« In Niger, manual work is considered as unprestigious and is frowned upon. But this stigma is changing because Amadou Hampaté Bâ Middle School has made a success of its brand new garden and the students love taking care
of it ”
, says proudly the director of the school.

Thanks to the well that our association had built for Hampaté Bâ in 2013, the school now has its own garden which grows tomatoes, green peppers and chilies. Everyone was involved from the beginning: the director, the teachers and the students. When they started, there was nothing but sand. Look at it now! The school director says the students are passionate about the garden and that taking care of it is teaching them the notion of responsibility.

« Without proper care and maintenance, the plants could die or the garden could become overgrown. Giving students the responsibility to water and care for the plants they grow instills in them a sense of accountability. Patience is another virtue that students learn through garden participation, as plants do not grow, flower, or fruit overnight. » explains the director.

Some of the teaching staff are also involved in this project.

• The home economics teacher advises on nutrition, food hygiene, food preparation and food conservation.

• The biology teacher uses the garden as an observatory.

• The French teacher teaches the names of different fruits and vegetables and their correct spelling.

« Hopefully, in a near future, other teachers too will be able to create meaningful learning experiences for their students as school gardens can be used to teach practically every subject taught in secondary school. I have asked the social studies teacher to use the garden to teach students about other cultures and how they grow their food and what they eat, as well as where our own food comes from« , adds the director.