This is an exciting time for the Idjwi Island Education Fund! Last month, we traveled from Washington, DC to visit the current school on Idjwi Island and to begin construction on the new EP Buhumba. We received an incredibly warm welcome from the whole community, participated in the graduation ceremonies for the 355 primary school students, heard speeches from school and community leaders, and enjoyed the celebration on the site of the new school. We spent some time talking with the school director and the dedicated teachers and met some of the students' families. We received vegetable gifts -- onions, sweet potatoes, leeks and carrots -- grown in the Bustani Project sustainable garden that the students grew themselves! These students are working in the garden and growing their own sustenance under the supervision of trained agronomists who are teaching them sustainable gardening techniques. The students proudly presented us with the fruits of their labor -- and we were delighted to receive such gifts!
Our main purpose for visiting Idjwi was to finalize the construction plans and identify a project manager to lead construction of the new school. We visited a local primary school under construction in Goma that is being built at a size and with materials similar to those we plan to use in Buhumba Village. The logistical challenges of constructionfor EP Buhumba on Idjwi Island requires the right management and oversight and a team that can overcome the constraints to keep construction moving forward. Aquiring, delivering and securing the needed tools and materials as well as the the limited construction season due to frequent rain will need the right oversight. We discussed these conditions with local experts and professionals who will assist our team in building this summer. Our local team joined us to interview a series of candidates to manage the construction of the new school and we are set to begin construction of the foundation. We are finalizing our efforts to evaluate the bids and expect to select a construction team and break ground on the first phase of construction during the summer season.
Thanks to the incredible support from our Global Giving community, we are in a position to begin construction on a worthy, durable school for these wonderful children.
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