Community Building Projects

Luz de Cristo School Construction, Tipitapa, Nicaragua

PROJECT SUMMARY:
The elementary school of Luz de Cristo —a rural community located in the municipality of Tipitapa, Managua— is hosted by a single classroom building accommodating 45 students and two teachers in a space of 517 square feet. To minimize overcrowding and the excessive interference between the two classes, a partition has been made to divide the space for the two teachers. However, these two little rooms are already very crowded and a group of students have classes out in the sidewalk. When it rains, they have to move inside making classes difficult. To improve education quality and prevent school dropout or low school performance, an additional classroom is urgent. The project will build an additional 19.7 x 32.8 ft. classroom, which will allow the younger kids to keep the existing building and have two groups of students in the new building. This will be divided in two spaces by a gypsum partition wall. The foundations and floor of the building will be made of concrete and quarry stone; the walls will be supported by a metal structure covered with cement panels (Durock) outside and dry wall panels inside. The roof will be supported by purling and covered with zinc sheets. The doors will be made of metal and the windows of steel bars.

PROJECT PARTNERS:
The Global Uplift Project (TGUP)
The Community School Construction Committee

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The Global Uplift Project (TGUP) helps American students and individuals build classrooms and other infrastructure projects in the developing world from donations as small as one dollar (hence its name). Since its founding in 2007, TGUP has completed more than 140 such projects in 17 countries in Asia, Central America, and Africa.  TGUP is an IRS registered 501c3 nonprofit.

The Community School Construction Committee: It is made by community leaders elected by the inhabitants. It will be in charge of organizing the logistic and support by the community for the project implementation. This includes the organization of volunteers to work in the construction; provision of space for storage and safeguarding tools and materials; and procure material support from rice farmers to the project.

PROJECT DATES: July- November 2021

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND PROJECT:
The Luz de Cristo community is located 8 miles to the North East of Tipitapa, in the department of Managua, Nicaragua. It is a very rural community with 250 inhabitants who live in 100 houses scattered in a wide area. Most inhabitants are small farmers with small plots of less than two hectares, which they use to produce corn, rice, yucca, water melon, squash and some other vegetables. Some farmers also rise cattle at small scale. Ten years ago an elementary school was established in the community with a single teacher for six grades. At the beginning the school operated in houses or churches. Three years later, the government built one classroom, which was enough for the number of students that were around 25. However, the community and the population have grown and the school is currently accommodating 45 students in a space of 517 square feet. The school has now two teachers. One that teaches from pre-school through second grade and other from third through sixth grade. The small classroom is divided by a partition to accommodate the two teachers. Both spaces are crowded and to avoid too much noise and distraction, the teachers accommodate some students in the sidewalk. During the rainy season, these need to move inside the school, making classes difficult. To improve education quality and prevent school dropout or low school performance, an additional classroom is urgent.

The project will build a 19.7 x 32.8 ft.building with foundations and floor made of concrete; the walls and the roof structure will be made of square and u-shaped metal pieces. The external wall will be covered with Cement Drywall Panels and the interior of the school, with Gypsum Dry Wall, which will help to insulate the room from high temperatures. Windows will be protected by metal square pipes and doors will be made of metal. The roof will be made of zinc sheets. The distribution of the students in two bigger areas will improve education quality, and improve indicators like attendance and students performance. Consistent with SOL’s model, the school would be mostly built with community participation, just led by a professional builder, which will improve the community organization and their self-esteem to look for other projects that improve their living conditions. The school space may also be used for other purposes, like community meetings, adult education, vocational training and even the provision of health care by government health staff.

ANTICIPATED BENEFITS:

  • A school with a lot more space that allows separated areas for the different classes, reducing drastically distraction in favor of better students’ performance.
  • Increased school enrollment.
  • Increased school attendance.
  • Reduced students’ failure
  • A space for the community to meet an exchange around community issues and potential projects.
  • A space for the provision of other social services to the community, like health care, training, adult education. 

PRIMARY BENEFICIARIES:

45 preschool and elementary school children

2 teachers

250 community members

IMPACT METRICS: 

  • School enrollment grow from 45 to 50 students
  • School attendance grows from 80% to 95%
  • School completion grows from 90 to 95%
  • At least 10 community meetings held in the new school every year
  • At least 2 training sessions held per year.

BUDGET SUMMARY:

Summary of project costs:

Materials                         $ 8,298.37

Labor                                 $ 3,516.45

Other                                 $    700.00

                   Total              $ 12,519.82

SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

This is a high priority project based on the following facts:

  • The existing school infrastructure is too small the current enrollment causing overcrowding and students groups receiving classes out of the building.
  • This affect the quality of education and children’s capacity to focus on classes affecting results in general.
  • The new building will be used immediately after its construction
  • The community is aware of the school need and has committed to cooperate voluntarily in its construction.
  • The new infrastructure will facilitate the provision of additional community services like health, training and adult education.
  • The project implementation will help the community to develop organizational skills required to deal with other urgent community issues.
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