SCHOOL PROJECT COTE D’IVOIRE

GROUPE SCOLAIRE AGBE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The families we serve are among the 62.4 percent of the lvorian rural population living under the poverty line (less than $1/day). The only opportunity for their children to an elementary school was to walk 25 miles (40.23 km) away. The long distance between the nearest school and the community curtails access to education for most of the children especially the younger ones who cannot do the daily trips on foot to school. Due to their isolation and the poor quality of educational resources available to these children, the vast majority will not receive an education beyond grade 7, the highest grade for a free education. On their way to school, five small children under the age of 16 died while crossing a major road. Parents then refused to send their children to school due to the dangerous path that they had to walk for miles to get to school. Without education, children in this community, the only careers for boys and girls are to serve as farmers or the girls serve as housewives. In 2011, the community members and La Voie Du Salut Church mobilized themselves and started a school in a structure built with clay and thatched roofs (See pictures). However, the school infrastructure did not provide a safe and supportive learning environment.

In this picture you are looking at the old school classroom. The children are in grade CP1, which is equivalent to first grade in the United States of America.

This dilapidated and unsanitary school classroom was used by children in grade CP2, which is equivalent to second (2nd) grade in the United States of America. The children had classes in an unclean, and unsafe environment.

Broken and unsafe plywood used to build the old classroom. Clear signs of old age and danger are visible. The children are in grade CE1, which is equivalent to third grade in the United of States of America.

Recognizing the importance of maintaining school attendance for students in the town, GAD intervened, and built a new school building in the community that provides a safe learning environment and quality education (see above picture). The school began in 2011 with 58 students. In 2015, GAD remodeled the primary (elementary) school and enrolled over 100 students, with 6 classrooms. The school currently serves over 170 students. The curriculum that we teach students is equivalent to kindergarten, 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade in the United States. Our national passing rate is currently 99%, which means that our children with the brightest and smartest minds would have been forced to be farmers and housewives had we not intervened and built a school in the town.

GROUPE SCOLAIRE AGBE SECONDARY SCHOOL

The only opportunity for their children to complete a secondary school education is to walk 54 miles (86.9 km) away. We recognized that these children need to continue their education beyond grade 7 in their own community. Therefore, GAD started the construction of a secondary school in their own community that generations of children could attend (blue and pink building).

SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

We are currently building an auditorium that will provide many students their first introduction to performing arts. Investing in these children represents the fulfillment of the basic human right to education for the children of Lakota community for the foreseeable future. This generation of children can leap-frog decades of under- development and poverty, and receive a contemporary quality education to improve their lives, their community, and their country.