Build #10: Hasowodze Primary School
The rural Ghanaian village Hasowodze (sounds like Hass-oh-dee) needs a new primary school for their children. They are currently learning in dilapidated buildings, as the new school building they were promised 13 years ago has been left abandoned, partially built. Where once there were 230 children attending school in this village, today, because of the poor school facilities and understaffing of teachers because of that, there are maybe 100 on a good weather day.
Hasowodze's abandoned primary school has been sitting partially built for 13 years
The village of Hasowodze is located in central Ghana, approximately one hour from the larger town of Agona Swedru. The village is home to about 1,000 people, and it’s a mile between neighboring villages. The main occupation for this area is cocoa farming.
Hasowodze Primary School was started in 1962 by Pastor Kobina Annan of the African Faith Tabernacle Church. Its first school building was a cocoa shed at the church. Not long after, however, the community banded together and built a temporary school structure out of bamboo and with an iron sheet roof. In 1964, the government took responsibility for the school and the Gomoa Education Directorate decided to build a new school block with classrooms made with cement blocks and roofs with iron sheets. The council brought chairs and books, and hired new teachers too.
Hasowodze students learn in 50-year-old buildings that have missing roof panels, crumbling walls, and floors with holes
Fast forward 50 years, and wanting to replace a school building that was in constant use for nearly five decades, the late President John Evans Atta Mills gave approval to begin construction on a new school block for Hasowodze. But after the change in his administration, and lack of contractor oversight, school construction stopped, despite having paid the contractor fully for his work.
Even though the school has sat dormant for so many years, the foundation is in great shape. The irons placed in the concrete are in good condition, and there is barely a crack in the walls. Considering how long it has sat, and how vulnerable it’s been to the weather, its current condition is remarkable.
We’re already encouraged by the support shown by the villagers for their school. To gain access to what was built, so that a structural engineer could give an assessment, we had to clear away massive amounts of debris that had covered the building. The villagers, many of them parents, showed up in numbers to help with the weeding and pulling out of tree stumps. Their work showed us how important it is to them to have a new school building for their children.
When the school is finished, it’s going to be amazing! It will be a six-room classroom block (pre-K through grade 6), with administration and storage rooms. This new school building will tell these children, and their community, that they have not been forgotten.
The amazing teaching team at Hasowodze Primary School
The completed Hasowodze Primary School!
The school commissioning celebration ribbon cutting with FI Board Members Jonathan and Seth!
Board Member Jonathan dancing with community members at the celebration.
The cost to bring Hasowodze their brand new six-room primary school is $27,025.43.