This is where “the past meets the future” for the needy child.  
       
 
 
The school is 16 years old [1995 to 2011] and since it is a non-profit institution, it generates no significant fund. There are so many problems. Most children attend school free. It does not enjoy grants from any arm of the government of Nigeria [local, state and federal]. It was established the philosophy of free education for needy children.


Orphans, the handicapped and the disabled have free tuition. The fees realized every term is USD$ 952.38, while the salary per month is USD$ 396.82 and in the same term of 4 Months salaries amount to USD$ 1587.30. While fund realized remains USD$ 952.38. We have been finding it very difficult running the school.


However, small grants have been coming into the school from International donors, notably: the Secretariat Group of the United Nations Women’s Guild for learning and teaching materials [Attn. , United Nations Plaza, Room DC1-775, New York, NY 10017, Tel: 212-963-4149 USA E-mail: unwg@un.org www.un.org/other/unwg/projects/nigeria.html


We have 13 teaching staff and 3 non-teaching staff. We have no money to build new classrooms. The six classrooms and two offices we are enjoying now were built by The Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, Inc., 109 Rockland Street, Holliston, MA01746, Phone: 508-429-6653 and Barbara L Valocore and one other donor associated with the Lifebridge Foundation Inc. New York USA. in 1995/96, 1997 and 1999. They since have ended their assistance to us.


We don't have enough rooms to shelter all our pupils and we have not secured any promise of money for the construction of four additional classes to accommodate the Secondary section. There is no game or sport area and no fence around the school.


Our school is mixed. Some of the girls are on girl child education. We want to continue this program but have no funds. This program gives girls from abjectly poor families the chance to be educated freely.


Since inception in 1995 we have been training the children to acquire only the First School Leaving Certificate. While the other children usually move to the secondary education at other schools, the needy seldom get someone to support them. We want to adopt the Basic Education Program fully which allows us to run both the Primary and Secondary Education Programs together we will ensure continuity of service to all children. This requires more funds.


The rocky nature of this part of Plateau State creates a favorable living environment for poisonous snakes and other insects. Snake-bite has therefore become very common, almost on a daily basis at all seasons of the year. There is a threat to farmers and particularly women and children on the farms, as they go looking for fire wood and as they early go down to fetch water and as they go to school/ or look after livestock, respectively. On the comparison, more people die from snake bite than from guinea worm, yet the government and International donors seem to devote more attention on the fight against guinea worm than snakes. Funds are therefore committed more towards the eradication of guinea worm and the control of river blindness than to save the lives of the many victims of snake bite. As a safety precaution, the school always stokes anti-snake venom in earthen pots. This has helped a lot in saving the lives of children and women who are the most vulnerable. We are optimistic that one day we will be provided with solar electric system that will allow us to store more anti-snake venoms and other medicines.


Though, our pupils are eager to learn about new cultures, languages and to make new friends with people from different countries, we have no opportunity to make that happen in their lifetime in the school. We have no computers and do not have access to ICT.


The school’s latrines always collapse in the wet season because they are usually made of non-durable materials. It is our desire that more durable pit latrines are constructed for us and a borehole is sunk to provide us and our immediate community with better portable water.

 

 
(C)2008 GARRAM CHILDRENS SCHOOL AND ORPHANAGE, TOM TOM