I live and work in a small, growing community in northern Benin. Founded in 2013, our secondary school is in dire need of new classroom construction and a water pump for our school. With 359 students and only three well-built classrooms, and five makeshift wood and tin classrooms, this is a very pressing issue for our community. And, in order to fulfill our water needs, students have to carry 25L containers of water to the school. Through meetings with various community members, including the school administration and the parent teacher association, the benefits of this project became abundantly clear. The community is committed to contributing their time, energy and money to make this project a reality. Through in-kind material donations, volunteer laboring, and cash donations, the community will have a large, invaluable role in this process from start to finish. As Borgou continues to grow and develop, so too should it’s school community. By constructing two new classrooms this year and installing a water pump, we will be taking a huge step in the direction of development and progress for our entire community. And you can help! Please consider contributing to this project in any way that you can, whether financially or by promoting and sending this project to other friends and family. Together, you me and everyone in my wonderful community in Benin can make this dream a reality!
The community has been highly involved in the entire planning process of this project thus far, and will truly be the engine that drives development and change through this project. Much of our community’s economic contribution to this project will come in the form of volunteer labor and donations of materials in kind. The masons and carpenters contracted to construct the buildings have children, nieces, nephews and neighbors who go to the school and who will greatly benefit from these classrooms. The owners of hardware stores in town will provide materials at discounted rates. Parents of students will come to the school to volunteer their time and energy by helping build bricks, carry water, or carry sand. The students themselves will be there to help as well, in whatever ways they can. And of course our school administration and professors will be there to lend a hand too.
The current makeshift structures serving as classrooms are only two years old, and already beginning to deteriorate. If new, constructed classrooms are not built, when the current structures fall into disrepair money will have to be spent to sustain them. Over time, the cost of maintaining these structures will add up, but the quality of the structures will decrease. By building classrooms now, we can invest in well built buildings that will last for decades. The style of construction in Beninese schools uses materials and techniques that results in strong, lasting buildings. It would not be an exaggeration to say that teachers and students will use these classrooms for the next several decades with only minimal upkeep and repair. Additionally, the construction of our water pump will allow us to better support our community garden and increase sanitation at our school.