VISIT TO BAMAKO - 5. April 2018.
Györgyi Szabó and Ágnes Simigh, associate and volunteer from the African-Hungarian Union, visited Bamako to discuss their own program of support for disabled children. They offered to go to Chérifoula during the visit, hand over our shipments and negotiate pre-agreed agenda items. As a result of the visit, we have learnt the following:
1. Two new classrooms were built by using the amount of the brick tickets handed over last year! Only the roofs have to be built now! It is planned to start teaching in the classrooms in the 2018/19 school year. They also would like to paint and decorate the rooms before the school year starts.
2. The founder of the school plans to start high school education soon for those who pass the final exam at the end of the 9th grade (see our 1. Newsletter of the school system). Thus, Chérfoula students and those who want to go to high school do not have to spend hours with travelling and walking to school, but they can study on the spot.
3. For those who are "not the smartest", we would like to provide the possibility of learning specialized profession. Under this, we want to start a sewing school where those who like it can learn this beautiful profession! So we have a new project: We collect functioning sewing machines and parts, threads, fabrics and textile goods. Please, if anyone has an unused, replaced but still functioning sewing machine, get them to us! Please contact us by email@example.com e-mail! Thank You!
4. There is currently no drinking or running water at the school. HÍD Adótanácsadó Zrt. has financed our project to have a water supply in the school. These funds were taken by Györgyi to Bamako and we have an agreement that the project will be completed by the 30th June at the latest. Thus, the unhealthy drinking water problem will be solved, so children will have fresh water! We thank HÍD Adótanácsadó Zrt. for the generous offer. After the plumbing is done, girls will not have to carry water in big barrels to the school every day! Their thin shape was just wobbling under the heavy weight as they tried balancing the load on their shoulders.
5. The most important thing for the school is to design a computer and an IT room. Unfortunately, there is only one functioning computer left at the school - two years ago there were 7, last year there were 3 machines. It was a great pleasure when the laptop, a gift from a generous donor, Balázs J., and the two smartphones collected by our board member György Szabó, were delivered! One of the phones were given to the school principal and the other to our high school contact girl, Sanssoba Coulibaly. We hope that we will no longer have a problem with communication. Our foundation is looking for supporters who can fund the monthly Internet charges of the school for 15,000-20,000 CFA (about 7,500-10,000 HUF / month). Furthermore, we are collecting again used, but still functioning desktops, laptops, monitors and keyboards, mouse as well to be used by children in the library and the computer room during and after school hours. Please, if anyone has replaced, used but still working computer, send them to us! We continue to collect French and English textbooks, children's and youth books. Please contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org email, if you can help! Thank You!
6. As all of our children are currently supported, we asked Mme Sissoko, the school principal to choose 6 new talented children. The information sheets of Kadia Samake (10 years old), Bintou Sissoko (11 years old), Tiémako Konaté (11), Aissata Diarra (11), Moussa Bakary Traoré (13), Badara Alou Ballo (7 years old) will soon be on the website. In the picture, they are sitting a bit frightened with their parents before the "admission interview".
7. Györgyi handed over the scholarships for our high school students. We have also agreed with the school that if we find a sponsor for the project, the school provides a schoolroom for the high school students to learn English 2-3 hours a week, a total of 6,000 CFA (3,000 Ft) per lesson, thus helping not only English learning but also the communication with the supporters in English!
School report cards and prize-giving in Bamako; Program evaluation
Our program in Bamako is 4 years old this year. During the four years several supported students of ours finished primary school, seven of them furthened their education, the others did not. Even those who are no longer students are in the 27% of Mali's population who finish the 9 grade primary school at all!
When we started the program in 2014, we had not had evolved, mature ideas. We just wanted to help disadvantaged, talented children to go to school. The 4 years experience is partly joyful and partly a cause for a bit of sadness. The reasons for these are: the cause of pleasure is the increase in number of children who can continue to study in high school. The children selected in 2017 were actually selected on the basis of predetermined criteria based on talent and diligence. The reason for sadness is, unfortunately, many of the children selected for the first time in 2014 do not / did not make use of the possibility and did not learn so well. There are some who are lazy, who prefer watching TV or playing football on the street. It should be noted, however, that girls are increasingly involved in household work and family maintenance over time. Thus, their time spent learning in a family where parents do not understand the importance of learning and the great opportunity provided by supporters, unfortunately, the children do not learn well. In 2017-2018, we had to bid farewell to two of the children whose performance was substandard and failed in spite of multiple warnings. We know about them that they were only lazy...
The schoolbook program has brought spectacular improvements in the results of the majority of children. Now only 33 out of the 75 children are below the prescribed 6 and 12 grade point averages. There are very few who are not even close to this grade point average. They are largely from among the children of 2014, mostly girls from 7-9. class. They will be warned again and we try to find out the cause and background of the bad results. As their supporters stick by the children, we have decided that if the supporters agree and continue to support them, we will continue to pay their tuition fees so that they can complete the primary school.
We have been pleased to see after the certificates have been processed, 2/3 of the 75 supported is in the first 50% of their class and 16 students are in the 1-6. best student of their class! We gave them an extra bounty, we paid one-month tuition fee for them. It seems that we have found the major incentive because of the prize-giving received much attention among both parents and children. We look forward to the next school report cards and hope that we will be able to distribute more rewards. Our rewarded students were the following (year of getting into the program, rank): Hawa Diarra (2014; 6), Sanata Kanakomo (2014; 2), Yaranka Koumare (2017; 4), Mariam Toure (2017-2), Yaman Diallo (2017, 2), Fatoumata Sangare (2017, 2), Django Sissoko (2017, 1), Sanata Traore (2017, 3), Bekaya Konate (2017, ), Djigui Berke Traore (2017, 5), Mariam Sangare (2017, 3) and Astana kouma (2017, 2).
Art for life program - new children
It seems that after the initial stagnation, this program is also flying! Jim de Jager and György Szabó - thanks to Ildikó Szilasi and the enthusiastic team of Utazz Africa Travel Agency - during their journey to Dakar, they visited our existing 9 children in their homes and took up another 8 budding artists selected by Abdul Camara, a Senegalese dance artist from Hungary, whose profiles have already been posted on our website. Thus, the number of the supported students of our Senegalese program has increased to 17! We also found supporters for a couple of children at the Africa Expo.
It is important to know that although the amount of support for the Senegalese children is HUF 6,000, a child can be supported by more than one person, thus the cost can be shared!
Our "Discover Africa" program has also begun. Andrea Morris has held pictured, interactive, very successful presentations for children at several schools about the school in Bamako and the lives of children studying there. The children's consternation was visible after the pictures and the circumstances were shown, and they tried to find out more with their inquiring questions about the lives of their contemporaries born into worse circumstances. It was touching to see the manifestation of the will to help after the presentations!
AFRIKA EXPO 2018
Thanks for so many of you have come to see us on Africa Expo this year and
- listened to our lectures about the Budapest-Bamako rally, the family visits in Dakar, our Bamako program and about Africa in general
- sent a book to Mali by a symbolic purchase,
- contributed to our library and computer room construction plans,
- within the framework of the FUTO EXPO collection, they brought running shoes for the Bamako-Budapest Marathon, which will be held during our next visit! 400 T-shirts and 60 pairs of shoes have been collected in 2 days, which will be apportioned between the participants who finish the race. Thank you!
All of our schoolchildren in Bamako and many of our Senegalese budding artists have become supported during the EXPO!
Special thanks to the "Ez Nekem Jó" allergen-free bakery, which treated our donors with African puddings, cakes, bread, rooibos tea and Ethiopian coffee!
We thank Julian Láng, writer, for accepting our invitation to the EXPO and for allowing us to publish her work about the West African writers "Women at the Well". This publication, which is used to fund the creation of the Bamako library, can be ordered by our Foundation for a $ 1,500 donation.
Special thanks to our volunteers, who expounded our programs with sustained enthusiasm, found supporters for our children and collected T-shirts and shoes at the FUTÓ EXPO! Our youngest volunteer was 13, and the oldest was 81 years old!
Introduction meeting of the Africa Another Way Foundation
The new school year has started in Bamako too !
After the floodings and storms of August the damages in the school building were greater then in other years. The walls needed strenghening, some new doors got built in, and the roof needed some repair too.
But after a big cleanup the new school year could be opened in the first week of October.
With your support, the building and the classrooms can be renovated and rebuilt.