The Académie des Fées

EPA launched the Académie des Fées (Fairy Academy) on 12th February 2001 at the Attakè primary school in Porto-Novo. The programme is part of EPA's ambition to make African cultural institutions (museums, libraries...) play their role of agents for individual and collective personal development.

Académie des Fées - 2001

The objective was to improve the quality of African children's lives (aged 6 to 14) by suggesting activities which develop their cultural and artistic sensitivity. This is essential for the preservation of the positive values of creativity and innovation.

African societies nowadays lack projects or even spaces for children. Childhood time is more and more left to chance, if not exploited for economical ends, when childhood used to be an integral part of society's religious life, through initiation rites and age groups. The solutions consciously or unconsciously adopted to design private or public areas do not take children's needs into account. Hence the slow disappearance of courtyards and public squares from the African landscape. Nothing or almost nothing has been devised to replace these spaces. Because of this the African town has become a headache for educators. To illustrate this, the number of abandoned and vagrant children increases every day on the continent. The African family is in disarray; school is in a crisis.

The Académie des fées' strategy was to help the continent's educational system by developing synergies between its different formal and/or informal components while mobilising the artistic and cultural professional sphere and art lovers.

Académie des Fées - 2003Implementation
EPA suggested a pilot programme over two years in Benin. It consists in developing for primary school pupils educational programmes in art for the school period as well as the holiday period. Local artists and animators in cultural institutions were mobilised to help the teachers.

The Académie des Fées experimented its activities in junior and intermediate forms (CE1, CE2, CM1, CM2) at Attakè (COSANO, Sainte Anne B and Attakè A schools) and Oganla (Todowa B school).

The Académie des Fées' activities ended in 2008.

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