Just the Facts...
Status: Complete

School: Wenkala Primary School

Country: Mali

Village: Wenkala

Donor: Matching Donor

Partner: BuildOn

Year: 2011

Grades: Grades 1-6

Students: 251 (122 Girls)

Why we work in Mali:
● Mali ranks #160 out of 169 countries with data on the United Nations Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living.

● The adult literacy rate in Mali is estimated at 38% for men and just 17% for women.

The Wenkala Primary School was completed on February 4, 2012!


The new school and its students

Thank You!

A classroom

Wenkala Community Profile

Wenkala is 85 km from the buildOn office in Bougouni. There are currently 2,017 people living in Wenkala in 73 family compounds. Both the Fulani and Bambara ethnic groups are represented here, and the majority of the villagers practice Islam. The leaders of the community are the major, the chief and his council, the youth representative, the village secretary, the women’s representative, the school committee head and the nurse. There is a small health center located in the village.
The people of Wenkala are subsistence farmers who grow millet, beans, peanuts, rice, cotton and vegetables. Some families also raise livestock. They built their new school during the harvest season, which is dry and hot.

The Old School

There were 6 classrooms in Wenkala- 3 temporary rooms built by the community and 3 permanent rooms provided by the government. There are 251 students enrolled in grades 1 through 6 (122 of them girls). These students study with just 3 teachers. The community is extremely motivated to add more permanent classrooms to the school since there are many children who haven’t enrolled due to the limited space and staff. This school was founded in 1996.

Wenkala School Construction Project

Sand gathered by the community

The School Foundation

The Wenkala school project broke ground on December 6th, 2011 and was completed on February 4th, 2012. The people of Wenkala contributed a total of 2,438 volunteer workdays to the project, finishing 17 days ahead of schedule. Before starting construction they also collected local materials for the project and met with buildOn staff to sign a covenant outlining the following responsibilities:

Community Contribution
• Unskilled labor: 30 workers (15 women and 15 men) per day, six days per week
• Commitment to educating girls and boys equally
• The land on which the school is built
• High quality local materials: sand, gravel, water & rocks
• Volunteer management committee made up of 12 villagers (six women, six men)
• Lodging for buildOn Field Coordinator and skilled laborers in local homes
• Basic construction tools (shovels, picks, wheelbarrows, buckets, etc.) when available

buildOn Contribution
• Engineering and architecture
• Construction materials (excluding local materials) for school and latrine
• Skilled labor and plans needed to build the school
• Project management (buildOn coordinators)
• Instruction in basic construction techniques

The completed Wenkala School

The Wenkala School Project

I hope all the kids from generation to generation get an education in this school. It will be the basis of development of the entire community. I hope to see it well equipped, well maintained, with more and more good teachers.
- Ousmane Diakite
As a son of this village who has not been to school, I know that this school is the best way for our children to see the light we parents have not seen.
- Youssouf Ballo
I’m so happy with this school donation to my community because the change it will bring has no limit. Our kids will attend school in their own community and close to their parents who will be able to watch after them. Also, two grades will not be in the same classroom. Teachers will feel at ease giving classes and kids will pay more attention. With this school parents are more involved in their kids’ education. The literacy rate will increase for every parent now wants his child to get an education. It is wonderful.
-Batchini Binmin Diakite, school headmaster, age 34
During this project we learned how to work with cement and concrete, but the most important thing has been the good organization of the community in work groups. We learned how to well divide up the different tasks between the unskilled laborers without any problem. Everyone has been obedient and involved. The involvement of the women to work alongside on the same site with men has been just wonderful. We all had the same goal: the improvement of the education conditions and quality in the community. I’m very happy for this school donation to my community and I’m thankful to buildOn and to our donors.
- Daouda Diakite, member of the school committee, farmer, parent, age 37