Sleepless Nights

What is one of the unexpected challenges of opening a school in Niger? That was the question posed to Daniel, the leader of the new school in Dogondoutchi. The school began this year with eight students in kindergarten. The school committee spent a lot of time renovating an old church building, and creating a wonderful space by putting in a new gate, constructing a latrine and building play ground equipment for the children. But, according to Daniel the most stressful part was wondering if children would come on the first day. Although the committee had turned in their application to the Niger government for recognition on time, they didn’t receive their official papers until two weeks before the school year began. They didn’t think it was wise to advertise on the radio before that, so they had to recruit students by word of mouth. Daniel told me that he had several sleepless nights when he was worrying about whether or not the school would have students. But, sure enough, on the first day of school there were 8 children ready and eager to learn! Through our sponsorship program, they will add 10 more children this month.

DogonDoutchi
Picture of the refurbished building and school yard
DogonDoutchi
Children and their teacher in the classroom
DogonDoutchi Gate
The new school gate