It was only a dream when they started to clear the ground for the first classroom to be built in 2012. From that small beginning, there are now seven completed classrooms at Arise School.
The shared foundations for the final three classrooms have recently been started. As on previous occasions, the local community donated sand, cement and building materials to support ACE in its fundraising efforts. A working party of over 60 local men and women then gave their labour; the women collecting rocks, the men digging the footings.
2016 proved a bumper year and we were able to complete three classrooms by early 2017! But costs are increasing all the time and this took a huge amount of effort. ACE is a small charity and we do not anticipate being able to maintain such momentum. However, we will continue with our aim to raise enough money each year to build one more classroom.
As the number of children and classrooms have grown, so has the number of staff. From one teacher and two support staff – a cook and a security guard – in 2013, there are now 18 full time staff, including nine teaching staff. The “Arise family’ continues to grow apace!
All the teachers and support staff are locally employed. The school also sources as much as possible from the local community, including all the desks, chairs and uniforms. In addition, it has become a learning ground for nearby college students. Each term, Arise welcomes students on teaching practice.
The invaluable contribution made by volunteers is always welcomed. In particular, there are four local volunteers who regularly use their skills and talent to the benefit of the school. Through ACE, there have been a small number of volunteers from the UK whilst others from Europe, Canada and the USA have given their time, energy and expertise whilst visiting Arise.
Who would have dreamt all this would be possible when they started to clear the ground for that first classroom back in 2012!