Friday, April 20, 2012

Fully Funded!

The science lab project has been fully funded!! I don't know how to say thank you to everyone who donated; it was such a surprise to see it get funded so fast! I'm one lucky girl to have such an enormous amount of support from home.

Here is the classroom that we will be turning into a science lab:

The floors will be cemented (it's just a dirt floor now), and 5 tiled lab tables will be installed with a sink in each one.  

In addition to the classroom, the school donated a storage closet and an office.  We'll put the science materials in this closet.  

I now have one more community meeting and construction will begin once I receive the money! I'll continue to post pictures as we go along.  It's so exciting to see this project come together.  I remember when I first got here talking to Djeri (the science teacher) about the possibility of putting a science lab at the high school.  I wanted to wait until I was sure the community was motivated and that this would be a worth-while and sustainable project.  After being here for a year and a half and working with the science club and the school, I'm really excited to see this project take off.  This is truly a community worth investing in, with motivated and dynamic members!  Thanks a million times for all the support everyone has shown me and my community!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Angel is 24 years old and is in her senior year of high school. (It’s very common for high school students to be anywhere between 15 years old and 30 years old). When she was a sophomore in high school, she became pregnant with her twin boys, Fabian and Fabrisse.

Pregnancy almost always puts an end to educational and career orientated goals for a Togolese girl.  Once pregnant, the girl will drop out of school to take care of her child.  Angel’s incredibly supportive family encouraged her to return to school once her twins were born.  The family all pitches in to take care of her kids while she is at school and at night while she studies.

Despite being away from school during the day, Angel always finds time and energy to play with her twins after school and during the weekends.  She is a dynamic young woman that understands the importance of family, education, and preparing for her future. 

Angel is the president of the Tchamba Science Club, a club that meets once a week to perform science experiments.   She has taken the responsibility of planning all the activities for the club, thinking of fundraising efforts for the club, and encourages her peers to attend.

Angel hopes to go to University next year to studying agronomy.  Her passion to become an agronomist is evident; her entire yard is a garden of vegetables and moringa trees, which she shares with her neighbors and teaches them about nutrition.

By donating to the Tchamba Science Laboratory, you will ensure a brighter future for Angel and young women like her.  It is difficult for any student to comprehend the complex nature of science by solely practicing rote memorization of theory. Furthermore, girls often do not enroll in science classes; they are discouraged by their peers and often cannot succeed in a class when boys out-number the girls 8 to 1.  With this science lab, students will have the opportunity to learn hands-on, and girls who are already against unfair odds will build the confidence needed to continue with a scientific future.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I cannot imagine going through high school biology, chemistry and physics classes without having a lab component to see what I learned play out in practical activities.  Togolese students are expected to learn, memorize, and understand what their teachers lecture to them each day.  But with the lecture-based methods, students never have the opportunity to see science come to life.  On top of it all, Tchamba has all the necessary science equipment for experiments, just no environment to actually carry them out!

Help my bright students better comprehend the sciences by donating to the Tchamba Science Lab! This lab will not only give the kids a chance to run experiments, learn in a participatory manor, and be a hands-on way of learning, but it will also encourage girls to pursue the sciences as well.

Girls in the Tchamba high school are outnumbered by boys almost 8 to 1.  Girls are afraid to speak out or ask questions because they are afraid of boys teasing them and also because Togolese culture encourages them to be timid.  Few girls are enrolled in science classes, because science is tough! And without a full support system, the opportunity to ask questions or participation in class, girls fall unnoticed.  Give the girls the opportunity to learn science in a manner that is more conducive to individual learning, thus building their courage and their future in science.

Click here to be a part of this project:

100% of your contributions will go directly to building lab tables, installing sinks and plumbing equipment, installing electricity, and ensuring that there is proper drainage. I'll be sure to update you with photos of the construction as we go along! Plus everyone who donates will have their name painted on the wall of the science lab!

Djeri, the science teacher, teaching the students of the science club how to make  bleach The science club is comprised of 50 students and meets once a week.  The club either does review or experiments each week, but they are extremely limited by the room size and number of resources.

The science teacher encourages girls to prepare the experiments to teach the class.  Here, the girls are showing the club electrolysis of water.  Your donations will give the chance to every girl at the high school to understand and perform exeperiments!

The club breaking up into teams to race which team can solve a sudoku puzzle fastest!

The club crowding around the one table to see the experiment.   The science lab will ensure that every student can be a part of the experiments, rather than 50 kids surrounding 1 small table.