Computers 4 Conakry
We want to raise £2000 to enable 500 students at Conakry Refugee School in Guinea, West Africa, to gain computer skills that will enhance their learning experience and employability while building dignity and self-respect through self-sufficiency.
Who are we?
Conakry Refugee School (CRS) was set up in 1991 to meet the needs of those fleeing from civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Although teachers worked for little if any wages, buildings needed to be rented and basic school materials purchased. The cost of keeping the school open was challenging in the extreme and closure was imminent on more than one occasion.
Friends of Conakry Refugee School (FCRS) was set up in 2005 by Ruth Walmsley after her daughter Tanya, who was volunteering at the school, asked her parents to send £60 to pay the school rent so they could avoid closure. It became a UK registered charity in 2008 and is run entirely by volunteers. It is the sole supporter of CRS and has enabled the school to keep its doors open for all who want to learn ever since.
The situation at the moment.
CRS is financially unsustainable because the fees pupils can afford to pay do not cover costs such as rent and wages.
For the last five years FCRS has sent an average of £40,000 to Conakry to ensure that refugee families are able to access a good education for their children.
While FCRS is committed to continued support of CRS financial independence would give the community the self respect and dignity that comes from supporting itself while allowing UK donations to fund other vital work.
The vision for the future
Over the last two years FCRS and the staff and management team of Conakry Refugee School have worked together to plan a strategy that would increase the ability of CRS to fund itself rather than rely on donations from the UK.
The strategy we came up with was to set up 4 micro-businesses:
- a computer suite
- a language lab
- a vocational catering project
- a vocational soap making project
£60,000 is needed for these projects to be set up and supported for their first 4 months.All projects will share some common resources so the setting up of the first will cost more but will be a major tipping point for the success of the whole venture.
Progress so far
In 2013/4 £24,000 of our £60,000 target was raised.
£10,000 has been spent on preparing the school enhancing security and building the housing for a large generator.
£14,000 has been spent in June 2014 purchasing 21 reconditioned computers from Computer Aid International, shipping them to Conakry, buying a generator and preparing the room for IT classes.
How your donation will help?
We need an extra £2000 to enable computer classes to go ahead at the beginning of the school year.
Tables and chairs for the computer room need to be bought.
Diesel is needed to run the generator to give a reliable power supply for the computers and lighting for evening classes.
Staff wages will need to be subsidised for the first few months when income may not cover them.
CRS Director Isaac Philips says,
"We are living in the world of technology, with CRS lying far behind the rest of the world. Pupils and staff see this as an opportunity to acquire one of the most fundamental skills needed to access the world.”
If we go over our target
If we raise more than £2000 the money will enable us to fund our other micro business projects: a vocational catering project, language school and soap making classes.