There is no school transportation system established in Nigeria. Students walk (sometimes long distances), are driven by parents, take public buses if available or hire a driver who takes them on the back of a moped. Our partner in Kafanchan, Bishop Dogo, while conversing with an AEP representative, expressed a desire to have several small school buses shipped to the port of Lagos for delivery to Kafanchan. He agreed to pay for the buses and import taxes and requested that Africa Education Partnership pay the shipping to Nigeria.
In a recent conversation with Bishop Markus of Kafanchan, I asked him to tell us in his own words the benefit buses would bring to the schools in. He outlined several specific points describing the benefits. Kafanchan is a largely rural with many small villages; the majority of the population live below the poverty line.
Finished product - just beautiful! These wonderful desks accommodate two students each and will be waiting when the Jagindi Tasha rural school reopens... after Covid 19 is under control.
Planned and Postponed
By this date April 28, 2020 a joint team of eight members from Africa Education Partnership (AEP) and Kateri Medical Services, had expected to be in Nigeria, after departing from Boston on April 24th. Two board members from AEP, Peter Dewberry and Elaine Chagnon, were to be part of this team. The plans included visits to our original project in Gusau and then to the Kafanchan district in Kaduna State.
(See the attached map, Gusau shown with a red star in Zamfara State, Kafanchan with a blue star, in Kaduna State).
This photo was taken at the Graceland International School in Gusau at approximately 7PM. Captured in the click of the camera’s shutter is an example of the endearing commitment and dedication of one of the many staff members at Graceland. Without reliable electricity, this is the only way to mark and review student work.
Although peaceful and serene, it belies the daily struggle that dedicated teachers face every day, since the only light available to this staff member was that which was under the portico. But it is also emblematic of the joy and grace that visitors encounter when interacting with the vast majority of Nigerians.
Photo and caption by Bob and Mary Dorland. Bob and Mary visited Nigeria in the fall of 2019, and spent time at Graceland International School and Graceland Hospital in Gusau.
Under the leadership of Mrs. Nana Dogo, a Women’s Center has been built. The focus of the center is to empower women by providing them with the skills needed to earn money for themselves and their families. The region is rural with subsistence farming as the main source of income. Poverty is most evident and acute among 2500 widows in this community.
Bishop Markus Dogo of Kafanchan and his wife, Mrs. Nana Dogo, arrived in Connecticut in early October to begin a busy and fruitful series of engagements, promoting the work of Africa Education Partnership and our sister organization Kateri Medical Services.
Africa Education Partnership was at the Connecticut Episcopal Convention on October 26 and 27, at the Connecticut Convention Center. We had a display table showcasing our school projects in Nigeria. It was a great experience and many people showed an interest.
Mrs. Nana Dogo is a very engaging and informative speaker. On Tuesday, October 15, she spoke at a special luncheon on the vital work she is doing in Kafanchan with women and girls.
Recent news from Graceland International School, Gusau, Nigeria
Recent news from Graceland has been very encouraging, with enrollment up in all grades. There is a healthy balance between the numbers of boys and girls, as well as Christian and Muslim students. The aim of Graceland International School (GIS) is to ensure that both boys and girls have equal opportunities for the quality education that is offered there. The aim of the school is “reconciliation through education”. Therefore GIS enrolls both Christian and Muslim students without discrimination. Learning together encourages understanding and acceptance between those from different backgrounds.