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Laying the foundation for change

With your generous support, new initiatives are underway in Volta involving more families in the hard but hopeful work of development.

And what better place to start, for one community, than on the construction of a new primary school, which will give children aged 6 to 11 (and sometimes older), a great foundation in education.

A woman stands proudly with her wheelbarrow.

By taking part in the build, women simultaneously level gender-based stereotypes.

As with all of our projects, this one’s community-led. We worked with local leaders to identify the priority, engage community members for input and support, and get everyone (men, women, and youth) involved in project committees or work crews, which have already laid the school’s foundation.

“It is our hope that education will improve tremendously here so that we can reduce poverty,” says Felix, a local youth helping on the project, who’s excited about what it means for the younger children in his family and community.

Currently, the only primary school in Felix’s area is run out of a bare bamboo shed, in a spot that’s difficult to reach for many families. Not only is it a far distance (requiring some parents to pay for transport), it also has river crossings that are impassable in the rainy season and pose a danger to children.

Building a school, building a community

The new school will create a safe and central place for kids to learn in comfortable rooms filled with toys and learning materials, where they are overseen by trained teachers from the community. This is the vision: a wonderful start to education for local children, and to development for this community – and it’s taking shape thanks to you.

Cement blocks are molded for the new school.

Big community developments start with small building blocks, and a collective effort.

While the school’s construction is still underway, what’s already evident is the new sense of solidarity and purpose among local families. They aren’t just building a school, but their community, fuelled by a collective drive and hope.

Plan has helped us understand that our community is in our hands. We must take action, and they will support us,” says Vero, a local mother and volunteer. “Therefore, we participate in community meetings and discussions, take part in communal labour and give support to our leaders and committee members to lead in our own development.”

Once the primary school is in place, parents who had to stay home to care for their children, take their children to school and back, or pay transport fares for their commute, can take that valuable time and money and invest it back into their family. And, perhaps most important of all, children will have a chance at a quality education, enabling them to build important skills, socialize and grow to reach their full potential. This way, they can lead their personal development, and someday, carry on that of the community’s, as well.

Men smile and dig with shovels.

The pride and spirit of the community is visible.

That’s the cycle of progress at work, and for this community, it’s just the beginning.

Now that you know about this exciting new project, take a moment to meet two of the community members who are working to make it happen and leading Volta into a new age.

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