From Dream to Reality

I had a great trip to Zinder!  It’s amazing to see how far that school has come!  When I first came to Niger in 2006, they were just starting construction on the first building. The notion of children being educated on the campus was still a dream.  Now, six years later, there are over 150 students in kindergarten through 6th grade. And, thanks to the Presbyterian Women Thank Offering Grant, they are nearly finished with the third block of classrooms, which means that over 100 more children will have the opportunity to go to a great school!  That is an amazing amount of progress in a short amount of time…

It was fun to see the computer lab set up and being used.  Grades 4 – 6 go to computer class three times a week.  The kids are so excited about getting to use computers and are not at all timid about trying new things.  They are learning the basics now, how to use the computer as well as Microsoft Word and Excel.  At this point, the only thing they really need is a projector for instruction.

Each of the three schools we support have their own distinct culture.  From my perspective, the kids at the Zinder school are really open and ready to enjoy themselves.  This is true at the the other schools as well, but more so at Zinder.  I found myself joking around and laughing with many of the children.  It was refreshing, because my normal experience is that the students are unsure of what to think of this strange American woman who pops in once or twice year.

The pictures show more than what I could describe in words – the construction of the buildings, and the eagerness of the students and joy at learning something new!  As I said, to go from the dream of a school to teaching children how to use computers in just six short years — it is truly amazing!