January 13, 2022
Students started back in school from their summer break in early October. We have added two new weaving students. These young fellows showed up at the school and were determined to join the weaving class. We just could not turn them down! There are now a total of 12 weaving students. And the pile of finished projects keeps growing.
We had to make changes in our original plans to start with literacy training in October. We enrolled 60 new tailoring and leatherworking students in October–double the previous number. We were surprised to discover that many of them had attended high school, unlike the previous group, and they were able to read and write. We did not want to bore these students or waste resources teaching something they already knew, so we decided to go ahead and start or continue with everyone training in trade skills. But literacy in our students is important to us, so we are working out a plan to teach literacy to those students who need it without leaving them behind in the trade classes. We will let you know how we work this out.
Our big news is that in November 2021 we reached our original funding goal of $10,000 for our Global Giving project.
With the funding from this project we were able to construct of the weaving shed, install 5 traditional looms, and offer year of free training for 10 young weavers. We are amazed at the rapid progress they are making.
To the best of our knowledge, Abdoulwahid Goumer, our weaving instructor, is the last practicing tera-tera weaver in Niger. Through our school, he is now bringing along 12 new weavers in this Nigerien weaving style and we will be able to preserve a beautiful, traditional Nigerian craft.