SCHOOL PROJECT IN CAMEROON
«GIVE A CHANCE» is coordinating a project at a village school in Edea, Cameroon, where we fly annually to supply the books, stationery, and other learning materials bought from the money we raise in Switzerland. These trips also give us the opportunity to evaluate the improvements in academic performance of the individual learners at the school. Ultimately, our goal is to give these children the opportunity of leading independent lives by improving their education, thereby giving them the chance to grasp their futures with their own hands.
Our project employs a three-stage-model. This involves, firstly, the provision of much-needed learning materials and equipment; secondly, the further education and training of teachers; and, thirdly, the establishment of an adequate learning environment through an improvement in infrastructure. In this way we can ensure an optimal learning environment for all –teachers and learners alike – in which they can all fulfil their potential.
The money which we raise will benefit the learners directly in the form of the school materials which they desperately need. In so doing, we can ensure that each learner at the partner school receives the books and stationery necessary for his or her education. Moreover, we buy school equipment and materials in Edea in order to support the local economy.
Further training for local teachers is carried out by the Belgian Teacher Association. Every three to four months, a teacher delegation from Belgium travels to Cameroon, where they exchange current knowledge and techniques with local teachers. In this way, the quality of local teaching is regularly attuned to contemporary international educational standards.
The renovation and maintenance of the school building is also one of our top priorities, an endeavour which has brought about visible improvements since 2012 and has also involved parents and local residents in great numbers. With great enthusiasm, everyone is tackling this ambitious project together. Current work involves the building of a library with an integrated classroom as well as the renovation of the main administration building. As the school’s infrastructure improves, so does the self-esteem and motivation of the teaching staff. These renovations also guarantee the safe storage of crucial educational materials and equipment.
«GIVE A CHANCE» evaluates learners’ improvement in academic performance on an annual basis. Great improvements have already been recorded since the beginning of the project. Average attendance at the school has improved, while learners’ academic grades and the number of leavers’ certificates issued have increased. Prior to the implementation of the project, an average of 50% of learners attended lessons. Currently, attendance stands at 98%. Academic performance and learner motivation have increased hand-in-hand, as illustrated by a 60% increase of leavers (from 40% to 100%) who go on to attend secondary school. The close cooperation between parents, learners, and local residents has created a close-knit community atmosphere in the area, which also has a positive effect on the motivation and performances of learners. As a result of these major improvements and changes, the school will be renamed as the «GIVE A CHANCE SCHOOL» in 2015. «GIVE A CHANCE» will continue to make annual trips to Edea to implement minor and major projects. During these visits, learners participate in specially-arranged extramural activities designed to aid their self-development, such as art projects, sports events, environmental projects, and technological skills programmes. Again, learners’ parents and local residents are included in these activities, while volunteers and other interested persons or organisations are cordially invited to participate. In so doing, local people as well as GIVE A CHANCE volunteers can employ their talents in providing opportunities for others. «GIVE A CHANCE, GIVE A FUTURE»