I spent yesterday moving and singing and speaking in community at an InterPlay celebration of Dr. King led by Caroline Blackwell and Masankho Banda. I left with greater determination than ever to do my part. I will not be, as Dr. King writes in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: “the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
I signed up with Shaun King’s Injustice Boycott when it was unveiled, and now the time for action has come. Shaun King is an impressive and thoughtful organizer. It is time to take action, and to stand strong, and to support each other in an organized way–not just with petitions and phone calls (although they have their place). This is the new Montgomery Bus Boycott. You may be shocked to see that two progressive cities, New York and San Francisco, are being boycotted. But this is because we need to demand more from our so-called “progressive” leaders. Did you know that New York is one of only two states in the nation that automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults? Did you know that the San Francisco Police Association has blocked the passage of crucial reforms supported unanimously by the SF Police Commission? The Injustice Boycott is a thoughtful and fair approach to righting wrongs. The cities can be taken off the boycott list by meeting reasonable demands. And businesses that take a stand in favor of these demands will be put on a “Buycott” list and given public support and endorsement by the organizers and participants in the Injustice Boycott.
Are you ready to learn French? Have you been waiting for the right opportunity? An adult beginners group is now forming on Mondays during the school day (exact time to be determined). Please contact me via my website to let me know you’re interested (http://www.annagilcher.com/contact.html).
Your brain really can learn French! As I say on my website, these lessons work for all ages and brains… and you’ll find yourself acquiring French with no pain or misery.
If we have a group of 6 or more, cost will only be $40/hour (rather than $100/hour for one-one-one)…. and if we write a semester-long contract, there is a 10% monthly prepay discount available, which brings the cost down to $36/hour.
À bientôt, j’espère!
Please donate here–50% matching funds for one-time donations. Monthly donations are being matched at 200%!
This is our first year doing the tutoring program, but the 11th year that Aumazo has faithfully and patiently stayed the course to change girls’ lives in Bankondji, Cameroon. We are #76 on the Global Giving list. Donate to support whole-child teaching practices that are changing girls’ (and families’) lives.
We are shifting the approach to education in Bankondji, Cameroon and are working with the whole child. You can donate here.
More later. Thank you.
This coming Tuesday, November 29, I will be hosting an Aumazo open house from 6:30-8:30 pm at my home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Please stop by to enjoy some wine, cheese, and Cameroonian coffee, as well as have a conversation with founder and CEO of Aumazo (Jacqueline Audigé), and myself.
If you don’t have the address, contact me here and I will send it to you!
The reason for having the open house on the 29th in particular is that it is the GLOBAL GIVING BONUS DAY #GivingTuesday. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations on November, 29 2016 from 12:01 am EST until 11:59 pm EST. This means there will be a 50% match with $500,000 in matching funds.
If you can’t make it to the open house, please do consider donating on that day from your own home or your smartphone.
We really need your donations in order to keep the program going this year. You can donate here.
Below you will find the update Jacqueline wrote last week in honor of Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
We Give Thanks for Small Things
By Jacqueline Audige – CEO/Founder
Collaboration is key to the success of our program
It has always been the tradition at Aumazo to give thanks for the little things that people do and say about our work. The Board and Staff consistently pass on the spirit of appreciation to the people we encounter along the way. It is always an enjoyable feeling when the lesson becomes a teaching moment for all us. It happened last November 8, 2016 and we had an occasion to celebrate our achievements.While many of us were out casting our vote for our preferred presidential candidate, a representative of the fathers of girls in our tutoring program in Bankondji renewed his vote of confidence to Aumazo.
We received a congratulatory phone call from the Deputy Mayor on behalf of all the fathers and parents in the village. He said: “I am calling to congratulate Aumazo on behalf of all the parents for the wonderful tutoring program you brought to our girls in the village. We are very happy with the positive impact it is already having on them. They are really thriving in the structure Aumazo set in place. I also want to renew our commitment to safeguard the program to you.”
This is such a memorable and unbelievable moment for which we are very thankful. It is a great testimony to the work that we are doing in Bankondji Cameroon. It is also the answer to the questions we had had about the program since it began. During the start-up of the tutoring program in August, we wondered how people in the village would perceive the program. Although the girls welcomed it, we were not sure that it would get their parents’ support.
Nevertheless, when we met with the fathers, they vowed to support and protect the initiative. The world that we are accustomed to allows us to believe that they would honor their promise. However, in our wildest dreams, we would have never imagined that we would receive a thank you phone call from a parent.
The surprise call was sweet and heartwarming. We know that we render meritorious service but we do not expect to receive such due recognition with appropriate rewards such as the phone call from a parent in distant Bankondji, Cameroon.
We dedicate the moment to you. You made it happen with your unprecedented support. We thank you for standing by us and for holding Aumazo in great esteem. The phone call triggered a chain of positive reactions. We are now planning to organize a task force composed of these parents in the village. We also know that we can count on their support as stakeholders. It really gives us a peace of mind and a great confidence in the success of the program.
We are confident that the tutoring program“Ça Fait Du Bien/It Makes Good”will meet his goal of enabling 34 7th and 8th grade girls in Bankondji village develop their academic skills in reading comprehension or math and allowing them to pass the entrance exam required to enroll in Cameroonian high schools.
Their success will be the expression of your gift through GlobalGiving: http://goto.gg/17229. We are not giving you thanks only on Thanksgiving, but throughout the year for all the little things you do. We are very grateful to you for your contribution to the Aumazo success.
We count on your generous support to make our season of giving that starts on #GivingTuesday November 29, 2016 and ends with the Year-End fundraising campaign on December 31, 2016, a great success. We want you to know that your lasting support is valuable to help Aumazo continue to climb higher up on the ladder to success.
We thank you for all that you do to strengthen our cause.
~Jacqueline Audigé and the Board
The father who surprised us with a phone call
I’ve been reading lots and lots of Washington Post articles about the presidential election, as you may have been doing as well, but this is a different kind of article because Aumazo has been written up! This may be just what you need to read to get the bad taste of misogyny and political shenanigans out of your mouth.
I am particularly thrilled to see this new publicity as we prepare for our Friendly Aumazo Evening this Friday. I will write up a report of the evening here on the blog over the weekend.
I was fortunate enough to have been part of a conference call last week in which Jacqueline and I talked with Carrie Handwerker and Sara Herald in order to clarify details about the project and ensure that they truly understood the Cameroonian context before deciding what advice to give. It was a great conversation, and this article is the result of that work. See the article here.
I got to talk via FaceTime today with the group of girls who are in the program today , and what a thrill! I’ll save what I learned for our Friday evening gathering (and my subsequent reporting of it here)… but suffice it to say that my mood, which has been somewhat low over the past few days because I miss kids*–was immediately restored. Seeing their faces, hearing their voices and their laughter, and discovering that they are looking forward to seeing me in January just as I am looking forward to seeing them, restored in full my sense of connection and purpose.
I am deeply grateful. Thanks be to God.
*Working with adults is fun, and I’m delighted to have one-on-one adult students, but I’m a teacher because I love kids… and I’m used to having groups of kids around me all day. Running my own business is very different. I look forward to a future in which I have groups of kids (whether homeschool kids or kids in an afterschool program) each and every day.