Year end party!

This past week we wrapped up this year’s program with a big year end party. Every year we end in late June and start back up again in October. Many of our girls travel back to villages, other cities and even other countries, and stay during harvest time, so they enjoy a nice long break before coming back the first week of October.

This year we ended a week early because Ramadan (month of fasting) started the 17th of June. Since many people fast and are tired, we decided to have the big party and all the food the day before it started!

Each year we give out custom fabric that has our school logo and name on it. It’s a very traditional way in this culture to celebrate big events and everyone gets outfits made and shows up in different outfits and styles but all the same fabric!

First many of the girls came early to help with food prep. There were a lot of onions to peel and other veggies, meat etc! The girls had voted for a meat stew with fresh baguettes and juice for their meal.

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While some cooking was going on, there was dancing and fun going on as well. The girls laughed and did dances and games and had a wonderful time. It is so good to see them relax and have fun with their friends and celebrate all the hard work they did this year. And of course they posed with their friends!

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One young lady who had a baby a few months ago had the courage to still come to the year end party. We were so thrilled to see her and proud of how the other girls welcomed her back warmly. Here she is with her sister (who is also a student) and new daughter.

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We also set up a little photo area and took portraits of all the girls and more groups shots. It is so fun to see how at ease they are and smile as opposed to the first day of school! Here is the apprentice group with Kerri-Jo. These ladies worked so hard this year and made bags, table runners, outfits, etc. Can’t wait to see all they learn next year!

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Our expat (Anasara in the local language) team for the 2014-2015 year. SO blessed to work with these ladies!

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Some of the beautiful children who are at the school many days with their Moms!

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Future students? Daughters of our apprentices.

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Siblings. Aminata (left) helps with translation and as a nurse on clinic days, Hama (middle) works as an apprentice with Paul at the mens shop and Miriama (right) works as a cook and translator and all around friend of the school. We have known this family for many years.

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This is a group shot of almost our whole group (a few were missing), including students, apprentices and staff!  What a great, diverse, and hard working group. We are thankful for this opportunity for them to take a break over the summer and look forward to seeing them all again in October!

Happy year end!!

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