Project Africa: School Building

This is a piece of a several part blog series documenting the work Team IIF is doing in partnership with Free the Children and Me to We in Ghana, Africa to build a schoolhouse and help instill social and emotional life skills.

School Building & Being a Part of the Community

Today Team IIF rose early and headed to the school grounds to begin work. At the site, there is one existing schoolhouse and one temporary structure made of bamboo. Izzy had a chance to chat with students who were on break and show them pictures of what American Football is and talk about what they are learning.

This included a few games, poetry readings and quizzing the students on their lessons. Next, the team put on our hard hats, gloves and glasses and got ready to work. We spent the morning mixing cement, rocks and sand, and transporting it to fill columns on the school. To cap off all our hard work, Nana, the community chief, presented us with some fresh bananas. This afternoon the team will get a tour of the community from Nyameyiekrom’s secretary, Mister Ben, and participate in a water walk to better understand the importance of a clean water well.

Some words from Izzy: “A great first full day! Mixing the cement was no joke! It was incredible spending time with kids before the day started and seeing what their current school conditions are like. To know that in the next 6 months they will be able to learn inside is great. It is so powerful knowing at the end of the day we mixed the cement and formed the columns that will hold up this school. Our work is possible because of support from individuals in Chicago and across the globe--because of your support we are able to create impact and for that we thank you!

Some words from Marie: “Building a school is no easy task! I was amazed at the skill and ease that the community members we worked side by side with were able to carry and build. After a morning of labor under the hot sun, I had an incredible appreciation for the progress that has already been made at the school and what it will bring the community. I really enjoyed learning how the community elders and members cleared dense palm trees and erected a school garden that will encourage youth attendance. Every detail of the school and its construction has been debated and supported by the community—down to a 3D model of what the finished construction will look like. Their investment and dedication to their youth’s education is clear on every level.