High school aged children in Khulile village in South Africa spent more than an hour a day walking to and from the nearest village with a secondary school. 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 equal to the average annual income of households 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 CELD supported in their efforts to construct a secondary school in their village. The village built four classrooms, which were finished 2002.
Khulile School built by villagers with support from CELD.
Empowered by this success, the community then approached the provincial government and requested four additional classrooms be built. After a site visit, the provincial government agreed to build four more classrooms and two offices, which were finished in 2003 and are in full use today. The provincial government also brought electricity to the school for the first time. As a result, CELD 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. CELD’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)
Khulile second phase of the school project.