We initially started this project to create an environment for learning and in cooperation with the community the school was successfully built (see video above). The brick and mortar part of building the school was exciting and new, but just the beginning. Maintaining a school means training and paying the teachers, school gardens, providing food for our students. It makes 'having a school' an ongoing financial challenge for years to come for Zahana and the community.
Raising a physical building was the first step with a great sense of accomplishment for the whole village. Zahana, rooted in our participatory approach, paid for materials out of the villagers' reach (doors, roofing iron, nails, cement, etc.). The community contributed labor and bricks. Next Zahana hired and trained one teacher for all students and she works hard every day. Our gardener teaches agriculture though school gardens. These costs to keep our school running are Zahana's responsibility.
Their children's school was the community's highest priority. Only once a school is built the real work of providing education for years to come truly starts. Paying the teacher, the teachers assistant and a part of the gardener's salary, providing school supplies and offering a daily school lunch remains an ongoing challenge in a community too poor to cover these costs themselves. Hence we keep this project going and hope for your continuing support.
Education is the key for a better future for all their children. Having a teacher and teacher's assistant work and live in their community can assure that goal. After attending five years of primary school, our students may participate in a national test CEPE to qualify for secondary school. Zahana's envisions to broaden the scope of a 'school for children' to a 'rural university' that becomes an educational reality for all.