Khulile School Construction Project
There are over 200 high school aged children in Khulile village who spent more than an hour a day walking to and from the nearest village with a secondary school because Khulile did not have adequate facilities. Not only was this a hardship for the children, but it put them at some risk since they had to cross a relatively large creek on their way to school.
Given the concerns of the villagers, Mr. Magwashu, the Headman of the village, took a courageous step by imposing a one-time fee on every household in the village to raise money to build their own secondary school. The fee was approximately equal to the average annual income of a household in the village. The proceeds of this one-time charge were used to buy building materials for the school and the villagers volunteered their time to construct the school.
Khulile was the first village the Coalition supported in their efforts to construct a secondary school in their village. The village built four classrooms, which were finished 2002. They then approached the provincial government and requested that four additional classrooms be built. After a site visit, the provincial government agreed to build four more classrooms and tow offices. These structures were finished in 2003 and are in full use at this time.
The provincial government also brought electricity to the school for the first time. As a result, the Coalition made a small contribution to the school so they could outfit the office with a copier and fax machine.
Through this successful collaboration the community gained experience and renewed confidence. The Coalition’s contribution was a small part of what it took to complete the school, but it was a critical catalyst to re-energize the community and motivated local institutions to help out.
The village of Khulile struggled for 10 years to build a secondary school for our children. We are very grateful to the Coalition for Effective Local Democracy because their aid came when we needed it most and made our dream come true. The educators and learners are now very delighted because they have proper classrooms, which are conducive to effective teaching and learning. In addition, the presence of the building has enabled those learners who dropped out to return to school. Thank you. (B. G. Makuzeni)