The team at Macdellar does an incredible job educating children from poor families on the edge of Lake Volta, but when the roof collapsed they were unable to continue.
Education is so critical to a child’s overall life chances, and all parents want to see their children have greater opportunities than they had themselves. Many of the families in this area, however, struggle to make a subsistence level income from either agriculture or the fishing industry. Finding spare money to send their children to school is often beyond reach. If they want to see their children eat, such families have little choice but to engage them in the family business from a young age, or contract them out as labourers for others. Unfortunately, this leaves some children exposed to severe abuse and exploitation. A 2015 study by the International Justice Mission found that drowning while diving to disentangle nets was cited as a common hazard, and some of the children working the lakes were less than six years old.
Despite their efforts to provide an alternative to these families, when the Macdellar roof collapsed on top of desks, the staff had no option but to send children home or carry on with their classes under trees. Fortunately, at The DEAR Foundation we’ve worked hard to build agile processes which allow us to respond quickly to situations like this. With our support, Macdellar was able to start the repairs almost immediately. What’s more, they’ve been able to build back stronger, using higher grade building materials and processes to ensure they’re not taken by surprise like this again.
Better yet, the whole community has been visibly motivated by the external support to come together and support the project. They’ve volunteered to clear the remaining trees which posed a risk to the new building in future windstorms. They are now even working to raise additional funds to improve the overall learning environment for their children.