Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Knowledge for Children Gets New Country Director


Kumbo, North-West Region, 12 May 2014

New Dutch Country Director for Knowledge for Children Cameroon.

Ms. Esly van Dam from the Netherlands starts her service as the new country director for Knowledge for Children Cameroon today. Knowledge for Children is a Dutch-Cameroonian NGO working on improving the quality of primary education in the rural areas of the North-West and Adamawa Regions in Cameroon. This is needed as many children finish primary school without being able to read or write well.
One of the main issues in rural schools in the region is a lack of textbooks. Knowledge for Children is donating textbooks to schools. ‘What makes Knowledge for Children unique, is that the school, the P.T.A. and the community have to contribute to the project’, explains Ms. Van Dam. ‘The schools have to fund their own book fund. When the Knowledge for Children project is finished after three years, the schools and PTAs will be able to continue the maintenance and purchase of new books. To achieve this, parents are trained on the importance of education and learn how to keep the school and head master accountable for the quality of education in their school’. Also, Knowledge for Children is training teachers. Many rural primary school teachers are not well trained. By training them in teaching methods, focussing on literacy, results of pupils will improve. This improved capacity of teachers is also enabling teachers and pupils to benefit more from the books.
A third project in the schools is the health project. In participating schools, ‘health clubs’ are formed by pupils from the higher grades. Knowledge for Children trains these pupils on malaria, HIV and aids and general hygiene. The club members also receive training on peer education, enabling them to train their peers.
Ms. Van Dam will be leading the Knowledge for Children team for at least one year. She says: ‘Food is not so much of a problem in the rural areas of the North-West Region. But money for education is not readily available. Schools lack many things; there are not enough classrooms, teachers and didactic materials. I am very grateful and happy to be able to contribute, together with my Cameroonian colleagues, to the quality of education in the North-West Region. It is my goal to give children in the rural areas here the same opportunities as I had as a child in the rural areas of the Netherlands’.
Knowledge for Children is depending on donations. Any support is very welcome through our current account with Banque Atlantique Kumbo;

Knowledge for Children Knowledge for Children was founded in 2005 by the Dutch Arnold Roozenbeek and the Cameroonian ex-education inspector Maimo Jacob Shiynyuy. What started as donating some books to a few schools, is now an NGO with seven paid staff members and 132 primary schools in the region. Our unique co-financing system is making sure that the project is supported by the entire community and ensures sustainability after the Knowledge for Children project is finished in the school. For redaction use only, not for publication More information can be obtained from:
Ms. Esly van Dam (Country Director Knowledge for Children Cameroon) (237)53 083390 
or esly.kforc@gmail.com.
Mr. Maimo Jacob Shiynyuy (Board chairman Knowledge for Children Cameroon); 
7764 2630 / 95717378 or maimojacobs.kforc@gmail.com.

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