What an amazing year it’s been!

Thanks to your support, Pencils for Kids has made great strides this past year enabling the women and students in the community of Liboré to become self-sustaining.

Our 2014 Successes

TreesFarmers of the Future is a partnership between Pencils for Kids and Eliminate Poverty Now, guided by Professor Dov Pasternak. The program has expanded from three to four schools and there are income generating gardens run by the mothers adjacent to each school. Women have been earning income from the sale of vegetables and fruit, and technicians have been training both the women and the students in the schools. Videos of successful farmers in Niger have been produced and will be showcased to the students throughout the year, showing that agriculture can be a thriving business, not merely a way to subsist.  In 2015 the program will test a simplified model that will be less expensive to scale up. The next step is to expand to 15 schools for a rigorous test phase as soon as funding is secured.  

500 students have participated in Farmers of the Future since the program began. Eighty mothers are running nurseries and gardens, 30 teachers have taught elements of the program, and all have received technical training.

Girls Graduating Our Scholarships for Girls program is changing lives.  In the past no girls had ever graduated from Secondary School in Liboré. Today, as a result of our Scholarship Program, which began in 2009, 13 girls have not only graduated, but have been accepted to the University of Niamey. This is a major milestone, and at Pencils for Kids we are tremendously proud to have contributed to the success of these young women.

5 more girls graduated in 2013! P4K has provided 327 scholarships to 166 girls since 2009, and 89 of those girls received scholarships in more than one year because of their consistently high academic achievements.

Sewing ProgramThe Cooper Sewing Centre is not only growing, and self-sustaining, but has a waiting list to get in! This year 25 girls are enrolled in the first year, 17 in second year and ten in third year.  Girls now pay to take a three year course, and the exams they take are accredited by the National Sewing Centre in Niger.  With revenue from sales the Centre covers expenses and the programs pay for themselves.  But the school is at capacity and we are ready to build Phase ONE of the new centre as soon as the money is raised.   . Help us fund the new centre to meet the growing demand and give more girls an opportunity to learn a skill that will generate income and security for the rest of their lives.

Starting with four sewing machines and 16 girls a few years ago, 150 girls have now received training in the Cooper Centre


We have already seen how our Soccer for Kids program has brought excitement and enthusiasm to students and parents throughout Liboré. This year, thanks to Mike Mitchell’s initiative with Project Play Africa, and the generosity of One World Futbol, 10,400 soccer balls have been distributed in the country of Niger!!!    

TENS OF THOUSANDS of students can now participate in the Soccer for Kids program because of these 10,400 new balls from One World Futbol! That’s a lot of fun for children throughout Niger!


For the first time, Clara’s Kids Kindergarten in Libore has developed a Pen Pal relationship with the Madona Dudu Pre-School in Romania!! Children ages 3-5 are sending artwork to each other. Even though they do not speak the same language, the message of friendship is clear!!

Pencils for Kids has initiated 4 new Kindergartens in Libore this year to bring the total to 12 Kindergartens sponsored by P4K. Children from 3-5 years of age will now get a head start in their education in four more villages.


New Programs Start In October 2014: 

La Liberté d’Etre is a theatre club, introduced by P4K’s Program Director, Louise Sherman, that uses theatre, drama games, and performance to build self-esteem and confidence, encourage imagination, practice team work, and teach life skills.  It is the first step toward developing a comprehensive Arts and Culture Program for the Liboré community. LIBO (see below)  will  implement a pilot program in the coming year, and after that P4K and LIBO will collaborate  to expand the program and involve larger numbers of children and youth..


  • The pilot theatre club program will run in three schools during the 2014 – 2015 school year, starting October 1st, for children aged 10 – 13 years old
  • Theatre Club sessions will be held outside of school hours once a week
  • There will be no cost for Theatre Club students to participate
  • Sessions will be led by volunteers who will be trained and  provided with curriculum
  • P4K will fund and evaluate the pilot program

Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) is a unique program which trains youth to become one-on-one tutors to their parents or to other adults.

The model has proven successful in Toronto, winning numerous awards including ones from the United Nations and BMW Group.

In 2014, YEP began expanding into other countries. It started with Ethiopia, and ventured into Niger. As Executive Director, Agazi Afewerki explains, “We look for communities that can benefit most from our work, and where there is potential for high impact to both youth and adults. Libore, Niger fits this perfectly, and that is why we have elected to devote resources in that community along with Pencils for Kids.”


Libore Successes Recognized Locally

P4K has worked to improve and build the capacity of local people, particularly those who run LIBO, the local NGO that represents Pencils for Kids.  In the words of LIBO President, Hamani Djibo, “Because of the work done by Pencils for Kids, LIBO received the following three distinctions:

  1. On February 1st, 2014 the Student Parent Association of N’Dounga District gave LIBO official recognition for the work done in their schools.
  2. On April 8th, 2014, Hamani Djibo was chosen to become the president of all the NGOs and associations of development in the Kollo department.
  3. On June 5th, 2014, the Liboré District Parent Association gave LIBO an official certification of satisfaction.

This recognition reflected the expansion of opportunities throughout the commune – the growth of kindergartens, the advance of 13 girls to University, the money generated by women in the gardens, the soccer competitions that allowed students from different villages to meet for the first time, and the second chance given to girls by learning new skills like sewing in the Cooper Centre.

Presenting the certification

Pencils for Kids is a completely volunteer run organization and we are tremendously 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 2014. 


Thank you for supporting the work of Pencils for Kids and letting the children in Liboré, Niger know that you care!



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