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.
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.”
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.