!!

Admittedly, not every one of the girls we sponsor will become an entrepreneur, however the characteristics of entrepreneurship – problem solving, action orientation, creativity, being socially-conscious and responsible – are important for their everyday lives. Hence the target of our girls’ empowering program is to see all of our girls employable, studying further, or equipped to start their own businesses in the future. We are counting on your generous donations no matter how big or small to help us do that!

Thank you for joining us and supporting the development of this great program for such a worthy cause!

Our future women entrepreneurs!
Our future women entrepreneurs!

Many of the girl students sponsored by our association are suffering from hard working conditions at home, obliging them to devote themselves to many chores for the family rather than being able to study. Another problem is the study space at home, which is often non existant, obliging many girls to study in the middle of a farmhouse courtyard outside. These conditions are obviously far from favorizing adequate academic study results and very unmotivating for girls who are trying to make a difference and use their potential to further their studies and receive diplomas. 

Hampaté Bâ School administrators and teachers meet with parents and send them report cards to advise them of their girls’ progress. But this is not enough ! In order to correct the girls’ poor study possibilities due to working conditions at home, our Association has advised teachers and administrators to consult with parents to develop an effective family-school partnership and find solutions to this dilemma. 

To walk the talk, the school recently organized a meeting between the  Home Economics teacher and mothers of our scholarship girls, the objective being to find ways to improve the girls’ home conditions.

The school administration carried out visits to some homes, and discovered that the girls were expected to do many chores and this distracted them greatly from doing their schoolwork. Indeed, by the time the girls finished some of the home chores, they were too tired to do their homework. Moreover, homes visited did not have enough space and the number of family members occupying the house made it impossible for the girls to work properly. Also, these homes were located in communities with no public libraries and so the girls were unable to do research required by their teachers.

Very few students working at home, establish regular and systematic study habits and these girls are the very ones who need such habits the most, commented the Home Economics teacher.

In view of all the drawbacks from working at home in very unfavorable conditions, we are very happy to announce that the school administration has decided to hold supervised study sessions in the school library and in the computer room after school hours starting next month. This is really breaking news and is sure to help the girls out and encourage them even more to advance in their studies and improve their results.

Thanks to this change, girls will be able to stay at school to do their homework, will feel safe and undisturbed, will have a supervisor who can help them out with problem areas, and will be able to concentrate on their studies. We are very thankful to the Hampaté Bâ School administration for accepting the girls to be in the school’s library and computer room to take full advantage of the resources necessary  to do research on various subjects.

Thank you for supporting our girl empowerment project !! These girls deserve the right to have an education and through your contributions, we will be able to offer them a convenient space conducive to their continued studies.

We appreciate very much any donations you feel you can contribute. All amounts are welcome and will make a difference in our efforts to keep these girls in school in good conditions.

As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on all the young girls’ lives you have helped us transform since we started helping the Hampaté Bâ School in 2009. We are so proud of the lasting impact we have made and can’t thank you enough for being a part of it.

At this moment in time, we are providing scholarships for 60 girl students and we urgently need your help to make sure they stay in school and don’t miss out on a life-changing education.

Secondary school offers more than knowledge, it offers hope and opportunity.

Samira is one of our scholarship students who has the chance to study at Hampaté Bâ School thanks to our support. Samira has ambitious goals. Once she finishes high school, she aims to study nursing. Her dream is to qualify as a nurse and work at the national hospital of Niamey. She’s the eldest in a family of eight. Two of her brothers go to a public primary school, while the youngest children are still at home being cared for by her mother.

Samira has a lot on her plate.  She’s up at 5am every day, helping at home and making breakfast for the family, before setting off for school at 7am. In the evening, it’s her job to help cook and clean. If there’s time after all that – and enough light – she will fit in some more studies before bed. Despite the long day, she considers herself lucky; two of her best friends are already married and not allowed by their husbands to attend school.

She’s also fortunate that her family agrees with her going to school. Neither parent has an education; Samira’s father works as a security guard and, besides caring for the younger family members, her mother sells peanuts at the local market.

But Samira has her future all mapped out. After she finishes high school, she plans to raise the money for university by setting up a stall at the main market with her mother.

" I’m so lucky and happy to have a scholarship at Hampaté Bâ School which is near to where I live. My father cannot pay for eight children’s secondary education so he would have to choose which child to send to a good middle school , and being a girl, it probably would not be me. At Hampaté Bâ School we learn a lot thanks to the high level and the private tutoring for students with difficulties. We have good chances to pass our exams, contrary to public schools with overloaded classes where the level is low and very little is learned."

Let’s keep Samira in school ! Help us give these worthy girls the gift of education ! Our work wouldn't be possible without your generous support.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Thank you !!

We are so proud of the progress our scholarship girls have made during their years at Hampate Ba Middle School and through the girl empowerment program we have sponsored.

How exciting to see that some of these girls are on the threshold of starting high school now.

 Just four years ago, by the time Nabila was 12, her parents had planned to get her married. « Without education, I knew my life would be just like my mother’s,” says Nabila. With our support, she can now pursue the bigger dreams she has for her future. “I want to run my own business when I am older. I always thought about school and how I could learn a lot there. When I was told that I was offered a scholarship to attend the Hampaté Bâ Middle School, I just couldn’t believe it. I was so happy ! »

Against all odds, thanks to « Les amis de Hampaté Bâ », and their own determination and hard work, Nabila and her friends have not only gone to school and stayed in school, but are amongst the strongest achievers, and, this fall, are starting Hampate Ba’s new high school which is opening in October !

These girls still face challenges in the Nigerien society that their brothers do not, but they are all determined to continue their education, despite the barriers they face. They have gained confidence in themselves and have realized that girls and women are capable of accomplishing many jobs in society, especially with the support of a good education.

This year, they will be receiving after school supplemental instruction in certain subjects to add to what they are learning in school. For the girls, this is instrumental for increased understanding of difficult subjects, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and French.

Thank you so much for your faithful support! Because of you, these girls are in school as members of an academic community – trying to reach their educational goals and make their lives better!

Your generosity has saved girls from early marriages and your contributions are making a big difference. We really thank you kindly for continuing your donations so these girls can continue their high school classes.

How about helping them reach their dream and be part of our first graduating class in 2018 !!!

Girls should take part in competitive sports to build confidence and resilience, points out Mr Mamane, the physical education teacher at Hampaté Bâ Middle School.

Through sports, Hampaté Bâ School teaches girls to face setbacks and find ways to spring back and recover. Discipline, confidence and resilience are built through practising competitive sports.

"The experience of losing a volleyball game and carrying on to another match builds resilience. And our girls need this because in our society they experience a lot of setbacks due to gender bias", says Mr Mamane.

Not all girls like ball games of course and so the school is trying to find alternatives.

I don’t want to be out on the football pitch or play volleyball ball", says Halima. Maybe my friends and I could have a trampoline!! We have seen it on television and jumping on it seems like great fun!

Confidence is an athlete’s and a girl’s best friend. It is also a core mental skill because of its impact on other parts of one’s life, like school and relationships with family and friends.

Halima is a typical teenager in many ways. A typical weekend for her involves listening to music, getting together with friends, and although she doesn’t love all the subject matters taught in school, she knows that education is the foundation for her future. Playing sports helps her gain confidence and confidence in turn helps her with her education.

Perseverance, patience, and balancing time and energy are the challenging components of playing a sport and studying at Hampaté Bâ. For Halima and her friends, the special girl empowerment classes at Hampaté Bâ School create opportunities to achieve in many areas. The Girl Empowerment class enables these girl students to increase their physical and mental strength, build their social skills, and teach them the value of hard work in pursuit of a goal.

 “Attending this school made me realize who I really am,” says Halima “I’m proud to be a girl and later, once I finish school, I would like to make things easier for women in my country.”

THANK YOU for supporting the Hampaté Bâ special programs to help our girls evolve and have enough confidence in being a woman to move ahead and initiate dynamic projects in their community. Their potential is grand and their hopes are high. Your donations are key in keeping these girls in school with quality education including sports and innovative girl oriented programs. We need your support more than ever in our quest to fight ignorance with education. Your continued donations will enable us to provide our girl students with what they need to pursue their education. Let’s keep it up ! Every donation you make is changing a girl’s life and you are making a real difference . Thank you !!


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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
$4,363 raised of $22,000 goal
76 donations
$17,637 to go
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