So it has been a long time since we talked about the Keela school. Covid put a stop to development in a major way. We had planned that 2020/21 would see the school building complete (depending on fundraising). But that didn’t happen as our international guests dried up to a trickle. That trickle was still a trickle in 2021 – but almost every international guest ended up contributing. We were absolutely delighted with some seriously large donations. Such that we hit our target of £5000 in March this year on our crowdfunding donation page.
As we moved towards mid May we heard that the roads down there were starting to dry out so we called a meeting with the PTA/ Teacher Vinagie and requested our long standing building contractor Royd to be present on the 20th. We all met under the tree by the school, which of course still looks the same as it did last year:
At the meeting we agreed that the existing community builder (Mr Alpha) would work with our contractor Royd. Both would share an amount to be determined. Previous works by Alpha hadn’t been directly charged, but as he had moved away from the community and would have to be called back it was agreed that he would now have to be paid something. It was also agreed that Benny (Kaingu Assist Manager) would be one of the main facilitators and all purchasing would be done by him in Itezhi Tezi. We wanted to keep the purchasing within the local area as much as possible.
Over the next few days Benny and Royd met up in Itezhi Tezhi and priced up the bill of quantities to finish the roof and do the plastering. It was made clear from the beginning of our discussions that the more money that we can save in the final building stage means that there is hopefully money to purchase some desks. As such certain decisions will be made in the interests of costs. Example: window glass is actually a very low priority. Desks are more important than glass in the windows. Paint will be substituted by lime as it is so much cheaper.
Then we heard back from the community and the two contractors and the sums that were talking about for the contractors was higher than we expected. We called further meeting at Kaingu and sent messages that we would pick everyone on the 3rd of June. The contractors sums were agreed (considerably lower!) and the PTA also agreed that all labour, sand, stones etc would be provided by the community. The community aspect is vital and is why we got involved in the first place. Murmurings of paying helpers was quickly squashed! The bill of quantity was divided into three phases and it was agreed that we would start the process of moving money from the funding page to Zambia. We should hopefully have the first truck load of materials on site in 10 days or so.