Let's Get Digging – April 2021

What are you digging into this spring?

For me, I’ve just started digging into our six raised garden beds in which we grow all kinds of vegetables – from chard to peas; not to mention digging out weeds in our flower beds! 

For Framework International, we are digging too. But it’s not in a flower or garden bed, it’s digging for a school – the Edukuma Primary School, the site of our 2021/22 school build project. We’ve hired 30 local workers, men and women, to help us dig out and build its foundation. 

Let me give you a quick peek into what these strong and capable team members do to ensure a Framework-built school has a solid foundation in which to build upon. 

Step One – Digging the foundation trench

The entire foundation is dug by hand using shovels and pickaxes. It’s hard work in 88 degree heat with high humidity. The soil is compacted layers of dry dirt and our team has to dig a trench that’s three feet deep by two feet wide. It will take three weeks to dig a trench approximately 197 feet long and 33 feet wide for the full foundation of our school.

Step Two – Reinforcing the foundation 

Inside the trench, concrete blocks and rebar are set. During this two week process, our team hand moves, one at a time, cinder blocks from their storage pile to the mason where they will be filled with a mixture of sand, stone, and cement. Once filled, they are placed inside the trench and secured with more mixture. One bag of cement makes 35 blocks and our team will use at least 25 bags of it a day. (Each bag weighs 110 lbs – so that’s around 2,750 pounds of cement being moved daily!) Women walk back and forth from the closest well, which is a five minute walk away, to the job site bringing water that helps to bind the mixture.

Step Three – Filling the foundation

Now the village volunteers take over! Over the next month, these volunteers fill in the foundation with the dirt that was removed to dig the trench and then compress this dirt by standing on wood boards. They will wait for the dirt to settle, fill it up again with more dirt, and then compress the dirt once more. They will continue to do this until the rains come, which will naturally assist in the final compression of the dirt foundation. 

So much digging! But then the rainy season arrives and work on the school is halted until mid-July – that’s when the dirt foundation is dry and compact enough for us to lay a solid cement floor on top of it. Thankfully, we can report that the school build is on time and within budget. That’s in huge part to Kofi, our contracting partner with Building for the Future Generation, who is overseeing the Ghana build. 

When completed, the Edukuma Primary School will be a six-room school block that will accommodate up to 350 kids (pre-K through grade 6) with administration, storage rooms, and bathrooms. The total cost of this new school build is $70,000 or around $200 per student.

We are building the school in two phases:

Phase 1: 2021 – $30,000 cost of build

Lay the foundation for the entire school building and build three classrooms that will be fully outfitted and functional for commissioning Fall 2021. These three classrooms will house the lower primary students.

Phase 2: 2022 – $40,000 cost of build

Build and outfit the remaining three classrooms (for the upper primary students), build an administration office/storage room, and bathrooms for commissioning Fall 2022.

Today, we’ve raised $20,000 toward our Phase 1 fundraising goal of $30,000. Will you please consider a gift to build Edukuma their brand new primary school?

Perhaps you can give a gift of $200, which is the build cost for one student, or maybe you can give a gift of $50 or even $400! Whatever the amount, you can feel confident in knowing that your gift will be wisely used in building the village of Edukuma a school.

The school children of this rural village have felt forgotten for so long. Let's show them that we value them and their right to access a free government-provided education safely, by building them a new school! When the children of Edukuma have access to school, they will gain opportunities that will transform their lives! Your support helps to make this happen. To learn more about this project, you can visit our website.

Thanks for digging in with us! Your support of Framework International is invaluable and we thank you for considering a gift toward the Edukuma school build project. And by the smiles on these Edukuma children's faces, you can be assured, they are thanking you too! 

Yours in empowering Ghana’s youth,

Seth Prickett

Framework International Founder and Board Chair

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