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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Tradition Meets Innovation: Building A Sustainable School in Ghana

Press Release –  WEbuilding is a Berlin-based non-profit organization founded by an international group of young architects, united by a common purpose: to help deprived communities through sustainable public building projects.

The organization’s current project involves the construction of a school in the village of Damang in Ghana’s Eastern Region, 50 kilometers from Accra. The area currently possesses only one school for the children of the village and the many smaller surrounding communities. The new school – which will consist of an early childhood center and a primary and secondary school, accommodating a total of 560 children – would represent a huge step forward in this regard; it would also set a higher learning standard and provide equal educational opportunities for boys and girls.

WEbuilding employs sustainable, cheap and aesthetically attractive materials in a way that is innovative, yet respects local culture. During a trip to Ghana last winter, the WEbuilding team discussed possible solutions with their partner, the local NGO Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa, who own the land on which the school is to be built, and consulted with local builders who combine technology and tradition in their work.

The layout of the school reflects both environmental and social considerations: the complex will be divided into three building clusters, each consisting of several structures built mainly of compressed earth blocks, situated around a central courtyard in the manner of a local village. The first phase, for which WEbuilding is now raising funds, will include an early childhood center and a lavatory; as additional funds become available, this core complex will be complemented with two others, which will house a primary and a secondary school.

After much planning, and after overcoming all bureaucratic hurdles, WEbuilding is now entering the next phase of its project: crowdfunding. Over the past year, the organization raised enough money to finance the construction of the first classroom; in February, it launched a crowdfunding campaign on Generosity [­] to raise the additional 22.000$ necessary to complete the first three units, and to allow construction to begin.



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