(Forging Opportunities through Creativity, Unity and Strength)
While the people of Guinea are overwhelmingly kind, generous, intelligent and hospitable, most live in the type of poverty that is unfathomable to the average American. Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 178th of 187 countries classified by the United Nations Development Program. Poor sanitation, hunger, unemployment, lack of gender equality, child labor and other social problems are the norm.
Thousands of children do not go to school because their parents are too poor to afford food, transportation and the required school uniforms. Older students grow disillusioned by the lack of knowledge to be garnered in public institutions. They drop out and join the work force to help their families keep their heads above water. Free public schools suffer from poorly trained teachers and a lack of books and technology. Children rarely attend school past primary level, if they attend at all.
My name is Marla Moore . I am a media maker, teacher with over twenty years of experience and head of Shouting Fire NGO . I recently relocated to Conakry from the United States to work in media with my husband, a Guinean national.
As an artist/teacher who has worked with disadvantaged children for half of my life; I believe with all my heart that education and creation are the keys to bettering one's circumstances. Unfortunately, while a quality education is a major factor in ending the generational curse of poverty, decent schools are a rarity in this country. Sadly, there are few activities for the youth. They play in dirty lots and side streets. Old bottles, cans, sticks or plastic bags stand in as makeshift toys.
Watching these brilliant, resourceful kids crafting race cars from empty bottles and cans inspired me. If they could imagine a car from items that I thought were trash...what else was I not viewing with the proper perspective? How much more could we learn from each other?
Non Profit Organizations must fill in critical gaps in literacy and vocational training. These gaps are more like canyons as less than half of the population is literate and most subsist below the poverty line. Not surprisingly girls and women bear the brunt of these cruel statistics. If you are absent from the classroom when the boys are learning, you will surely be absent from the boardroom when those same boys have grown into men who draft policies that impact your life.
Without funding from caring individuals, there is no hope for Guinea's children to forge a decent future.
Shouting Fire Media NGO has partnered with Mariama Camara, Esq. for this endeavor. This highly respected community fixture is the founder of Jeune Volontaire et Courageux Ecole. One of the first private primary schools in Guinea, JVCE has been in existence for thirty years and produced over 5000 graduates.
Madame Camara is a community activist whose outreach efforts include gender equality and equal access to education for the poor. Her curriculum provides that crucial academic piece; ensuring that our children will receive an education whether or not their parents can afford to send them to preschool or primary school.
Our children are learning to use tablets, computers, still photography cameras and video cameras. They are creating media projects that we will soon share with the world! Incidentally, there are no formal media making programs in Guinea, even at the university level. It is great giving young people exposure to technology that could one day turn into career paths.
Youth F.O.C.U.S. gives children ages three to eight the opportunity to create multimedia art, participate in sports, and study reading, math and other school subjects.
Your generous donations will provide food (many of our participants would not eat daily if we did not feed them), academic, artistic and technological supplies and allow us to increase our outreach to help even more children.
While no amount is too small, the cost of food and supplies are on par with, if not greater than the United States or Europe. School and technology supplies are outrageous!
At this point, over 100 children want to participate in F.O.C.U.S. but we just can't stretch any further without support from the global community of compassionate people.
There is no "one size fits all" solution to ending poverty, but by focusing on the immediate needs of these young people, we are definitely fixing our corner of the world.
Thank you so much for caring about these beautiful children.
Shouting Fire Media NGO