Niger: Educating girls through their mothers
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29-03-2018 | di COOPI

Niger: Educating girls through their mothers

In Niger, education is a great challenge for each government in office and, in order to face it, the State undertakes to create conditions capable of stimulating a good school attendance rate, and create favourable conditions for good learning.

For this reason, several supportive community structures have been established: APE (Parents’ Association), COGES (Management Committee), and AME (Mother Educators’ Association).

In particular, AME was established in 2005 by the Ministry of Education and plays a very important role in promoting both education in general and female schooling, especially in the Country’s rural areas.

Through the project financed by AICS (Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development), COOPI is supporting the establishment of 22 Mother Educators’ Associations in the area of intervention, that is the Diffa Region. In these last months, in fact, COOPI has been busy meeting the local communities of 3 districts helping them choose AME members, that is women that have chosen to send their daughters to school and want to become protagonists of their daughters’ future. Specifically, COOPI has been involved in launching awareness campaigns, in meeting mothers and providing support in managing the school structures. AMEs can be composed of 7 members in the formal education sector, or 5 members in the case of schooling centres. Mothers are chosen, together with village heads or school principals, on the basis of their commitment and recognised authority within their communities.  The path then continues by training them on their role, responsibilities and by defining an action strategy. Lastly, some of them undergo a schooling course providing them with a school kit, in order to support their personal growth as well. 

To obtain further information, we interviewed Ms. Hadjia HAOUA Djalo, President of the AME within the district school of N'guigmi, in the Diffa Region.

How did you come to know about the NGO COOPI?

«We often see COOPI collaborators in our district, they work a lot at school. Even our children know about COOPI.»

What kind of support do AMEs receive?

«Since I’ve been President, we’ve carried out all our projects through our own earnings from small trade activities. However, this year COOPI provided our Association with training on our role and responsibilities. A day was devoted also to the drafting of an «action plan». We defined several activities to be realised within the schools and communities. It was a very important opportunity.»

How does AME contribute toward the good functioning of the school?

«We participate in the school’s administration and help solve some of the school’s problems. We raise women’s awareness concerning sending girls to school and we also participate in other activities, such as the maintenance of the school gardens. With COOPI’s support we can do much more and better. We really appreciate the organization and hope it will continue standing by our side for a very long time.»