The Children’s Fund supports the comprehensive education of the youth of Dogon communities both in rural West Africa and the modern world. We are building a bridge between the two worlds so that the youth are equipped with resources and access to both indigenous and modern education in order to maintain a sustainable way of life. With this solid foundation, they will be ready to heal, guide, and enlighten future generations on a global scale.
Children in rural West Africa face challenges of too little access, not enough learning and unaffordable expenses in modern schools. The consequences of inadequate indigenous and modern knowledge and skill sets in children result in:
Youth caught in between their own heritage and the modern cultures that require different knowledge and skill sets, neither of which they master
The emergent adults are unable to provide for themselves, their families and their communities and end up as refugees in the city
Poverty, malnutrition, starvation, ill health, violence, and criminality, can become part of their lives
Our fund allows us to support children in their schooling, as well as local school infrastructures by providing the resources needed for a successful educational environment. We increase access to the education for several rural communities, reducing the gap for indigenous children to get exposed to essential learning that will allow them to navigate the modern society on a global level.
The Children’s Education Program started in 2021 in Togo, West Africa. As part of our first phase, we have successfully:
Provided annual support for two years for 46 children from 8 schools to cover the costs of tuition, uniforms, books, clothes, sports equipment and other supplies for school administrations
Built relationships with traditional and government authorities, school leaders and the elders of the communities in which the children live with their families
The children's fund also supports building indigenous educational programs, where children can get exposed to the foundational knowledge and skills contained within Dogon culture. This is accessible to children locally and internationally to be able to give the next generation of global leaders a comprehensive foundation in priceless indigenous knowledge in order to navigate the modern landscape with stability.
We have plans to expand the program to support 100 children in the next school year, as well as to grow the scope of our assistance to local communities and schools.
We are also planning on launching the first annual Kebtah Youth Camp this coming year, which is a summer apprentice program that offers children traditional knowledge and skills bridging indigenous and modern ways of life.
Nadia comes from a village in Sokode in Togo, West Africa. Nadia's mother and father come from a long lineage of healers. Nadia is in 5th grade and is 10 years old. After both her parents passed, her care and upbringing have been entrusted with The Earth Center. Nadia loves taking care of and playing with her younger siblings.
Heqitem is 16 years old and born in Burkina Faso, West Africa. As a very young child he became interested in The Earth Center’s spiritual and philosophical education. He comes from a legacy of story tellers and diviners.
Heqitem continues to work hard in both his traditional initiatic studies in carrying on the legacy of his family, as well as a student about to enter high school.
Djelilou descends from a rich tradition and legacy of healers and priests. His father, Ouro Sama Gbeleou, is one of the most respected priests who is demanded by his community and royalty for healing and spiritual assistance.
Djelilou has inherited a natural inclination and capacity to work with nature and learn the art of healing and indigenous spiritual practices. Djelilou is also an excellent cook, a pro at taking care of babies and has a strong work ethic
Fadila is in 10th grade and has lived with her grandmother from the age of six until recently. Fadilla loves spending time with her family, learning English and fashion.
In her own words:
" My name is Fadila, I am Togolese, I come from Togo. More precisely in Sokode. And since I was very young I lived with my grandmother in Sokode. I studied a bit in Sokode and now I am in Burkina Faso to continue my studies. So when I arrived here in Burkina Faso at my uncle's house … I decided to continue my modern studies to be able to better understand and advance in the future and I am sure that in the future it will be very useful for me in being able to educate other children and my [future] children as well, to be able to understand and also to follow modern courses to be able to do better in life, thank you."