Education Involving children in solidarity work

It is an unwritten principle among most humanitarian NGO:s not to persuade children to donate money. However, involving them in solidarity work is often a most gratifying task, the children learn for the future and they feel proud to be able to participate.

Every year, school kids in Sigtuna run for their distant friends in Nakamtenga. Galaxskolan arranges something called “Burkina Faso joggen” when pupils link their race with fundraising and encourage donors. But this is only the first of three steps in order to support their vänskola (friendship-school).

– We start with the jogging in connection with highlighting the UN-days in September and during the week children collect what we call a Springslant (Jogging dime). Now we are planning for Lucia which is organised with our children in grade 2, thanks to their ginger bread house baking parents we can set up a lottery, says Suzanne Flemström, who is klasslärare (teacher) for grade 2B.

– Finally in April, we arrange something called Hela Galaxskolan Läser (The Entire School is Reading) when we welcome parents and families. The school is open for a day with a focus on reading, the older students run coffee shops and parts of money raised goes into the annual sum allocated to Yennenga.

Galaxskolan has been involved with Burkina Faso for many years, earlier with a school in a place called Dazankiema, where they managed to finance a solar energy panel. But with the start of the school in Nakamtenga – and Yennenga’s long term commitment – the Sigtuna school joined this development scheme.

On the day of the jogging event, pupils also received a direct feedback from Eva Marand, who recently visited Nakamtenga. Eva is a teacher in mathematics and producer of educational material who has visited Nakamtenga on several occasions and trained local teachers.

– She told us about life in the village and showed the children photos so they could see for themselves what our friendship school looks like, tells Suzanne Flemström. This was much appreciated indeed.