Building Blocks Burkina is an education program created by Canadian charity Refuge Enfants Pour Tous (REPT), 'Children's Refuge for All'
The charity is led by the dynamic Allyson Taché, a retired Canadian pre-school teacher who has made it her mission to support the education and development of children in one of the world's poorest nations, Burkina Faso
I had the pleasure to get to know Allyson while on honeymoon and to learn about her work, which inspired me to develop in this fundraising campaign
The program will support pre-school education in 400 schools across Burkina Faso
To me, Building Blocks Burkina is amazing for the sheer impact of each and every dollar:
On average, it costs about $1 to educate each pre-school child in the program
Funds go directly into the program (there is no 'administrative overhead' here!)
As part of the program, local teachers are trained through workshops to ensure sustainability
Allyson delivers the training herself, ensuring it is high-quality and rigorous, but moreover, that it is delivered for free
There is a follow-up program to ensure the program's success: the schools that receive the blocks are visited and monitored to ensure that the blocks continue to be available to the children and actively used
The building blocks are being produced locally in Burkina Faso, hence the program also supports the local economy
Currently Burkina's pre-schools are void of any educational materials. This program will fill schoolrooms with coloured, hand-painted wooden blocks to enable children to learn through play. The pedagogy of using building blocks to support learning is well-established: it's even a formal part of the French national education program.
What We Need & What You Get
As a start, I am aiming to raise $3,000 in 3 months to support Building Blocks Burkina.
Funds will support two key activities:
Producing kits of coloured wooden blocks, which form the core materials for in-class activities
Training local pre-school teachers through workshops
I hope to reach this $3,000 goal, and if I don't, the funds will of course still support Building Blocks Burkina. Funds raised over and above this goal will mean that more young children in one of the world's poorest countries will receive fundamental pre-school education.
Please note that due to the international nature of this campaign, tax receipts will not be automatically issued. However, REPT is a registered charity in Canada. For Canadian residents making donations greater than $20, please contact me to request a receipt (please provide your Canadian mailing address) and we will issue one for you after the completion of the campaign.
Also, please note all donation amounts below are in USD.
Three key messages from recent research on brain development in young children:
(1) Preschooler's brains undergo significant development,
(2) Preschoolers' experience and learning affect the structure and organization of their brains,
(3) Preschoolers' brains grow most as the result of complex activities, not from simple skill learning.
from Teaching Children Mathematics, Doug Clements, Copyright 2001 The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc.
Other Ways You Can Help
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