Partnerships built on listening and discussing
For us, the first step in our participation in bringing about change is being asked to be involved.
Once asked, we sit with local leaders and members of the School Development Committee to discuss the bigger problems. This, in turn, helps us focus on the smaller issues. During these discussions, we assess the needs of the community and our ability to assist, as well as the level of commitment from our hosts.
If our assessment is positive, we outline how we work and our expectations in terms of levels of commitment and collaboration. If the leaders agree, we ask to meet the whole community - because they will be the ones to provide the resources.
At the community meeting, we ask the community to break into groups and identify their hardships and challenges, which we then ask to be prioritised. We publicly acknowledge those we cannot assist with, such as road and bridge building. We then discuss what collaboration and partnership mean and ask the community if they are ready to commit. As well as asking what success looks like to them, we ask them to identify how it is measured, and any hurdles that lie in the path of achieving their goals.
- The foundations to all new buildings will be dug and built by the community.
- The community will build the walls to the window level.
- The community will participate in the filling in of the floors where needed.
- The community and school will welcome, host and ensure the safety of any volunteers who come to assist.
- The community will maintain the assets of the school to ensure that they last for generations.
- The community will ensure that EVERY student receives a meal at school.
- The community purchase goods from any school income-generation project.
We agree to work with the School Development Committee to design a school development plan, detailing exactly what is needed. This will also include a timetable of activities, which we then fundraise for.
If the community build the foundations and walls, it demonstrates their commitment to the project. We agree to fundraise to complete the project - always to a high standard with best practice and cement ratios.
We commit to helping the school to reach its targets.
Memorandum of Understanding
There are many different stakeholders involved in turning a school around, so it is important that everyone is aware of each other's roles and responsibilities.
These include the students, parents/guardians, community members, teachers, head teacher, School Development Committee, School Meals Committee, Village Committee members, village executives, MCDO and LTT.
To ensure good governance, we discuss and agree to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which is then signed. Click HERE to read a copy of our MoU with Gendi Community.