Just the Facts...
Status: Complete

School: Woroyan Primary School

Country: Mali

Village: Bladie

Donor: The Al O'Connor & Anne Studabaker Foundation

Partner: Woroyan

Year: 2012

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 Woroyan Primary School was completed on August 21, 2012!

Woroyan School

Woroyan Primary School

Woroyan Community Profile

Woroyan was founded ‘many years ago’, in the words of the chief, by a man named Djobenicoro Doumbia. The current population is approximately 600 people. The Bambara and Fulani ethnic groups are both represented in Woroyan, and Islam is the most commonly practiced religion. Woroyan is 105 km from the buildOn office in Bougouni. The closest health center is 21 km away from the village; people don’t usually travel there without the aid of a motorcycle. The primary income generating activities in Woroyan are farming, livestock breeding, fishing (there is a river just 5km from the village), gold mining and gardening. The staple crops are millet, beans, peanuts, rice, cotton and vegetables.
The leaders of this community are the chief and his council, the Imam, the youth representative, the village secretary, the women’s representative, the parent association head and the school committee head.

There was just one small classroom in Woroyan prior to this project, where only 35 students (8 girls and 27 boys) studied with 2 teachers. This school was established 12 years ago, but because of the lack of infrastructure most students from Woroyan continued to walk daily to other schools- a journey that ranged from 5 km to 17 km depending on the village and the grade they were traveling to. Woroyan was chosen for a buildOn project based on the motivation of the community leaders and parents, the distance between the village and other nearby schools, the growing number of children and the poor conditions of the existing community school.
Old School1

Interior of the Old School

Old School2

Exterior of the Old School

The School Project

The school in Woroyan has 3 classrooms and 2 latrines built with cinderblocks, metal roofing and a poured concrete foundation. Students began attending classes in the new school block as soon as it was completed in August. This school project broke ground on June 20th 2012 and was completed on August 21st 2012. The people of Woroyan contributed a total of 2,515 volunteer workdays to the project, finishing 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

Some of our students!

All the population is proud and is so thankful to buildOn and our donors thanks to whom our kids are attending school in good conditions and close to their homes. This school will bring an incredible motivation and courage to students to come to school. Parents will grant more importance to girls’ schooling by sending them to school. We are so proud to improve education conditions in our community and we dare rely on you for other projects and to furnish our school. Thank you for helping us build a brighter future for our kids who will be the adults of tomorrow.
- Kotigui Diarra, school committee member, father, age 46
While working on the construction we dealt with time, which was not in our habits. The respect of time or punctuality was very meaningful. During this project, we have been taught how to well mix cement and concrete. What are the required dosages of sand, gravel and cement needed? How to well divide up the different tasks between the unskilled laborers without any problem? We set some rules which were run on all the unskilled laborers. We were given the right to choose our groups leaders. We worked alongside men and women who were also equal in decision taking through the project leadership committee. We learnt many things thanks to the PLC meetings which allowed us to run the project without any problem. The skilled laborers were much opened and patient with us. Women’s role was very important because there is nothing we’ve done without them. buildOn brings people together to work for development.
- Gnelen Sangare, PLC school committee member, mother, age 35
This school has already got a big impact on the community. First of all the entire village was involved in the school construction, men and women all worked together on the same site; this is an impact. Having a school at home is like a dream for us and no one can tell how much it will change this community. The impact it will have on parents and kids is invaluable. All the school age kids will have opportunity to get knowledge, and near their parents. This is a great relief for parents because we were so concerned about our kids schooling. We wanted them to get knowledge, to get educated but we couldn’t afford them this opportunity in good conditions based on our own means. With this school, parents will be more motivated; boys and girls will have the same right to schooling which is very important to us. We’ll be able to watch after them. I’m very delighted with the collaboration with buildOn and thankful to the generous donors who made this real.
- Adama Sangare, school headmaster, age 28