This brand new school building was handed over to the community at Mindassi in the Central Region in April 2021. It is a marked improvement on the old school building (see pictures below) which had three tiny classrooms for 6 year groups, very few benches and no latrine. There were just 2 teachers and forty children in the school because most parents preferred to let their children trek 5 km to the nearest school with a decent building.
The project provided 3 large, durable and hygienic classrooms complete with blackboards and all required furniture, a school office/store, a newly dug latrine and COVID-19 prevention items (masks, a tippy hand-washing station, soap and a thermoflash). The community was euphoric at the handover ceremony and was vocal in its requests for more development projects. The Director of SHUMAS told them that it would be happy to help with more projects once the people of Mindassi had shown that it would take good care of this new building, send more of their children to the school, encourage them to study well and help the school to flourish.
The main goals of the project were
- to empower the community through the participatory approach to development experienced through this project
- to see a 50% increase in pupil numbers by 2022
- to see a 50% increase in pupil performance by 2022 and
- to see a marked improvement in the health of the community through improved hygiene
This was not an easy project to complete. Mindassi is located deep in the forests of the Centre Region where the roads are very bad and torrential rain made the transportation of materials extremely difficult. However, BSFA/SHUMAS have undertaken other school projects in this region and all are doing well. It is encouraging that the Participatory Approach to Development is gradually becoming recognised by these communities as being the way forward