Like most children in this rural community spread out over many kilometers, Bako gets up early each morning to make the long walk to school. In the 4th grade, a smart student with aspirations of one day being a teacher, he says he has seen big changes in Barouéli, especially at school, since Plan began working here.
“In my village, parents think more about the education of children than they used to,” says Bako, “and they are more interested in the wellbeing of their child. Each mother prepares her young children and brings them to the new preschool.” His mom Tenin agrees. She has taken part in a number of Plan projects and community meetings where, she says, “we have learned that children also have rights and we must respect them, which means that we must send them to school.”
With new investments in education, school is more engaging than ever, says Bako.
“Math is my favorite subject, but I also help water the plants and harvest the potatoes from the new school garden that Plan helped us build.”
The garden is a great example of how investments in the local school are not only improving the quality and range of programs offered to children, but creating an important community hub centred around the life of the school.
“Everyone in the community helps with working in the school garden,” says Bako.
When school is done for the day, Bako has chores to do on the family farm. After dinner, he does his homework, and still manages to get some play into his busy day.
“I like to go to the public space with my friends and play ball,” he says, “and listen to the elders tell stories.”
Thanks to donors like you, children like Bako are enjoying the benefits of a stronger school and community with a greater sense of commitment to them and their education, which is one of the best investments a community can make in its own development.
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