Guinea Kids: We’re all about the learning! What a learning and growing process this has been for all of us involved. If there is one thing GKEF is committed to it is a quality education for all children and specifically for the students we support. And so, while recently visiting the children and their school, GKEF members from the US and Guinea determined that the current quality of education and overall experience at their school was not where we wanted it to be for our students. The school was able to make many improvements to their structure, but the children’s actually learning became compromised.
What this continued learning has brought to light for GKEF is what is truly at the core of our mission statement; the children. Plain and simple, we are all passionate about these 20 children whom we have begun on this journey; and seeing them through as much of their school education as we can. After careful consideration and discussion between members and the school, it was decided to move the students to a new school, Nimba Elisa, and to
focus our funds on sending them to school and the success of their learning.
Nimba Elisa is a school that offers a full education for students and carefully tested each of our students to ensure that they were being placed at the level where they would best be served. We were impressed by their organized infrastructure and that children are learning both French and English there. Plus the school is still within walking distance for the children in the neighborhood of Enco-5.
(Photos by Ilona Berzups. All rights reserved 2009)
Here are some links to videos taken at the Nimba Elisa School:
But let me also tell you about a true angel that has emerged among us: Alya Koumbassa. Alya is brother to Karim Koumbassa, my friend, and Alya is the person who manages this whole project in Guinea all year. Alya went above and beyond the call of duty this past year and created a place in his family’s own front yard where the children can come and receive tutoring and do homework everyday.
He actually built a simple structure with a partial roof and added a black-board. He hired a tutor for last summer, but much of the time he is the one tutoring the children. But here is the really cool part. The 20 children GKEF sends to school come for tutoring, but then there are all these other children in the neighborhood who come round to see what’s happening and they end up learning stuff, too! The Koumbassa home has always been a gathering place in their neighborhood, but now even more so. One GKEF member described the homework place with, “It’s becoming like a community center for the neighborhood.”
(Photo by Dawn Isaacs 2009)