A partnership between buildOn and the Millennium Villages project has completed 30 new schools in Mali. Together these 30 schools will provide access to education for up to 4,500 kids in the Mali Millennium Villages cluster. For this project, community members contributed over 81,000 volunteer work days to complete the schools, accounting for all of the volunteer labor needed to build the classrooms, latrines and offices. This is an average of more than 28 volunteers per day on each project.
Additionally, in Senegal the partnership has completed 15 new schools in just a little more than a year. The final school was completed in March 2009 for a total of 30 new classrooms to provide education for up to 1,400 children. To complete the schools, community members contributed sand and water as well as over 6,800 volunteer work days – an average of 10 volunteers per day each day of the project.
In many of the new schools in Mali and Senegal, the partnership has constructed separate latrine facilities for boys and girls. In addition to improving hygiene and sanitation for school children, the separate facilities also promote enrolment of girls who would otherwise feel uncomfortable going to school.
School construction in the Millennium Villages is an important step towards increasing school enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa where approximately 38 million children are still out of school. To help achieve universal primary school education and meet the Second Millennium Development Goal, Millennium Promise is committed to bringing more schools to the Villages while also providing children with locally-produced school meals and essential educational resources.
Katrina Kahl is the Communications Manager at Millennium Promise. She is based in New York.