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About the Project

How do you build a dream?

Building a school means different things to different people. To some, building a school means having a building that is safe, secure and protected from the elements. To others, it means creating a learning community to help children achieve their full potential. To us, it means all of the above.

When we asked Sarah and Mr. Sam, “How can we best help you in your work?” they said, “Help us build a better building for the school”.

Current School

The current school is a wood frame on cinder block footing with a corrugated metal roof. The doors and windows are simply openings in the walls and the floors are packed dirt. There is no electricity or running water.

There are between 90 and 120 students who come every day. Daily tuition is 60 pesewas (about 46 cents). The money goes to pay the teachers, provide supplies and a daily lunch for all the students and faculty. If there is any money left over, it goes to help the Achiase Children’s Home.

Proposed School

We plan to build a concrete school building with 6 classrooms, a library and an office. This building will have electricity, running water and bathrooms for the children. It will have the ability to add a second floor in the future to accommodate growth, if necessary. This is a fairly common approach to building in Ghana.

The building will be constructed by local people using local materials in order to support the community.

When we visited last year, we helped them build a wall around the children’s home. We learned that construction is labor intensive. With cement and sand, they made the bricks onsite and used the bricks to build the wall.


It is estimated that constructing the building will take 6 – 8 weeks. Construction will begin in July of 2012, which is when their school break begins and is near the end of the rainy season. The Sams have asked a local architect to design the building. We will have a better estimate of the project costs when these drawings are completed.

This timeline assumes we will have raised $40,000 to pay the direct costs of the project (design, materials, furnishings and labor). This figure is an estimate based on conversations with the Sams and is in line with the cost of similar projects in central Africa. If the project comes in under budget, we will use the remaining funds to help equip the school with instructional materials. 

Our plan is to raise the money for the project and then travel to Ghana in July of 2012 to help them build the school and ensure the funds are used as intended. All of the fundraising is being done by volunteers. 100% of all donations will go directly to help the children in Achiase.

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