22 April, 2015

Fayoum Girl Schools

Apache has built and run, 201 Schools 
between Fayoum, Giza and Minya, in Egypt..

Some of them also founded by employees. 
A small handful of people are responsible 
for maintanance and follow-ups, 
with regular visits every week. 
They try to visit each school 
about three times a year.
Visit the Springboard organization, here.

These schools has one classroom, 
where students of several ages 
are divided to study with their own grade level, 
by sitting in smaller groups. 

The area has public schools, 
however, the custom here is 
that boys attend these schools, 
that is often a good walk from home. 
Because of this distance, 
girls are kept closer to home, 
for protection. 

The girl schools are often right inside the village, 
and gives an opportunity for them to attend. 
The ones I visited had 1 to 3 teachers. 
Possibly from the village, 
some of them often bringing their own, 
young, children. 
These girls are a delight, 
sweet, beautiful and eager to learn.
I consider myself very lucky 
to be able to visit some of these schools. 
About once a week, 
a small group is traveling to visit with the girls. 
We have brought water color 
(brought water too, 
- some schools have no running water) 
paper and plastic cups for painting, 
card games, Jenga, 

Twister, beads, 

and what ever else we thought 
they would like to play with. 
The girls has welcomed us with songs,
 role-play and acting. 
Although the language spoken is Arabic, 
we have been communicating 
with single Arabic words (one pick up a few) 
and hand gestures. 
They all know how to count to ten in English, 
and also words like welcome, and bye bye. 
Each time we have visited about 3 schools.
We had so much fun playing with them, 
and I look forward to next time already.

Since some of the schools 
are located in rural areas, 
roads are not always in the most perfect conditions. 
Even a 4- wheel drive land-rover is challenged 
when the road (track) is not wide enough.

I have so far only gone with them to Fayoum,
This is an area south west of Cairo, 
 in the Sahara desert. 
Water is channeled from the Nile, 
and make it possible to farm. 
Life goes on along the channels, 
so passing through an early morning, 
women are cleaning dishes, 
and washing clothes,
kids are swimming, men fishing, 
and animals drinking from the stream. 
Life seams peaceful, 
and the stress of city life is basically none existent. 
In many ways the impression one gets, 
is being back in time,
although some technical items have found their way. 
It is not uncommon to meet a farmer 
riding his donkey, 
as he is talking on his cellular phone. 
I love the people here,
very friendly and welcoming,
waving and smiling.
I am sure we look very strange to them,
having a totally different picture of "normal"
then we do.
A good opportunity to learn about eachother.
Have a nice day!