Newsletter - AVENIR PLUS
Before we knew it, 2009 was over. Our second year started on October 6. Sabine was there, as promised, and between the two of us, we managed to take care of all of the new registrations; which were arriving at a steady pace. We now have 460 students, and the school is (with the exception of a few spaces) full.
This school year, 60 kids were sponsored by our English, American, German, Belgium and French friends. For those of you who sponsor children in primary classes, the report cards went out already. For all others, they will be arriving shortly - at the end of the first semester -.
Thanks to the generous donation of one of our friends, we now have doors for our 9 primary and kindergarten classes. This allows for a superior working environment and as we do not have windows it will keep the children warmer during the winter months.
Another donation allowed us to construct a "library".
The students can now come, 3 times a week, to borrow the books you brought to us in your luggage.
The students have truly begun to enjoy reading, and it continues every day. Remember school is in a language which is not their mother tongue and reading makes a big difference.
The lunch program has been ongoing since the beginning of the year, and in December we managed to buy a fridge and freezer, allowing us to keep our food fresh for a few days. Thanks to Paul who loves to fish recreationally, we occasionally receive fish for free. As you can see (left) we don't eat on tables, but a full stomach is a happy one regardless.
Our football (soccer) team started its first season this year, thanks to Paul (again!). The only prerequisite for joining is good grades in school.
Charlotte, our first "humanitarian", arrived at the beginning of November and remained with us for six weeks. Daily, she participated in 2nd grade teaching. Below is a letter she wrote upon her departure. (Translated from French).
These past 6 weeks in your school have been an unforgettable experience. I thank you all (administration, faculty, students...) for having provided me with such a warm and welcoming environment. I truly felt part of our school and believe me I would've stayed longer! You helped me discover your country, your customs and your educational system which greatly contributed to the experience. It was my pleasure to help. The smiles of the children (irresistible), their pursuit of happiness and the affection I received were, for me, the greatest reward. Thanks to you, I went home with fantastic memories that I'll never forget.
Thank you all, and good luck! Let's remember that the development of a country is directly affected by the education of its children!
I hope to come back soon,
Currently, Laure is with us and she is helping sixth grade. Hopefully, we'll have a letter for you with her thoughts in our next newsletter. More help should arrive in 2010.
On December 23rd, "Santa Claus" came to M'Bour to bring joy to children.
After the creation of a (French) non-profit organization and the opening of our (French) bank account, we were able to focus on searching donations for our school. We have now completing applications for donations, to hopefully one day buy the land to build our own, proper, buildings. This would allow us to further become financially stable, as opposed to constantly being held to an astronomical monthly rent.
Once again, thank you for all your contributions and we wish you a wonderful year 2010!!!