Building a Better Future for Their Children
Through the hard work and determination of parents like Amidou Napon, children in buildOn’s partner countries are being given hope for a brighter future.
As the construction of the new school in Worou, Burkina Faso draws to a close, father and community leader, Amidou Napon, cannot hide his joy. “Today, I’m so happy that I can’t find my words,” says Amidou. “I am so happy, I could even dance! This new building is going to relieve us of a lot of different problems. This makes me even happier. I personally have two children who are being educated at Worou’s primary school, so I have been and still am heavily invested in the process.”
If Amidou is at a loss for words today it is perhaps because of the long, difficult journey he and other parents faced leading up to this day of celebration. For decades, parents in Worou struggled to educate their children. Without government support, they were forced to construct their own classrooms made from mud bricks, dried corn stalks, and corrugated metal sheets. While these classrooms provided some shelter for the students, they were still hot, dusty, and terribly overcrowded. Additionally, the classrooms made from dried stalks were so unstable, that the parents were forced to reconstruct them at least once a year because they would often be destroyed by heavy winds and rain.
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Not only was building a new school critical for the 152 students in Worou, Amidou knew that children from other villages in the municipality would benefit as well. Worou is currently a testing center for the primary school exit exam and has the responsibility of welcoming students and proctoring teachers from the surrounding area. In order for the students to perform well on their exams, Amidou knew that they would need better learning, and test-taking conditions – classrooms that were bright, cool, dry and above all, safe.
“I realized [buildOn’s methodology] was something I really welcome and support. I think the best way to make something your own is to contribute to it.” – Amidou Napon
Amidou first heard about buildOn through a local government advisor. “He explained to us buildOn’s methodology and the conditions which must be met before engaging in a collaboration,” recalls Amidou. “After this, we approached buildOn personnel to better understand what the process would be like. At the end of the meeting, they again explained their methodology, and I realized it was something I really welcome and support. I think the best way to make something your own is to contribute to it.”
“Today, we know that this building is ours because it was our sweat that was used to build it,” adds Amidou with pride. “Because of this, we are obligated to take good care of it! By the grace of God, the entire collaboration has been smooth. We have yet to encounter any difficulty. The work also went well, people really got involved, and we thank God for that. I want to thank buildOn on behalf of the entire community of the village of Worou. I alone can not express what you have done for us, but we want to say, ‘Thank you’, and may God always give you the strength to do what you do.”