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Senegal builds a school

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, it is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation." (Nelson Mandela)

Senegal builds a school

The great Nelson Mandela said that: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". "I helped build a school in Africa" is a charity project promoted by Foundawtion, a non-profit organization created by the architectural studio Daw Office in 2015. Foundawtion is run by the Architect David García, entepreneur Tarek Masri, architect Aina Tugores, attorney Luis García, and the heads of SIGNES, Carmen Revilla and Lluis Morón. As David Garcí explains, they all follow a clear philosophy based on the fact that "we are all volunteers". Since 2014, this foundation has been in close contact with a Senegalese community Thionck Essyl, because its members realised that there was a school needed in the area; a deficiency which, once covered, would boost the local economic development. Foundawtion reached an agreement with the authorities from the area to build a secondary school which will receive more than five hundred students per year. "It is a huge project", explains Carmen Revilla. "The population is stagnating due to a lack of education, although this will change once the school is put into operation in October 2018, at that time there should be sixteen "awlas" or modules and a large "awla" composed of several small classes." The school consists of "awlas" which are, in the language of the project, modules arranged in a grid in order to facilitate a future enlargement of the building as well as its construction in various stages. A report issued by the Human Resources Committee confirms that thirty million African children of school age do not attend school and "in the area where we work there are more than 1,200 children who can only study primary school". "In this region, naturally rich in water, fish and staples such as rice, the population finishes only the basic education and as a result most teenagers are on the street later, doing nothing". "In addition, young people are losing interest in ancestral traditions because of new technologies." "This is a project based on importance, not on charity." "We help the others construct the school building with willow twigs and try to involve local people in the development of the area," say the project managers. Another maxim is to use the indigenous raw materials as much as possible, "with natural light, heat isolating materials, local workers and volunteer architects who are responsible for the work on-site", says David García. "People stop us on the street to thank us for being there." "The kids call me alouloum, (the white man) and I answer, agnuguet (the black man)", says jokingly the head of Foundawtion. "If you want to participate in this project, you can send your contribution to ES09 0081 7011 1800 0285 1195. We guarantee that not a single Euro will be lost along the way and all your efforts will directly influence the welfare of the area. The transparency of the project can be checked on our website," says Lluis Morón.