2021 — Pencils for Kids’ 16th year in Niger


2021 — Pencils for Kids’ 16th year in Niger, has been a year filled with both hope and despair — as we get closer to opening the Dov Centre, A Training School for Horticultural Technicians, and also witnessed the tragedy in Niger when over 46 small children perished in fires in their kindergartens made of straw.




The Dov Centre: Our Most Ambitious Program Yet!

As of December 2021, we have almost completed construction of the The Dov Centre, our Horticultural Training Centre for Technicians, named in memory of Professor Dov Pasternak and built in partnership with a US NGO, Eliminate Poverty Now (EPN). When the Dov Centre opens its doors, hopefully, in the Fall of 2022, we plan to train 40 technicians per year, in a two-year program affiliated with the Ministry of Education. These graduates will then have the expertise to train rural women in Niger how to grow fruits and vegetables for a profit in desert conditions, how to market their produce and invest their earnings. It will be the culmination of Dov Pasternak’s dream and a way to help lift so many from poverty.

During 2022 we will continue building partnerships with organizations around the world, fundraise to support the interior furnishings and initial operating costs, and create the curriculum, hire the staff and prepare practical courses for our first cohort in October 2022. We anticipate a year filled with promise, excitement and hope for new students and for the farmers we will train.

See our Named Gift Opportunities for the Dov Centre


On November 24th, 2020, the Minister of Higher Education officially launched the Dov Centre building by placing a brick on the foundation. A moment of history. A moment remembering and honouring Professor Dov. A vision for the future.


The construction of the Dov Centre is nearing completion, with the aim to open its doors in the Fall of 2022.




Kindergarten Rebuilding Campaign

On April 14th, 2021, 20 kindergarten children, ages 3-5 years old perished when their straw kindergarten burned down in Niamey, Niger. The entire country was plunged into mourning. As a result, we immediately decided to rebuild the 13 kindergartens we started in Liboré that were made of straw, so that nothing like this could happen to the children in our own sites. This campaign called Project Kindergarten is in full swing, with two kindergartens already completed and a third and fourth on the way, thanks to the Travel Agent Next Door’s generosity. Each Kindergarten will cost approximately $20,000 in Canadian Funds and an additional $4000 for furnishings and supplies. 

Every Kindergarten that we launch will have a plaque in memory of the children who died in the fire. We officially launched the first two kindergartens on October 30th, with a representative from the Ministry of Education in attendance, as well as the parents of the children who died in April’s fire.

Sadly, in early November, 26 more children died in a similar tragedy prompting the government to prohibit any child of kindergarten age to attend any school that is made of straw.

The urgency of our rebuilding campaign could not be greater. 


Memorial sign shown at the opening of P4K’s first Kindergarten Rebuild (October 2021) honouring the 20 children lost in the fire of April 2021.


Photos from April’s tragedy

Check out our Official Press Release for more information.

If you are interested in sponsoring a kindergarten, please contact us at info@pencilsforkids.com.

Visit our Project Kindergarten page to learn more >



Scholarships for Girls congratulates three new graduates!

Three more girls in our Second Chance Scholarship program, Maimouna Abdoulaye, Rakiatou Ousseini, and Mariama Boubicar (left to right), graduated from Secondary School in August 2021. This brings the total to 42 girls who have gone on to university or post-secondary institutions since our Scholarship program began in 2009!

This special program has continued to give girls in their final year of Secondary (called the Terminale level) a “second chance” by opening a special classroom for them, hiring a teacher, and providing all the tutoring and class time needed to pass.

In addition, 24 girls who received scholarships at the junior high level all passed their exams and moved on to the next level.

We are also delighted to announce the first-ever collaboration between teachers in Canada and our teachers running the tutoring program in Liboré.  An exciting new development that we hope will continue for years to come.



Cooper Sewing Centre celebrates its 13th anniversary!


The Cooper Centre, founded by P4K with generous support from the Cooper family, is a sewing program where girls pay their own tuition, and participate in examinations that are accredited by the National Sewing Association. The goal is to give girls and women, who are no longer in school, a second chance to get a profession. P4K started this program with only four girls in 2008, helping them acquire an income-generating skill. They are learning embroidery, sewing, knitting, and dyeing and also take courses in numeracy and literacy. Students pay a yearly fee to help cover the costs of the teachers.

This past year, changes have been made to the Sewing Centre to give options to the girls to take a two-year course or a one-year course, no longer a three-year course. This was done because of the needs of the students and parents and was a change recommended by the National Sewing Association, which changed its guidelines. As a result, we enrolled 35 students in our two-year program and 12 in our one-year program.

337 girls have enrolled since our Sewing Centre began.

99 girls have graduated from the Centre since its inception.

Some of them are working in their own company on the main road, some of them are working with other private companies and there are others who are working at home.

The Sewing Centre has 1 Director, 2 full-time teachers, 3 part-time teachers, an Advisor from the National Sewing Association who comes three times a year, a maintenance person and a guard. Everyone is paid by the tuition fees, rental of the Training Board room and chair rental income.



Over 95% of your donation goes directly to sustaining highly effective education and training programs for the young people of Niger.

Pencils for Kids is a volunteer-run organization and we are proud of the programs and services that we are able to deliver to the children of Liboré. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the unwavering support of our Pencils for Kids community. Your ongoing contribution to P4K has an impact every day on the life and the future of the children and women of Liboré. For these children and women, and for the whole community, your support is driving sustainable change that will deliver benefits right now and for future generations.

For all these reasons we hope you will be able to maintain or even increase your financial support for P4K in 2022.

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