All ten of our top class graduated from grammar school and were accepted in junior high school, but there are none available in the “bush” where the nomads live so we thought long and hard to find the best solution for the kids and their parents. At first we thought to create a location in Ingall where they could all live together, but the parents were reluctant to send their kids in the care of someone they did not know. We also found an education center in Agadez that provides tutoring, room and board for the kids in Agadez, but again the parents did not want to send them to strangers and the cost was prohibitive so we would only have been able to send three. So we spoke to the parents and they each had family members with whom the kids could live. Since they preferred this, we agreed to pay for their school tuition, their books and a stipend to the families to help feed them. This way everyone was happy. I went to each family in Agadez and was able to visit seven students in Agadez and one in Ingal both to thank the families, to check on the kids and to give them their gifts–swiss army knives for the boys and gold necklaces for the girls (both tiny).
I only missed seeing two students who will be staying in Ingal. One is the little brother our our school director so I know he will do well since Assadek can visit him often from Tamesna.
Sidi and I decided we need to have a quarterly review of the situation and a monthly get together for the kids so they don’t lose contact with their community. After seeing the great families they are staying with–now I am also happy.