2015 visit by Bishop John and his wife Helen
Bishop John Danbinta has plans to return to the U.S. in the spring of 2015. He is will be traveling with his wife, Helen, who has just received word that her visa application has been approved. This will be her first trip to the USA! The trip is tentatively scheduled for May, but at this point, travel plans are still in the discussion stage.
While here, the Danbintas plan to spend time in both Connecticut and Ohio, visiting the partner churches and spending time with supporters.
A benefit dinner is now in the planning stages in order to raise funds for a bus and the third school building.
We are extremely excited to have Helen travel this time. The message she brings will give everyone first-hand understanding of a woman’s perspective of life in a society where women often struggle for social equality. We look forward to her testimony.
Once the plans are firmed up, invitations will be sent out.
As we reflect this holiday season on all of the tremendous achievements that our mission partners in northern Nigeria have accomplished, we offer heartfelt thanks to you and the many generous donors who supported Africa Education Partnership this year. Together we have helped our mission partners open the first classroom building at Graceland International School, and complete substantially all of the second classroom building. As our work progresses we continue to learn more about the importance and the urgency of your ongoing support, and we ask that you consider making a donation this holiday season.
AEP Recipient of $6000 Grant
This past January, AEP was the recipient of a $6000 grant from the Church Mission Publishing Company. The money will be used to purchase 6 solar-powered laptops for Graceland International School. The grant also includes funds for computer software packages for those laptops. In addition, AEP will use some of the funds to acquire manuals for reading instruction that will be used for teacher training.
Finally, AEP will be able to purchase a dedicated laptop and printer for organization business.
Summer trip intense and productive
Board member Elaine Chagnon again traveled to Nigeria this past summer, leaving on July 25 and returning home on August 10. She traveled with FaithCare and members of Trinity Church, Tariffville, her home church. She was scheduled to meet with Gusau teachers and then work the rest of the time with the combined teams at her church-sponsored medical clinic.
Travel was long and tiring, and the group was faced with numerous challenges along the way. Just before the trip, a bomb blast killed scores in Kaduna. Although team members were made aware and were given the option of cancelling, no one backed out, including three high school students. On the flight over, the group was made aware that the first case of ebola was diagnosed in Lagos, 8 hours away from the site.
Teachers from Grace International School traveled to Kaduna for training workshops led by Elaine Chagnon.
Ndanusa Fearon, a young local architect, agreed to provide a drawings for the third classroom building– a science lab/media center/administration building. Once he has seen the site, he will determine an appropriate placement for this building. He was also able to help locate a reputable computer distributor who could provide solar laptops to be paid for from a grant AEP received last spring.
Board member Elaine Chagnon again traveled to Nigeria this past summer, leaving on July 25 and returning home on August 10. Making arrangements through email is dicey at best, so flexibility is key Elaine knew teachers would come but made the assumption that there might be as many as 6, similar to last year. To her surprise, she was greeted by 12 educators from Graceland International, including the young principal! Teachers represented a range of grade levels from kindergarten through high school. She taught for two days.
Summer Trip to Nigeria - Part 1
A summer trip has been planned for travel to the Kaduna area of Nigeria from July 25-August 10. Board member Elaine Chagnon has plans to go. While travel to the school site will be impossible due to security issues for Westerners traveling to Zamfara state, the plan is that the teachers will travel to her. Plans for teachers from Grace International School include further skill development for the teaching of reading, math and writing workshops, computer training, and working with the Peace Club curriculum of the Mennonite Central Committee, in Jos Nigeria. that was acquired last summer.
In addition, arrangements are being made for teachers from area schools in Kaduna to attend a second set of workshops using the same format.
Last year, plans for travel to the north changed after arrival in Nigeria. Communications have already started to formulate a more proactive schedule of teacher training, given the state of unrest at the current time.
Yoruba Society of Connecticut Donates Laptops
The Yoruba Society of Connecticut has generously donate three computer notebooks to Graceland International School. Presented by Tunde Green, a Nigerian national living in Connecticut, Bishop John gratefully accepted the laptops on behalf of the school.
We are extremely grateful for the donation, which will add to the school’s reputation as a place of quality education. Our thanks go out to the Yoruba Society members who made this generous gift possible.
In a region without safe and reliable public transportation, it is very difficult for many children to get to the nearest school.One of our board members Paul Frank, from Akron, Ohio recognized that this was an urgent need. As a result he has donated a new school bus to Graceland International School! Paul considered the bus a birthday present to himself and we are deeply indebted and grateful for his generosity. The bus was ordered and then delivered on June 17. The previous bus, manufactured in China, had seen better days and finally stopped running in early summer. The new Toyota bus will hopefully deliver many years of dependable service. A second bus is needed and is on our “wish list”.