For children living in these remote villages of northern Ghana attending school each day has, until now, been only a dream.
Savannah Education Trust is building schools in the villages surrounding the district capital of Lawra, allowing children to attend school for the first time.
Our first Christian school opened in 2006 and the work has subsequently been expanded into other villages. You can
view a video about the opening of a school here. How schools are built
The schools are built through a self-help programme. They are constructed by the local community, using local materials. The whole village is in no doubt that the school belongs to them. A borehole, funded by the Trust, provides clean water for the school and is also available for the villagers to use.
The Trust is working closely with
government, represented by the Ghana Education Services (part of the local District Assembly). The government fund the ongoing costs of teachers.
As well as the main school building, each school has a separate nursery. This allows the older children to concentrate on their studies without having to care for their younger siblings.
The photos below show the different stages of the school building process. Click on an image to enlarge.
An important first step – a community meeting with villagers to encourage involvement and ownership
Before any construction begins, the ground is cleared by village work teams using machetes and spades
Sand is dug from the dry river bed – river deposits are the only source of sand for building in this remote region
Delivery of sand to school site – tonnes of sand start to pile up ready for the construction of blocks
Water is crucial for building; here, it is carried to the site by women from the village
And now the strenuous manual task of mixing cement by hand begins…
Blocks are all made by hand, and laid out in rows to dry under the savannah sun
Next the foundations are dug and the shape of the school starts to become clear
Filling foundations with concrete
The school begins to rise as the first blocks are put in place
Transporting cement during the wet season!
Soon the walls begin to take shape – and villagers know that their school will soon be a reality
The timber for these window frames has to be collected from Techniman, over 350 miles away!
Assembling roof timbers
Lifting roof timbers into place
Watching the roof take shape
Fixing the roof sheeting to the timbers
Internal and external window frames are added in and the walls made good
Fitting windows to their frames
Screeding the floor inside one of the classrooms
And rendering the external blockwork
Not long before the walls will be ready for painting now
One of the most important parts of all… preparing the blackboard!
It’s beginning to look like a Savannah school!
The painting begins, using the distinctive Savannah two-tone blue
The schools are known locally as the ‘blue schools’
All this window needs…
…is a tidy lick of paint
Adding the finishing touches
And now it really does look like a Savannah school
Perhaps he will attend classes here before long?
Finally the school is complete & the day arrives for the opening ceremony