It’s very exciting. We are getting close to 100 new school buildings funded since Building Schools for Africa started working with SHUMAS Cameroon in 2007. This little primary school, called Ecole Publique Bamendou Chefferie is located in Penka Michel sub-division in the West Region of Cameroon and it will be our 98th school building project.
The West is a francophone region of Cameroon but the village of Bamendou is very close to the borders with the NW and SW (anglophone) regions and has experienced a significant influx of anglophone Internally Displaced People since the political crisis erupted in 2016. All the young children need to go to this school – and it is in desperate need of help.
The school was created in 1980 and has 493 pupils (256 boys and 237 girls) however, other than providing two paid teachers, the government has given no help to the school at all. The community has had to construct its own classrooms and raise the money to pay the other 6 teachers currently working at the school. All of the classrooms at this school would be condemned in Europe or the US because the roofs leak, the walls are dangerously cracked and the mud floors harbour parasites. There are no windows or doors and stray animals take up residence in the classrooms when the children are not there.
With help from our generous supporters, we have been able to send the funds to construct three new, weatherproof, hygienic classrooms to replace the ones that are close to collapse (pictured above). Each classroom will have new furniture for the pupils and the teachers, there will be a school office and store constructed and we shall also be funding the construction of a new toilet with hand washing facilities as, currently, the school does not have any toilet facilities. This project will eliminate the burden on parents to maintain the worst of the classrooms and will enable them to start renovating some of the others. It may even encourage the government to give one or two new classrooms as well. In due course, we hope to fund the construction of a borehole for clean drinking water at this school, as the nearest water source, which is not clean, is around 4 Kms away.
This is an excellent project which the community has identified as their highest development priority. We look forward to attending the handing over ceremony at EP Bamendou Chefferie later this year and we are sure that this investment will really help the pupils here to do well and have a brighter future.