The Children of Duwehn Town, Buchanan City,
Grand Bassa, Liberia, West Africa...
Sharing their excitement as we arrived to spend the day with them in February 2017.
Our purpose is to raise funds to support the building of Barw'du School for these children.
80% Schools in Liberia were destroyed in a 14-year-long civil war.
65% Primary School Children are out of school.
50% Young people ages 15-24 are illiterate.
What can we do, but join them in the mission to educate their community?
Barw'du means "the answer to our prayers" and was the Bassa name given to Jaya Kader, our Architect, when she visited the community of Duwehn Town.
The school has organically taken on this name and carries the spirit of the community with it.
There are four phases to the construction of the Barwdu School -
Phase 1 - Administration Block and Elementary School
Phase 2 - Teacher and Student Housing
Phase 3 - Agricultural Fields
Phase 4 - Middle and High School
Phase 5 - Workshop Facilities
Phase 1 is what we are fundraising for right now and is where your donation will help.
The construction of the Administration Block is the initial focal point as it is where we will carry out all of the teacher and staff training, enrol the students and initially act as a temporary communal eating space for the children.
Breakdown of Construction Costs for the Administration Block -
£1,275 - Mobilisation & Set Up
£11,600 - Foundation Works
£4,945 - Casting Foundations
£44,480 - Structure (inc Water Tower)
£33,055 - Project Management, Transportation, Labour & Contingency
The Elementary School is the vital introduction to education and where we begin with the first of our school wings.
Breakdown of Construction Costs for the Elementary School -
£5,125 - Mobilisation & Set Up
£24,664 - Foundation Works
£10,270 - Casting Foundations
£90,640 - Structure
£56,074 - Project Management, Transportation, Labour & Contingency
We are focusing on Phase 1 as it is self contained and allows for one year group to be educated and taken care of. It creates momentum for the other phases.
A Self Sustaining Vision
Barw'du School is to be a technical school for trade oriented occupations with an emphasis on agriculture and self sustaining activities, including permaculture.
The master plan will include housing components for teachers and students.
The rest of the site will be allocated to agricultural fields.
Materials are all locally sourced and many will be generated by simple on-site production methods.
A water tower will capitalize on the ample water supply on site and serve the needs of the community as it develops.
Classroom openings are screened but not glazed which will maximize cross ventilation.
A double roof system keeps the classrooms cool and airy and the large overhangs of the metal roof will protect the spaces and building facades from the sun and heavy rains.
Electrical power is scarce in Liberia and mostly supplied by fuel generators. Provisions will be made for solar panels to be installed on the corrugated zinc roof as a potential source of energy.
The plans include:
* On site dormitories that will provide shelter and care for many of the students.
* The school's rooms will offer education by day and evening to both the children and young and older adults.
* Additional rooms will serve as space for Community projects and inspiring gatherings.
* The surrounding lands will be used to produce food and financial support to sustain the school and the wider community.
The primary vision is to foster self-leadership and sustainability through educational programs that offer "whole" solutions and possibilities for the entire community to thrive.
How will your Donation help?
This is the original vision for the school that Emmanuel Wragboe shared with Simon Crowe. You can see how those plans have developed through consultation with the community and expert support.
We have already financially supported the surveying and registering of the land.
The designs and bills of quantities have been drawn up and now we are ready for Phase 1 Construction of Barwdu School.
The Background Story & The Team
The Leaders in Liberia team, led by Simon Crowe (pictured above on the left meeting Eric Wowoh of Change Agent Network) and supported by Natasha McCreesh (pictured below with the children of Duwehn Town) have been visiting the community since 2014.
They are committed to supporting the community in realising their dream of education. The vision was first shared with Simon Crowe by Emmanuel Wragboe (pictured below), a Liberian who holds the vision for this school with the community.
These words are so important - we are we are not buidling a school for this community - we are supporting the community in building their own school. They are providing the vision, the desire, the energy and wherever possible the skills and labour - their mission is to transform the whole community through the creation of a sustainable school, our mission is to serve them.
The first act of service in 2016 was to support the community in funding the survey and registering of the 50 acres of land the community committed to the project.
Then, in July 2017, Simon introduced Miami based architect Jaya Kader (pictured below) to the Duwehn Town community and from that meeting the designs for the school were developed.
A chance meeting with an engineering contractor, Aaron Joboe, meant that the bill of quantities could be produced locally with an eye on local materials and labour costs which leads us here, to Phase 1 of Construction fundraising.
The vision is that this will become a home, school and agricultural centre to support the education and sustainability for the Community of Duwhen Town.
Surveying the land
The Leaders in Liberia team pictured surveying the 50 acres of land in Duwehn town to build their vision - begining with a elementary school.
"Many thanks to Simon Crowe who got the passion to move my dream for the people of Grand Bassa County yea Liberia." - Emmanuel Wragboe - Community Project Coordinator
Thank you so very much for allowing us to share our story with you. And we wholeheartedly invite you to join us through your donation or in person on this exciting journey of expansion and purpose.
If you want to join us in Liberia please contact me (Simon Crowe) though my website simoncrowe.com
Simon Crowe (R) and Nathan Seaward (L) in Duwehn Town Feb 2017
- Ada Mkparu
- Brad Finkeldei
- Peter Sleigh
- Robbie Tosh
- Natasha McCreesh
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