On July 8th, we made our way to Sakyikrom to see SUPS (Sakyikrom United Primary School), to break sod on the project. While there, we met with teachers, students and a representative of the chief. We brought the whole team with us, including grandma, who wanted to come along for the first day, to greet the teachers and give them some advice. When we arrived in Sakyikrom, the staff greeted us with some water and offered us a seat in the shade so to welcome us properly as per local protocol. Then they said a prayer of thanksgiving for travelling mercies.
After chatting with the teachers for a while, the headmaster and teachers. showed us around the school, highlighting the major problem areas. We started in his office. There was large hole in the roof. The office walls and ceiling, as well as the books and equipment stored there, showed major signs of wear and damage from exposure to the elements.
On our way into the headmaster’s office.
After the headmaster’s office, we went through the classrooms with the teachers. They shared some of the challenges they experience teaching and learning at the school in its current condition. One teacher mentioned how when it rains, water trickles and then pours into the classroom. It soaks the students and their school materials, leaving them water damaged. While her students often tries to tough it out and keep learning despite the rain, she usually ends up sending them home. Another mentioned how she is constantly worried that some part of the decaying roof will tumble down and cause harm to her students.
Many of the pillars and the beams holding the structure up were in bad shape.
After looking around a bit, we made our back to Accra to set up a game plan for the next day (Wednesday, July 9th), when construction would officially begin. Day 1 was mainly transporting cement for rendering the walls, to SUPS. On that day, the carpenters began to remove the decaying roofing. The cement floor in the first classroom had begun to sink on one end. This was because it was not ramped properly during the initial construction. The mason and his team broke the floor to begin the evening out process. Day 2, we picked up our first batch of roofing sheet and roofing nails, wood and some more cement. It’s been more than two weeks and we have gotten some good work in since then. As of July 25th, we have roofed and reinforced 4 and half classrooms. My internet connection is not allowing me to upload many pictures on WordPress, but has been more merciful with the project’s Facebook page. If you would like to see more images and follow our progress, you can join the page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/816078315070486/.
Until next time!