at 3:23 AM
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Report of trip to Nigeria
[13th March – 5th April 2007]
By Pamela McLean
A very big thank you to British Airways for making this possible.
The trip lasted just over three weeks. It was an opportunity to advance some existing voluntary work (relating to ICT training for teachers and trainer) to observe and support some long term projects, to learn more about some recent collaborations, and to renew and strengthen other contacts.
This report could easily become a long list of names, dates and places – so I will simply focus on three main locations – and mention a few events in some detail. At the centre of the trip was the Teachers Talking (TT) course hosted by Fantsuam Foundation at Kafanchan. Previous TT courses have been attended by local participants only, but the project is getting better known. This course attracted participants from various other states as well. The ones I know by name were Oyo, Plateau, and Cross River.
One of the participants (from Oyo State) was Pastor David Adesokan, manager of the OCDN (Oke-Ogun Community Development Network) project in Oyo State. The week before the course I spent time with him visiting various locations and people connected with OCDN. We renewed our contacts with Ibadan University Distance Learning Department and discovered excellent overlap between their future plans for teachers and work we have started. We look forward to closer future collaboration.
During our programme of visits and meetings I was also able to act as an intermediary between teachers in Oyo State and a couple of schools that I have started linking with in the UK. I have given feedback to one of the UK teachers since returning and we have already agreed our next step in building links and understanding. At Iseyin I presented the Information Centre Committee with a gift of £60, from “A Ray of Hope”, towards a new printer, which was much appreciated. We also met with teachers in Ago-Are and Okeho. One of the teachers I met in Ago-Are is now teaching infants in Igbeti. She uses songs to start teaching English to the children – English is the language they will be taught in – not Yoruba which is their mother tongue. I want to visit her in school some time with a video camera. Her songs give both English and Yoruba vocabulary. They could be good to share with pupils over here when I do my visits, as pupils are often interested in other languages.
After Oyo State, and Kafanchan, I was the guest of Caroline Ifeka of REIWA (Rural Empowerment Initiative with West Africa) and travelled with her to River State to see first hand the work REIWA is doing in nomadic schools with marginalised pastoralist communities. (The field officer for the programme was a TT participant at Kafanchan the previous week.) the various projects have overlapping interests and I am the link between them, and also the link from them to others (enabling collaboration and the sharing of ideas and expertise)
A small incident particularly stands in my mind as something to share with UK pupils. Early one morning two schoolgirls called at the house where I was staying. They were clearly distressed. It was the start of school exams and any pupils who have outstanding debts to their school (fees etc) are not allowed to sit exams. One of the girls had been taking in 500 Naira. (This sum is only a little over £2 – but is more than some petty traders can earn for a full days work). The girl had lost the money, and had come to see the house holder to ask if she could labour on his farm later, in return for a loan of 500 Niara. When she discovered he had already left the house she was distraught. Fortunately I was able to ask my companion to tell me what was happening and so I was able to give her the money she needed.
The trip was useful on many levels both for progressing the various projects in practical ways and for generally increasing understanding between my contacts in Nigeria and those in the UK.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the trip agenda had to be modified but nevertheless so much was achieved.
at 7:14 PM
at 7:11 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Thank you to Roch Valley, Pictorial Charts, Heaton's Lurgan and British Airways.
at 3:28 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
at 3:50 PM
at 3:48 PM
Monday, April 02, 2007
Melanie delivers baby clothes and miscellaneous items to Hungary
at 1:04 PM