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10 Schools, 1,000 Lives
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Project Reports Archive
10 Schools, 1,000 Lives!

Dissan Primary School (1)
Sponsor: Bougouni Browns Backers
Status: Complete
Students: 85

The construction of the Dissan Primary School marked the birth of African Sky. While conducting field research with Dissan farmers, African Sky Founder Scott Lacy launched this project to demonstrate his gratitude to the host community that helped him earn a Ph.D. With the help of family and friends who raised money in the US, along with the Cleveland Browns, they built a school. Today the Dissan Primary School Director, Zu Kone and five other teachers educate well over 100 students year. The school is also used as a polling station for national and regional elections; people from neighboring villages come to the Dissan school to vote.

Soumabougou Primary School (2)
Sponsor: Keeth Elementary, Winter Springs, FL
Status: Complete

On May 1, 2013 African Sky proudly announced the completion of the Soumabougou Primary School. After a number of nearly insurmountable obstacles, including a coup d'etat and dire political insecurity, our astounding construction team managed to build the first of our schools to be designed by earth block architect Drew Jacoby. Our blocks are made on site with help from community members. The blocks are made with 95% local earth and only 5% cement. As strong as any cement block, much less expensive and non-toxic, these blocks and our innovative design have produced a stunning, one-of-a-kind school. The Soumabougou community celebrated the opening of their school in September 2014.

Keeth Elementary School (Winter Springs, Florida) is the lead sponsor and sister school for the Soumabougou School. Under the leadership of music teacher Matt Sanders, his students and colleagues organized brilliant musical performances that left full audiences on their feet. On behalf of the Soumabougou community, African Sky honors Matt Sanders and students and teachers at Keeth Elementary for the love and generosity they shared with all of us.

Dissan-Kokele Primary School (3)
Sponsor: MYST, Nova Scotia
Status: Machining and installing windows, doors, roofing

A few years after we completed the Dissan Primary School, we were pleased to see that more students from Dissan were continuing on to 7th grade. Dissan elders were also pleased that more of their grandchildren were going to school. Nonetheless, the elders shared their concerns about sending children to the 7th grade because to do so requires sending the young student off on her own to a town or city, dozens or even hundreds of kilometers away from home. Our lead designer Drew Jacoby praised the work of our construction team in Soumabougou, and then he used their feedback/modifications to develop an entirely new school design for Dissan. This new school will become the Dissan-Kokele Secondary School. Students in the village where African Sky was born will now be able to complete a ninth grade education without having to leave town. The school will serve students in Dissan, and it will also draw in youth from neighboring villages who would otherwise attend secondary school much further from home.

Zeala Literacy School (4)
Sponsor: African Sky Donors (General Funds)
Status: Block Making

Even in communities with thriving primary schools, many young children do not get a primary school education. African Sky is collaborating with the Zeala community to build a literacy school for adults who didn't have the opportunity to learn to read or write. African Sky literacy instructor, Elizabeth Traore administers the program in Zeala, which has quickly become one of our fastest growing projects. Elizabeth will administer the literacy school, which will have an office area and a classroom built in a "seminar" style to foster interaction and participation. Adult students who have completed one of our earliest literacy courses reported that sitting in conventional desks can be demoralizing (think of a parent sitting in a pre-schooler's chair… just not that extreme). Our construction leaders plan on completing block making for the Zeala Literacy School before summer arrives. The construction will begin shortly thereafter. Please check back with us for updates on this and all of our schools.

Senou Literacy & Community Center (5)
Sponsor: Belgian Rotary
Status: Raising funds

Senou is a periurban area just outside of Bamako, the capital city of Mali. African Sky is building a community center just off the southerly road leading out of the capital city. In a neighborhood that is just now emerging, the area provides ample opportunities for reducing extreme poverty through micro-enterprise. The Senou Literacy and Community Center will be modeled on the Zeala Literacy School and program. In both programs, we are exploring ideas that would integrate a social entrepreneur auxiliary program. Participants would create and manage a small social enterprise as they learn to read and write, complete basic math problems, and organize community associations. The Senou Literacy Center is slated for construction in late 2014.

Zeala Primary School (6)
Sponsor: FCC Tallmadge, OH
Status: Raising funds

After only a couple years of working with Elizabeth Traore and the Zeala community, African Sky is delighted to have such enthusiastic partners. Zeala will partner with us to build our 6th primary school, once we finish the Senou Literacy Center. Yacouba, our construction manager, reports that the Zeala Primary School is tentatively slated for Early 2015.

Siratogo Community School (7)
Sponsor: Nicholasville - Winter Springs Schools
Students: 30-40
Status: Raising funds

Siratogo is a small farming village with a one-room school house made of adobe blocks. The school is an old building and in desperate need of improvements, inside and out. African Sky will partner with Siratogo to build a new schoolhouse with an innovative design that will suit the needs of a one-room school house teaching methods. There are not enough students in the community to warrant multiple classes, but the community has supported their small school for years. African Sky will launch construction on this unique project following the completion of the Zeala Primary School.

Stow School (8)
Sponsor: Stow Schools, OH
Site: To be determined
Status: Raising funds

African Sky is currently scouting and considering a number of sites for this school. Please check back with us for updates on this and all the other school projects.

School (9)
Sponsor: OPEN
Site: To be determined
Status: Raising funds

Build a school with African Sky! Let us know if you're interested in sponsoring this school.

School (10)
Sponsor: OPEN
Site: To be determined
Status: Raising funds

Be the lead sponsor of the construction project that will complete our campaign to build 10 schools.