It all began when a UMKC staff member from Nigeria told us about his experience as a young student at the Ogwuokwu Community School. When he returned to his school years later, he was heartbroken to find that some things had not changed. The community did not have access to clean water. The teachers and children did not have access to clean restrooms. The very structure of the classroom building was falling down around them.
The University of Missouri – Kansas City Enactus team recognized the opportunity for entrepreneurial action to create real, sustainable change in the Ogwuokwu Community School and initiated a project called Educate to Elevate.
We decided to take on three different initiatives to revolutionize education at the Ogwuokwu Community School: access to clean water, sanitary restroom facilities, and the reconstruction of the school itself. We believed that embracing these initiatives would create a ripple effect, improving the students’ health, their education, their futures, and ultimately, the entire community.
In 2016, we began the clean water initiative by raising funds for a sustainable water well. After we raised the funds, we hired a contractor in Nigeria to install the well, which now provides clean water for five villages and hundreds of people, including the children and teachers at the Ogwuokwu Community School!
In 2018, we launched our second initiative - providing access to sanitary facilities at the school. This initiative had two components: installing the septic system and building the actual facilities. It took us 10 months to generate the funds, but by January of 2019, the sanitary facilities were completed!
We have helped over 400 students, their families, and five local villages gain access to clean, accessible water. According to the Head Mistress of the school, 15 more students are enrolled, 4 more teachers have begun working, and the school is becoming a water hub for the surrounding population.
Since then, our team has been shifting our focus to the next Educate to Elevate initiative - improvements to the school building itself. According to the Head Mistress, more children want to attend the school, but there is no space for them. The current classrooms are also dangerous and distracting, so we have decided to construct a new classroom building for the Ogwuokwu Community School! We have already fundraised 30% of the projected cost for the new school building, but are in need for $18,000. Furthermore, with the emergence of COVID-19 in our communities, the students are temporarily out of school, allowing for the perfect time to begin construction!
We are determined to get this community a safe and adequate learning facility and thank you for your donation today.