My heart is so full right now, I have to share with you - as you are those who love the Fulani as I do, and have a passion for winning them for the Kingdo
On Kachia reserve, the largest reserve of all with a population of forty thousand plus people, amazing things are happening. This reserve already has twenty-three primary schools and a secondary school, but all in terribly poor condition - for example - one teacher for over three hundred kids. The head of the reserve, Ardo Ayuba, a well-educated, very capable and progressive Fulani man, is also the coordinator for the schools.
When I realized there was no way we could hire enough teachers to make a difference in Kachia, I came up with the idea of hiring and training a team of teachers who would focus on teaching literacy. Together with the Ardo, we will assign several schools to each teacher who will then rotate through those schools focusing on teaching reading to small groups at a time. Ardo Ayuba is in full agreement. The teachers will live together in their own quarters as is happening on the other reserves.
Our dear Rev. Jacob has already visited all three of these reserves and reconnected with those Fulani who attended the training on Holistic Land and Livestock Management at Emiworo last November. All of those Fulani, and the reserve elders, welcomed Rev Jacob and invited him to visit again, as often as he would like.
It has meant so much to me, having my grandson Shane working alongside these past few months. He is doing a great job, is handling the new culture and the deprivations, (!!) and making an impact among the Fulani, especially among the children and youth. They love Shane, and he loves them! When I visited Bobi last week, leaving Shane in Kachia to continue his work, all I heard in our Bobi schools was, “Where’s Shane? Where’s Shane?” We will both be back in Bobi in a few days; Shane is preparing to set up soccer goal posts, and will cut jump ropes for the girls who don’t want to play soccer! He also has picture books and will spend time reading to the kids and teaching them more English. I’ll be overseeing the building of two new classroom blocks and a teachers’ quarters there at Bobi, interviewing and hiring more teachers.
In January, more serious work will take place on these reserves. Chester Novak, our hydrologist, and Shane will be doing water development on Kachia and Garbagal, building new earthen dams and repairing several that are eroded and filled with silt, while Jan Novak and I will hold teachers' workshops on the three reserves. Terry McGill of Sister Schools is also coming with about three hundred pounds of school supplies for all the schools!
By the end of November, Schools for Africa will be officially supporting six schools for Fulani children. We’ve had a very good suggestion from our friend and partner, Don Anderson, that we should gather all our schools under one name, ‘Light and Life’, which in Fufulde language is ‘Hiter e Yonki’. We will still indicate memorials and partners’ names on the schools, but in general will identify them by the words, Hiter e Yonki, and their home state. So,
Hiter e Yonki, Rivers State: 25 pupils
Hiter e Yonki, Kogi State: 75 pupils
Hiter e Yonki, Jigawa State: 100 pupils
Hiter e Yonki Go’o (one), Niger State: 135 pupils
Hiter e Yonki Didi (two), Niger State: 220 pupils
Hiter e Yonki Tati (three), Niger State: 100 pupils
This is a total of 655 pupils and 35 teachers in our schools! Thank you all so much for helping to make this possible! This is so amazing and wonderful!
The total monthly payroll for these teachers is N35, 000 each, equivalent to only $100! Please continue to support Schools for Africa, so that we will not fail to provide the quality education the children need.
Thank you again, all of you, for your love and support!
In Fufulde, ‘Thank you’ is, ‘Mi yettii’. So, Mi yettii. (Thank you!) Minon yidu ma! (We love you!)
Phyllis Sortor and Shane Verschelden