On 25th and 29th October 2013, we venture out to three different schools to deliver schoolmaterials to students and teachers. The materials we handed out were a schoolbag for students (filled with two workbooks and a pouch with 5 pencils and a sharpener) and a pouch for teachers (filled with 2 red and 2 blue pens, scissors, 2 pencils and a pencil sharpener). The bags and cases are designed here and madel by local businesses to keep costs as low as possible and to stimulate the local economy a bit.
At first glance, the distribution of a school bag with materials may not create so many chances for children, but if you look a bit further you will see that this has impact. For many parents, the purchase of these materials is yet again an added expense, and if you have just a little, then every one Naira counts! By handing out the workbooks and pencils we actually ensure that students can continue to attend classes and that they will not be sent home because they have no materials. In addition, handing out materials works as an incentive for children who do not go to school, to go to school.
For teachers, the materials are a welcome gift and it works as an incentive to continue with the work they do. We have chosen the schools we visited, based on previous visits. We looked at how schools are performing and they are involved in the development of education in their own school.
The schools we visited were two regular primary schools (Kabba Owode and Gatta) and the Special Needs School in Ilorin. We had two great days with lots of happy children and teachers who gratefully recieved the materials and lots of people from the community who came to thank us for the materials. It was very nice to see how happy the children are when they recieve a school bag with a few materials and how truly grateful they are when someone gives them something. Of course we have told everyone that it is not us who donate the materials, but that we are handing them out in the name of all the generous donors.
The visit to the Special Needs School was for us a very nice and special experience. This, of course, because our educational hearts still beats in this type of education. We have agreed with the teachers of the Special Needs School that we will try to come by more often in the future. Not only to share materials but also to help the school and the teachers in the form of classroom observations, workshops or training sessions.