July 28, 2003
APAF Muso Danbe
Earlier this evening, we participated in THE meeting we've been looking for. APAF Muso Danbe is a Malian NGO that runs night-time courses for young women in Bamako. The nine-month program ordinarily runs from October through June and is intended for girls who haven't had any previous schooling. The first-year curriculum, conducted entirely in Bambara, covers literacy and numeracy, maternal and infant health. and domestic skills like cooking and clothesmaking. Madame Dembele, the energetic and charismatic director of APAF, organized a special class session for our benefit, which brought four instructors and almost seventy young women (plus twenty of their babies) to the Mairie of Quartier Mali for an evening literacy course. It was exciting to finally get to see a real literacy course in action, and we received mountains of useful feedback on the Kinakjou design.
The teachers jumped right into using the Kinkajou. They said that the projector design worked well with the reading exercises they give to girls who have completed the basic literacy module of the curriculum. Adama Traore, an instructor at APAF, and his colleagues used the World Education reading curriculum to lead an hour-long reading session with the students.
After the class, we held a question and answer session with the students. They enjoyed the novel presentation of their course material, and at least one student said it was like going to the movies. Once the students left, we held a review session with the teachers and Madame Dembele.
The classroom was orderly and everyone--including the twenty babies--seemed happy to be there. We are very grateful to the indomitable Madame Dembele for organizing this fantastic event! We would also like to thank her colleagues and their students for being so generous with their time, patience and interest.
Posted by Timothy Prestero at July 28, 2003 11:09 PM