What started as 3 girls receiving their sight through the donations of BTBAB partners has led to a wider community transformation with the building of a school extension and two apprenticship programmes.
In 2009, the story of 3 blind sisters came to BTBAB’s attention through a missionary couple with World Horizons who were based in Niger at the time. Roukaya, Rahina and Hadiza had been ostrasized from society because they had been blind from birth. Prisoners in their own home, the girls needed constant assistance with daily living tasks. Only a complicated and expensive eye operation would restore their vision, but at the time it seemed impossible to raise the money for the operation.
Thankfully we trust in a God of the impossible, and today, all 3 sisters can see thanks to donations from BTBAB partners. But the story didn’t stop there because a year later in 2011 God challenged BTBAB to do more by asking us to raise the money to build a school extension for 200 kids in the village of Kwaara Tegri… and yet again our partners responded generously by donating over £27,000.
The village of Kwaara Tegri now has its own fully functioning school that is large enough to meet the needs of the surrounding area and the impact is incredible.
In keeping with the heartbeat of partnering with local church and mission organisations, this school not only provides an education but a place of hope that is surrounded by the love of Jesus. The majority of the children come from homes where the gospel message is unknown as is the hope that it can bring to their lives and future. This school has the potential to transform the future generation of Niger.
The school extension was completed in September 2012 and provided full facilities for 250 kids from poor families. The construction of the school was carried out by a local construction firm which means it has benefitted the community at a local level. Local people were employed in the construction bringing finance and skills into the area. 5 additional teachers were employed and 13 additional staff gained employment. In total over 300 families benefited from the initiative and the presence of the school provided a boost to the village of Kwaara Tegri. Most of the 250 kids who filled the classrooms came from homes where no one had ever learnt to read or write.
Because of the increase in the number of children who were fed daily, local women with a small cooking business also gained employment. The economic impact was so phenomenal that we may never know how big this single act of kindness touched the village and continues to touch the lives and fabric of not just the village of Kwaara Tegri but the surrounding towns and provinces. We serve an awesome God.
REBUILD NIGER APPEAL
Unfortunately, a few years later the work of the school faced severe opposition. In January 2015, extremist groups plundered the school and set it alight, two years after the work was completed. In partnership with Anoura School and with prayer and Godly wisdom and guidance, BTBAB committed to seeing the school being restored to its former state.
(See Rebuild Niger Appeal)
BETHEL SEWING SCHOOL
Between 2011 -2014 our partners’ generous donations of nearly £7,000 allowed us to get behind another OCT initiative in Niger. In 2012 we were able to sponsor 24 women to learn how to sew. The Bethel Sewing School, located in Niamey – the capital of Niger – is a 3 year sewing school for adult women from impoverished families and for whom it is too late to return to formal education. Over 3 years they not only learn how to sew but are also taught basic business management skills so that they can, with some additional funding, start up a sewing business. In addition, the women benefit on a personal level from participating in a safe social forum where social and other issues can be discussed freely.
In 2013 twelve women graduated and the following year, forty two women enrolled in the school. In 2014 Pastor Aissa – Pastor Moussa’s wife – received an honoury award of £1000 from BTBAB, following a generous donation from a Niger OCT supporter.
Like Anoura School, both Bethel Church and the Sewing School were plundered and burnt by extremists, either removing or destroying anything of value. This included the sewing machines which were funded by the OCT project. Our Rebuild Niger Appeal likewise, supported the re-establishment of the sewing school project.