When we met Team4Ghana they had a dream: building a public school in Luisa, Builsa (Northern Ghana). Being settled in a deep rural area, kids had to walk several miles under the sun in order to get to the closest school. This fact, linked to the need for help at home, led to most of them dropping their studies at a very young age.
After spending some months researching the resources, climate and culture in the area, we came up with a proposal that added some features to the type-school that, besides improving kids wellbeing, made the building appealing. The main intention was to attract more users and foster the education level in the area.
Composed by 2 blocks of classrooms and surrounded by a built, permeable fence, the project encloses an inner environment meant to inspire pupils. It generates a wrapping atmosphere where, decontextualizing from their routines, they can focus, play and dream of their future.
Within its walls, it includes 2 green areas, one meant to chill and read, and the other to grow vegetables, a roofed patio to play in rainy / sunny days, and traditional architecture features (such as rammed ceramics flooring, a plaid straw ceiling and some geometric paintings), meant to bring into value the culture of the area.
A school should be a space of freedom to play, discover and grow. A shelter where kids can develop their curiosity and imagination through education.
In an area where basic needs are not so easily covered yet, it’s always a challenge to focus on the importance of education and its projection towards a better future.
This is why one of our aims was to stretch the local concept of a school and make it more appealing, regarding the community’s context and needs.
Locals, including women, were hired as part of the construction team that brought the school up.
Keeping in mind tradition and techniques of the area (Kanjarga, Ghana), we proposed to include a roofed courtyard area, an open-air library and a vegetable garden in the programme.
Regarding users’ welcome to these features, the Ghana Education Service is currently thinking of including some of them in future school projects.