One way the Remember Niger Coalition supports the schools in Niger is by giving teacher training scholarships to future teachers. I met with two of the scholarship recipients this morning. It’s always a lot of fun to talk with the new students because their stories are so interesting. Alissa is 21 years old and just finished high school. I know her father well because we served together on the church’s education committee when I lived in Niger. He’s the director of a public school in a rural village and is very committed to expanding educational opportunities in Niger. Allissa told me that he encouraged her to apply for the scholarship and teach at one of the church’s schools if she is able. She has two older brothers who are currently studying at the University in Niamey (the capital of Niger).
Mamsour, who is 22 years old, goes to the same teacher training school and is in the same class as Allissa. While he did not grow up in a Christian family, Mamsour became a Christian when he stayed with his uncle during high school. In Niger, it’s not uncommon for children to live with relatives in different cities in order to be able to attend school. During that time, his uncle, who is a Christian, introduced him to the church. Mamsour already knew he wanted to be a teacher when he graduated from high school. So, when he heard about the scholarship, he was confident that that was what God was calling him to do.