Inspiration Schoolhouse Project

$8,846 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 43 months
Erica Marsh
for International Inspiration Inc
 GAINESVILLE, FL
The Inspiration Schoolhouse Project is a program developed to help schools in struggling communities and developing nations.  This growing program initially started out with the intention of helping one school get off the ground in a developing community in Liberia, West Africa.  While in Liberia, it was evident that much more needed to be and could be done.  I ended up working with two schools, Johnson Early Learning Center and The Cedar School, and with a children’s educational game show program, The Billy Brain Competition.  All three organizations were struggling, yet determined to help students and families in need.  During my time in Liberia, I was able to use the resources donated to train teachers, supply the schools, teach over a hundred students, and motivate and mentor brave young academic contestants. 

After leaving Liberia and before returning to the U.S., I traveled to Guinea.  I traveled to Guinea to support and study under a Guinean teacher, Fode Lavia Camara, who resides in the U.S.  He was back home in Guinea to host a festival created to honor his father, the highest elder of his community, the ancestors, and cultural traditions of Guinea.  While there, after having been away from home for so long, Fode learned that a lot had changed since the time he grew up in Guinea.  Many of the Guinean masters of West African drum and dance had left to perform and teach in the Western world, relying on their successes abroad to support their families back home.  However, this left very few teachers to pass on traditional culture to the local youth.   We knew something had to be done and this is how the forth program, Bayiby Cultural Arts Academy, became part of the Inspiration Schoolhouse Project.  The Bayiby Cultural Arts Academy will be the first school of its kind, intended to bring together the best Guinean instructors, locally and from abroad, to pass on the historical knowledge and cultural traditions of Guinea and West Africa.  This school promises to be a cultural hub where local children and young adults can study at little to no cost; bringing the international and local community together to preserve the rich musical, artistic, and oral traditions and histories of the people of West Africa.  The team of directors for the academy is already working with many well-known artists and instructors who are excited and grateful to be a part of this vital program.  Together, we are developing programs of study to help local Guineans.  However, a designated place of study is essential to this program’s success and endurance.  

The Inspiration Schoolhouse Project has already helped three organizations either get started or regain footing and now we need to help this next school get off the ground.  The ultimate goal of this program is to give schools the assistance they need to become self-sustainable and we want the Inspiration Schoolhouse Project to grow to be a part of many more struggling communities around the world.  That is why we do not just provide financial assistance, but we also provide assistance with school supplies and teacher and administrative training as well.  Current funds raised will be utilized for our work in Guinea, providing support for the construction of the Bayiby Cultural Arts Academy. 

We ask you to please donate to the Inspiration Schoolhouse Program so we can continue to grow and help schools around the world.  No donation is too small and every dollar is appreciated!  If you have non-monetary items you would like to donate, such as books, school supplies, and computers, you can also contact us using the information on our website at international-inspiration.org/contact.  Thank you for your support!
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Kumandi African Drum and Dance Camp starts this week. This event kicks off our 2018 year of fundraising! We truly count on the support of our Kumandi family! Can't wait to see everyone this weekend!
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Here is the latest in our compound wall construction endeavors: We used the remaining funds that were donated at the end of this past year to purchase as many supplies as we could get. The property is much larger than we estimated and it is taking more bricks to build the wall than we could predict. But, everyone is working hard to help us continue achieving the dream. Thank you Aline Bangoura for carrying the money out to the land and purchasing the supplies we need to continue.

Thank you to everyone who continues to show their support. Every penny and every brick makes a difference. Step-by-step we are moving forward. Please donate today so that our construction may continue!
Thank you Aline Bangoura!
Water for the cement
More gravel for the foundation & cement
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Our construction team has been working very hard since we bought all the supplies at the beginning of the year. In just a few weeks time, the wall foundation was laid and over half of the wall was constructed. Fode A. and his team have used up all the supplies we could afford to purchase while Fode Lavia, Forrest, and I were out there. Just before Fode Lavia left, I wired him the remaining donations that were processed by GFM and PayPal GivingFund. Dakino and Fode's cousin, Aline Bangoura, will head out to the land in the next couple weeks and use the funds to buy as much building material as possible. We hope to finish the compound wall very soon and pray that the money sent will be enough.

Thank you to all who continue to support our project. Please spread the word to help us keep construction going!

Donate today here on our GFM page!
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This update is long over due. My second week in Guinea with Forrest and Fode Lavia was very productive and eventful! I am so excited to share the progress that has been made on the land and what a cultural and connecting experience ir was for me. Fode and I traveled to the Forecariah on Thursday, Dec. 28th. It was wonderful to see all the supplies we had already purchased laid out in neat, organized piles along the east side of our land. Fode A. and Seni have been working hard to make sure work continues. Dakino has also done a great job of traveling back and forth with and without us to maintain communication with Fode A. and Seni.

On Thursday, Dakino also undertook the task of purchasing the all white sacrificial ram for the blessing of the land. Being a part of those prayers and the blessing was powerful. As a foreigner to the experience of animal sacrifice, it was extremely emotional. The anticipation of that moment was intense. I wasn’t sure how I would feel when the time came. It wasn’t easy for me, but I can say that I felt a unique connection to the land, the ram, all those who we are working with and prayed together with in that moment. It was very humbling.

To my amazement, the minute the blessing ceremony was done, the construction workers got right to it and the first drops of cement were poured. So much progress was made in just that one evening. Even more beautiful was that Thursday night we were joined by Greg Jones, Jean M Solomon-Candelario and Cande Candelario. It meant a lot to share our meal made with the meat of our sacrificial ram with fellow members of our American drumming community as well as our close friends and family in Guinea.

There is so much more to share about our progress and our 3rd annual KALOUM DJEMBE festival that took place the following Friday and Saturday. Stay tuned! Pictures of the land will be posted on www.facebook.com/international.inspiration.1. If you want to see photos from the land blessing ceremony, visit www.international-inspiration.org. They will be posted in a few days.

There is still so much work to do. Forrest, Fode, all the locally employed workers building on our land, the local materials suppliers and I are all thankful for the financial support everyone has provided so far. Please join those who have already donated and support our cause here on GoFundMe or via our ‘fee free’ donations link at https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1969603
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Read a Previous Update
Bill Scheidt
17 months ago
2
2

Keep building these great connections in the world! Go Go Go!

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Bill Scheidt
18 months ago
2
2

Keep up the great work! :)

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$8,846 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 43 months
Created February 14, 2015
Funds raised will benefit:
International Inspiration Inc
  Certified Charity
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Port Orange, FL
EIN: 272860337
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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JN
$100
Jane North
9 months ago

In honor of Forrest on Christmas Day!

AF
$300
Amber Fetner
9 months ago

This is from the Palms of Fire drum group at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens

$10
Anonymous
9 months ago
$200
Anonymous
13 months ago
DD
$100
Dale Davis
13 months ago

In honor of Lissa Davis Tchernis

$10
Anonymous
18 months ago
Bill Scheidt
17 months ago
2
2

Keep building these great connections in the world! Go Go Go!

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Bill Scheidt
18 months ago
2
2

Keep up the great work! :)

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