Dear friends and supporters. We are looking back on 3 incredible years. Our project Hope has been handed over to a local partner, and is officially over. Thanks to your help, Cassolol is now getting a new, much needed school! The proneza gGmbH will therefore soon cease its activities. Many thanks to all who have accompanied us on this journey!
The main reason for this is the lack of educational facilities. In rural regions in particular, children often have no opportunity to attend school due to excessively long distances to school and the fact that they often have to work to support their families.
In addition, if there is a school at all, school fees often have to be paid, which makes access to basic education even more difficult for large parts of the population.
The average time an adult spends in school is only 2.8 years.
In addition to corruption and mismanagement, the country also has to deal with international drug trafficking.
This is an intolerable situation that deprives the children and families of an entire region of prospects, and further reinforces the problems of emigration and economic stagnation. As a result, more and more people are seeking their fortune in the city or in distant foreign countries – with all the known follow-up problems.
our Project Hope
School as a place of future! Proper equipment, running water and light – unfortunately still the exception in Guinea-Bissau.
Influenced by these impressions, we decided to change this situation. Together with the local council of elders, we discussed how we could develop the school into a place of hope and the future in order to give the entire region a sustainable perspective again.
We are building an urgently needed new elementary school with numerous new jobs, an attached workshop for repairs and technical training, free solar power, and running water for students and the people living in the surrounding area.
Our focus is on maximum added value on site as well as the constant involvement of the local population. Because as in most cases, the people affected know best what they need.
For example, we obtain the cement from a factory in Guinea Bissau, and the bricks are produced locally by residents of the village themselves. All skilled and unskilled workers are recruited from the local area wherever possible.
In this way, we support the economy in the region and give people much-needed work as well as the opportunity to have a say in this project.
Mismanagement and strike
In our work, we do not see ourselves as a competitor, but as a supporter of the state structures. Since our involvement in Cassolol, we also regularly support the state school.
Hard to believe: Due to months of outstanding wage payments,the whole school year 2021 was subject to a strike in Guinea-Bissau..
proneza stepped in quickly and unbureaucratically and took over part of the teachers’ salaries. This enabled the school to continue operating and saved the school year for Cassolol.
on the photo: two teachers and the director of the state school with Lukas Auer handing over a letter of thanks.
A whole village pitches in
In our work, we attach great importance to involving the local populationas early as possible.
At regular meetings, mutual wishes and expectations are clarified, needs are continuously assessed and the project is constantly adapted.
This gives us great encouragement and support from the community, and in return we are already receiving many contributions before and during construction.
- free land for the school
- Assistance with clearing and leveling
- Production of bricks
- Supply of water, sand and shells (local gravel substitute) during construction.
- Provision of tools and manpower
This shows the will and motivation of the community, creates commitment and helps us save a lot of costs (and thus your donations)!
Start of construction:
From January to March 2022, the time had finally come. The construction could start and we built the shell of a new school with a total of 6 rooms in record time. Four classrooms will serve some 170 students in two shifts. In addition, there is a separate teachers’ room and a director’s room, which will also serve as a library.
Present at the groundbreaking ceremony were representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Interior, the village community, and a reporter from local radio. Thanks to our good contact with local authorities, we can be sure of great back up and support in our work.
Construction progress and project handover:
Even after our return to Berlin, construction continued diligently. Thanks to the generous support of a local NGO, we were able to finish the roof of our school before the rainy season with a local carpenter from the village.
In the meantime, the walls have already been plastered and the painting of the building has begun. Also new windows and doors could already be procured.
For proneza our commitment ends at this point. Since in the last two years, despite various efforts, unfortunately no sufficient funding could be found, we have decided in the summer of 2022 to hand over the project in its entirety to the local NGO.