The school in Gueleng built with the help of the Maitri Movement

Have you ever wondered how education looks like in Sub-Saharan Africa today?

If so, you are in the right place. We hope that information included in this article will help you to understand the current situation of African children. Also how important it was to build a school for small Gueleng village in Cameroon. We were able to find the sponsors who donated 30,000 EUR. All thanks to the combined efforts of our communities, especially our Lublin unit. The grand inauguration of the new building, which can fit in 160 additional students, was held on 18th March 2017. The realisation of the project was managed by Sister Paulina Megier who was also an originator of the whole idea.

The existing school couldn’t fit in all 358 pupils. It is a small building with two rooms available only for four classes of older children. The rooms do not have any supplies except for a chalkboard and a small table for a teacher. There are no desks, and all the students are sitting on the floor. Due to school rooms being always overcrowded, approximately 160 pupils were attending classes in a nearby hut, temporarily converted to a school. Terrible school conditions combined with the availability of only five teachers continue to have a hugely adverse effect on pass rates. Last year only 18 students successfully passed their exams and were admitted to the secondary schools. The funds raised by MAITRI supported not only a new school construction, but also helped to renovate an existing one and supply it with necessary equipment.

Thank you letter from Gueleng written by Sister Paulina Megier

Dear Contributors,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making a real impact in here in Gueleng. On Saturday 18th March we held a grand inauguration of the new school. The local community stated this building was like manna from heaven to them. An enormous gift not only for the children from Gueleng itself but also from nearby villages. We wouldn’t be able at all to build a school without you Dear Friends of our cause. On the day of the inauguration, I have been allocated with the honorary seat. I thought it should have been reserved for you instead…Thank you very much for all your efforts! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everybody who responded to our appeal for help.

How we build a school

We can read further in the letter:
The construction took a bit longer than expected as it was completed by the local people who have not always possessed necessary skills. Besides, it would have been much more expensive to hire a professional construction company. The local student has been appointed as the lead engineer on the project with myself being a project manager. We have used your donation not only for the construction of a new building but also for equipping an old school with desks and benches. Previously the children were sitting on the floor during the classes. We have provided the teachers with other necessary resources. Also finally paid the salaries to voluntary teachers who haven’t received a penny since September. We have bought school bags with all the accessories for orphaned children and those from underprivileged families. The gratitude and hope for better tomorrow fill everybody in here. You are truly changing lives! May God bless you for your kindness and reward you for all the right things you have done! Grateful for everything!

Where is the Gueleng village located?

Gueleng is located in Mayo-Oulo County, close to the city of Guider in the northern part of Cameroon. Only 2 km away in Mandama, you can find Polish missionary centre of The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
People in here depend on agriculture for food and livelihood. They grow cotton, corn and nuts however their crops are really poor due to the soil being infertile. We deal with large families and high costs of overcrowded schools. This results in a significant number of illiterate children – Sister Paulina writes.

How you can get involved

The MAITRI runs a variety of different projects in addition to our standard “Have a Heart Adoption” programmes. We actively look for sponsors to realise projects ranging from building a school in Sudan to supporting the disabled community in Aleppo. Please see our page for the list of outstanding projects and further instructions how you can donate.

Children attending the classes

Children outside newly built school

The Sister Paulina Megier with the local representatives outside of the new building. Get involved and help us to build a school

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