La version française (avec l'élément nouveau de l'entreprise solidaire CoMaLoC):
You can learn amazing things if you actually listen,
with humility, to what people have to say. This is particularly true if the
people you’re talking to are children.
This is what students from CEG Kpingni have to say:
“We want to go to school. We want to learn about health and medicine to help our families and friends when they get sick. We want to learn about science and agriculture to help our parents produce more food and make more money. We want to learn French and English to communicate with more people. We want to get an education to help improve our lives of their families and their communities.
Many of our parents want us to go to school too. Four years ago, parents from Kpingni and surrounding villages met and decided to ask the local government to establish a secondary school in the village. They didn’t want our older brothers and sisters to have to walk 2 hours to get to the nearest secondary school. That distance, on top of a lot of other difficulties, discouraged so many of them from continuing school. The drop out rate in our villages was very high. We wanted a school in our village so kids didn't drop out.
With a big effort by the parents, the school was established in 2010. They built 2 makeshift classrooms to have class. 80 of my brothers and sisters and I enrolled. We didn’t have to walk far and we liked going to school.
Every year, more of our brothers and sisters enrolled. This was very good, but it created another problem: there weren't enough classrooms for the amount of students. Every year, our Director and the parents had to find the means to build more makeshift classrooms. We had 5 makeshift classrooms last year for 350 students.
This year we have 500 students at the school. But we are tired of building makeshift classrooms. We are tired of getting wet when it rains. We are tired of getting dirty during the dry season when the winds blow dust all over us. We are tired of being the only school without a real school building.
We are the students of CEG Kpingni and we ask you to help us build a real school building.”
-Placide, 9th grade student at CEG Kpingni
CEG Kpingni is the only secondary school in the area without an actual school building. Because of the lack of classrooms, class sizes are too large, class time is being cut, and next year, students who want to enroll will be turned away.
With your help, we can change this.
We ask you to make common cause with the Director, the parents and students of CEG Kpingni and help them build the first school building at their school.
Why is a school building important?
As Christy says in the video and Placide says above, the students are tired of having class in make-shift classrooms. During the rainy season, they get wet when it rains. During the dry season, dust constantly blows into the classrooms and its hard to concentrate. A school building will solve these problems, as well as provide students an important sense of dignity. When you go to the only school in the area without a real school building, and no one will help you build one for four years, it's hard to be proud of your school.
The more serious issue is how the current lack of classrooms is affecting the quality of education. With 500 students this year and only 5 classrooms, the Director and professors are afraid they cannot provide all the students with the education they deserve. The Director is also afraid that, without more classrooms, he will have to turn away students who want to enroll next year.
The Director, the parents and students of CEG Kpingni have all said that they need a school building to ensure that students can keep going to school and keep getting a quality education. Their voices should be valued. They shouldn't be neglected.
What your donation will be used for:
Your donation will go towards the construction of a 3-classroom school building for CEG Kpingni. All donations are tax-deductible.
Follow the link for a breakdown of the construction costs:
Even though we
are fundraising here for $20,000,
the completion of the whole school will require around $27,186. We are not asking for the total amount now since we are
afraid that not reaching it would mean paying a higher percentage for this
crowdfunding service. Still, if we only reach $20,000, we will be able to build
the foundation, part of the walls and the roof. The more funds we receive,
however, the more we can realize the construction plan.
If we don’t reach $20,000, the funds will still be used to start constructing the school building. We hope to get enough funds to at least build the foundation and get a roof over it, so the students can have class inside when the rainy season starts in April.
Mama’s Inc.: Mama’s Inc. is a grassroots program, still in its infancy, dedicated to serving communities dealing with tragedy all over the world. Their mission is to teach young people everywhere that they can make a difference and it starts with them. Mama’s Inc. was the lead actor in planning this project and will help fundraise for the project.
Benin Education Fund (BEF): Launched in 1998, the Benin Education Fund is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides scholarships and educational support to ambitious students in rural West Africa. BEF will help manage the donations and monitor the project.
Anicet Kpondehou: Anicet is an entrepreneur/architect in Dassa-Zoumé. According to Anicet: “My goal is to constantly think about how we can exploit our local materials to construct safe, economical, aesthetically pleasing buildings. I want to make this happen with other entrepreneurs and create a demand for buildings constructed with local materials like granite, bricks from clay, vegetable fiber, etc.”. Anicet will design the school building and supervise the construction.
Mark Huelsenbeck: Mark is an American volunteer in Dassa-Zoumé. He has worked at CEG Kpingni for the past 2 years facilitating a weekly environmental club with around 30 students. Mark will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project.
Hilarion Vegba: Hilarion is the Director CEG Kpingni. He will be responsible with managing funds and supervising the construction of the school building.
The diversity of our team creates a strong accountability structure. We are all passionate about making this project work and using your donations exactly how we say we will.
Other Ways You Can Help
Get the word out and make some noise! Share the campaign and video on facebook or by email.