Under construction

The countryside in the area in which Savannah Education Trust works is beautiful: a classic savannah landscape, barren in the dry season but alive with green grass and fruitful trees during the time of the rains. As you leave the Trust’s small office in the market town of Lawra and head south, you travel along bumpy tracks through this attractive scenery to two adjoining villages – the villages of Tungan and Zagkpee.

As we often comment when showing photographs of this area, the glory of the landscape is deceptive. If you lingered a little longer at these villages, you would soon find shocking incidences of desperate poverty: subsistence farmers struggling to make ends meet and malnourished children. And you would search in vain for a school. Neither of these two villages has ever enjoyed the benefits of an education.

Between the two villages is a small hill: a vantage point that allows views across the local area, but also an ideal location for a school. After prayerful consideration, it has been agreed to start work on a new school in Tungan-Zagkpee. This will be the sixth village within which the charity is working.

In January the first meetings were held with the local communities, who are very excited. As with all of the Savannah schools, the involvement of the community is crucial. Without them a school cannot function successfully. The villagers have committed to supporting the school, including helping with the construction.

As supporters will remember, the key to a sustainable school is the ongoing support from the Ghana Education Service. By February 2017, we received a message confirming their willingness once again to support the ongoing teaching costs of another Savannah school. We are thankful that they are willing partners, and do not attempt to alter the ethos of our schools.

Since then things have moved quickly. The borehole was drilled in March. This is always the first activity on a new school site. It provides the immediate benefit of clean water to the local communities but also a plentiful supply of water for the building work. During April a building committee was established and the site cleared ready for construction. Then the moulding of blocks began. Since May the foundations have been laid and the walls are now rising. It is possible that the work will be advanced enough for the first classes to start for the new academic year in September. We are thankful that the Savannah building team led by the foreman, Solomon, has now become highly skilled at these type of building projects.