We are pleased to report continued progress, that has resulted in the completion of our two major projects: the exam hall and the eight-foot perimeter wall. The school continues to grow and improve as our Nigerian partners creatively strategize and prioritize our next steps.
The summer trip was the most successful of all previous trips. Board member Elaine Chagnon, accompanied by husband Bob, were able to spend an entire week at the school, surveying the physical progress of the plant, meeting with the school board to discuss next steps, and engaging in conversation with teachers, students, and administration to gather valuable information regarding requests, improvements, and needs.
Enrollment at Graceland International School is on the rise after several lean years due to the tensions and threats of violence resulting from the last presidential election and its effect on the local population. Our numbers indicate that enrollment is up across the grades with an additional 100 students– and the number continues to increase.
A Clear focus
We have a clear focus for our next steps in moving Graceland International School forward. Funds have been transferred to complete the exam hall. The outside staging has been removed and the only work left is some interior plastering. This will allow the administration to move from their current location in a classroom – leaving a space for a full computer lab. The perimeter wall is also complete and the second gate is now being installed.
Our work with a grant writer continues, as we search for funding for a well and solar panels. We are in a position to move forward, as a requirement was to improve our presence on the web. Our board has worked very hard with a technology expert to recreate the website– please check out our new, improved look at africaep.org.
Please consider a holiday offering as we move forward at this most crucial time.
Don Ghostlaw, President
Difficult Times in Nigeria
Since our trip to Gusau in the summer of 2011, Nigeria has suffered through a year of intermittent violence. The epicenter has been in the Kaduna area, in north central Nigeria, near the 10th parallel, about a five-hour drive south of Gusau. The cause of this violence is Boko Haram, which is a Hausa acronym for “Western education forbidden”, is a group that seeks to establish sharia law throughout all of Nigeria They target government offices, police and military installations and soft targets such mosques and churches, ensuring that their bombing activities grab the news spotlight. While Boko Haram has made its presence known, the Gusau area has remained relatively quiet. This may be due to the fact that Zamfara State is further away from the seat of government and far more rural with agriculture as is main economic base, unlike central Nigeria.
FINANCIALS TO DATE
Total collected during 2011 to date:
Total amount collected (2009- 2011): $62,728
Total amount sent to Nigeria for school construction (2009-2011): $50,500
FINANCIALS TO DATE
Since our return, pledges for virtual cinder blocks have continued to come in- from everywhere!
The AEP board met on Monday, November 28 and is pleased to report that over $36,000 has been raised, enabling the Graceland International building committee to pay the balance on the land! We are truly grateful and wish to express our gratitude and thanks to all who have supported this project. We still have much to do, however, and ask that you consider continued support as we roof building 1 and begin the science and technology building. Total collected during 2011 to date:
$11,710 Total amount collected for virtual brick campaign:
$36,200 Total amount sent to Nigeria for school construction (2011):
$16,000 (excluding land)
Expenses for Bishop John, publications, website, and supplies: $3704.93
Total raised since 2009:
Please write checks to:
Africa Education Partnership
99 Sand Hill Road South Windsor, CT 06074