Safer education for Niger’s smallest citizens
On Wednesday, April 14th, 2021, our national media reported that tragedy had struck. In the capital Niamey, at a kindergarten built entirely of straw, 20 small children, ages 3-5, perished when a fire started and the structure burned in minutes. They were unable to escape. As was written in one newspaper: “Wiping away tears with her veil, the school’s director Habiba Gaya said all of Niger was in ‘total mourning’. The little children, innocents, were really burned alive in this fire,” she told AFP news agency, explaining that while older children were able to make it out, those aged five and under were not: “They were little so they weren’t able to run.”
From straw to cement
In the wake of this tragedy, Pencils for Kids has undertaken to re-build each of our 13 kindergartens, converting them from metal and straw to cement structures. This is a huge undertaking, as each kindergarten will cost approximately $20,000 in Canadian funds, for a total of $260,000 to rebuild all 13 of them. But it will be a signal to the people of Niger that we care, that they are not forgotten and that the lives of their smallest citizens matter.
The new cement structures will be modeled after our only permanent Kindergarten structure — Clara’s Kids, shown in the photo below.
Fundraising for 11 Kindergartens
So far, funds have been raised for two of our 13 kindergertens, in Guériguindé Zarma and Sékiré Zarma.
That means we still have 11 to go.
- Guériguindé Zarma - $20,000 CAD raised
- Sékiré Zarma - $20,000 CAD raised
- Tiendifarou Traditionnelle
- Sorey Ganda
- Tiendifarou FA
- Guériguindé Kourtey
- Sorey Béné