Europe / Middle East / Africa
HeidelbergCement - rebuilds school
Oct, 01 2012
HeidelbergCement is one of the largest cement and aggregate suppliers globally, operating throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Africa. T.E.A.M. CCM, based in Brussels, is a group of specialists responsible for providing expert advice and assistance to aggregate operations in Western Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and Africa.
The team comprises a range of disciplines including finance, market intelligence, aggregate operations and management, natural resources and environmental management.
For the past year, the team has been working in support of the HeidelbergCement operations throughout east and west Africa. In doing so, it has developed a real appreciation of the social consequences of its operations and the benefits that improving supply and quality of construction materials can provide to development of nations desperately in need of support and assistance in construction of infrastructure.
However, whilst the focus of such support is often in the large, showcase developments such as roads, rail, and major public works what can often be overlooked is the smaller, human scale opportunities to provide local facilities that are of direct benefit to communities in which they are desperately needed. Such facilities have an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of those in the communities, providing opportunities and services that we simply take for granted.
T.E.A.M. CCM has identified a just such a need at Kighare in the Mwanga District near Kilimanjaro. The Kighare District is a rural area with lives little above a poverty level and all ages working hard every day simply to provide for their families which are often large. Although children also contribute to the labour, their parents try to provide and ensure that they have a proper education and children of all ages want to improve themselves through learning and hopefully enjoy better lives as a consequence.
In December 2011 the Kighare Secondary School was all but destroyed by floods following heavy rain. As two walls, collapsed, one pupil was severely injured and hospitalized. Most of the classrooms were devastated and all of the school’s supplies and equipment were lost. Consequently, with no facilities, the education of the children has now been severely affected. Classes continue, but without classrooms, desks, books and teaching materials the position is not sustainable and the children cannot now receive the teaching they so need and want. The children now typically share a desk between four and over 100 children are no longer able to go to school because of the lack of space and facilities. There are no sanitary facilities remaining at the school and the risk of illness and disease is significantly increased due to lack of proper toilets.
Local parents and teachers have tried to begin reconstruction, mixing mud bricks to rebuild walls and contributing from their own pockets for other materials but they lack the proper resources, funds and materials to make any real difference and to provide buildings and structures safe and suitable for the children to use.
All of the children are desperate to continue to receive a proper education as a way of improving their lives and those of their families. In talking with the children, the one thing that they really want is to be able to return to their classes and to be able to continue learning in conditions conducive to proper study. One area where many really want improvements is in science. Many pupils are failing in these classes due to a lack of any science teaching facility and materials.
To help in ensuring that the children can continue to receive a
proper education, T.E.A.M. CCM has begun a project to provide direct assistance in the redevelopment of the school. Supported by donations of materials from the HeidelbergCement plant in Dar Es Salaam, T.E.A.M. CCM will provide the management, logistical and physical support for the reconstruction. However, this is not without cost and the proposals to rebuild and re-equip the damaged classrooms, provide proper sanitation and a new science teaching block have been estimated to cost 80,000 Euro, over and above the cost of materials.
his project has received the support and assistance of the First Lady of Tanzania Mama Salma Kikwete, who will be a patron of the project and will open the rebuilt school in December 2012. Mama Kikwete is a strong supporter of education, entrepreneurship and innovation in the country with a clear vision to raise Tanzanian children from ignorance, poverty and disease and eliminating gender inequities in accessing education.
Her kind support will ensure that this development has a high profile nationally and internationally and will ensure that it should be a success once the facilities are completed.
Obviously times are hard in the current financial climate, but we all still enjoy conditions and a standard that the children of Kighare can only dream of and our troubles are nothing compared with the problems they face right now. We need all the support and help that we can get in securing the necessary funds to make a real difference to their situation and we should be very grateful for any assistance you could provide in sponsoring this worthwhile project. This is a real opportunity to touch the lives of the next generation in a situation where even the smallest contributions will have an effect so far beyond its immediate monetary value.
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