In May, 2019, Africa Education Partnership board member Elaine Chagnon traveled to Nigeria to visit and gather more information about our projects in Kafanchan, Kaduna State. One of the most exciting events and a highlight of the trip was the dedication of the well at the Kogum River Nursery/Primary School. This well was funded by the Avon-Simsbury Rotary Club, Connecticut. It will supply the school and the community of several thousand with clean, safe water for drinking. Prior to the well, students had to walk to collect water from the nearby Kogum River, which was polluted by the livestock that also came to drink.
Elaine cutting the ribbon at the dedication.
A highlight of board member Elaine Chagnon’s visit to Nigeria in May of 2019, was the privilege of cutting the ribbon at the dedication of the newly renovated four classroom block at Kogum River Nursery/Primary School. The school at Kogum River was built in the 1970s and was in a very bad condition with a leaky roof, a ceiling that had collapsed, and crumbling walls and floors. The basic structure was good, but the building required a new roof, ceilings, plaster, floor tiles, locking windows and doors, and paint.
Gidan Waya is the newest and fastest-growing school in the Kafanchan area. It has both a Nursery/Primary School as well as a Junior Secondary School, carrying students through their high school years.
Elaine Chagnon writes “I was able to spend valuable time with the teachers, which was just wonderful. They are so dedicated and hard-working. Some of the staff is comprised of teachers completing their "practicals" which is like our student teaching.”
Handmade feminine hygiene kits help girls stay in school.
Jolly, a friend of board member Elaine Chagnon, does work in Uganda and shared several feminine hygiene kits with Elaine before she left for Nigeria. Jolly has helped train young girls to sew their own kits.
The kits include soft, flannel pads that fit inside a "holder" that wraps around the underwear. There is a bar of soap, a washcloth, and an additional plastic bag where soiled pads can be placed with some water to soak them. Everything fits inside a cloth bag which can be discreetly carried. The kit is brilliant.
The literacy manual Recipe for Reading was used by Elaine Chagnon in a teaching seminar for the teachers of Kafanchan Nursery/Primary School. The aim of the seminar was to enhance the skills in teaching literacy to young students. Pads of special writing paper to go with the manual were also brought. These materials were purchased through a grant from Companions in Mission, Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. Recipe for Reading presents early literacy skills in a prescribed sequence and stresses sounds, visual cues, spelling, and correct formation of letters.
After the session with the Kafanchan Nursery/Primary teachers, a woman from the group approached. She introduced herself as Alice and said she was happy to have access to the materials that had been provided.