A School For Burkina Faso
For Burkina is the story of 13 young professionals and students with a desire to make a positive impact in rural Burkina Faso. Brittany Layton and Ben Hall had and earnest desire to use their talents to give back to those in need and instead of waiting for an opportunity to arise, they created the opportunity. As recent graduates of the Hammon’s School of Architecture at Drury University, they knew they had the potential to not only fund and build a school, but also to design the school.
After reaching out to buildOn, an organization discovered by Brittany after reading a book written by the company's founder, it became clear that BuildOn was the right fit. While working with BuildOn, it became clear that Burkina Faso in particular was a country of great need. It was decided that Brittany and Ben would design the prototype school for all buildOn schools to be built in Burkina Faso and Mali. And Burkina Faso, having a literacy rate of 26%, was in the greatest need for a new school. So, it began, and For Burkina was created.
In order to have success the group had to grow. Another HSA graduate was added to the Board of Directors. A Drury communications graduate, an MSU global studies major, and eight HSA undergraduate students were added to the team. Together the group had very little experience in starting a business, but with a knack for problem solving, a desire to help those less fortunate, and being well equipped with the knowledge of design and creativity, For Burkina has seen much success.
For Burkina has teamed up with BuildOn engineers on the ground in Burkina Faso, The Ministry of Education, and the World Bank to design the prototype school. After extensive research into the culture, climate, construction methods and materials of Burkina Faso, the team began the design process. The only use of electricity in the construction process is for the purposes of welding; therefore, all other construction must be done by hand. In the design, economy is paramount and with a budget of $32,000 our price per square foot is below $6, making it less than 1/25 of what a low budget school in the U.S. would cost. All national building codes in Burkina Faso will be adhered to along with U.S. standards for safety and accessibility.
For Burkina has strayed away from the typical approach of relying solely on donations to raise the needed funds to build the school. Instead, the approach has been to involve the community and raise awareness along with the funds. By partnering with local organizations and institutions For Burkina has been able to create products that have been sold both online and at community Art Walks. Success is being measured by tracking the number of students that will be able to attend the school, knowing that it costs $240.00 per student. The hopes would be to reach $32,000 and get all 135 students enrolled.
January 8th-16th of 2016, members of our team traveled to Burkina Faso where we helped with the construction of the school the team has designed. In the remote village of Mourpougo who is receiving the school, team members lived with host families for the duration of the trip. The team is excited to have experienced the culture of the Burkinabe’ people and to have made lifelong friendships.
Meet The Team
An Economical Solution
In Burkina Faso, only 26% of the population are considered literate. A primary school archetype was designed for a client who builds schools in rural parts of Burkina Faso + Mali, Africa. Building in these arid and remote areas presented unique challenges. The construction of the schools are limited to handtools and a welder powered by a generator. Consideration for construction methods were as important as the design of the school, and will provide the local builders with the knowledge to further develop their communities. The school had to remain within a budget of $16,000 for material cost, and within the guidelines of the Ministry of Education in Burkina Faso.With the goal of providing a dignifying school design that responds to both the culture and climate of Burkina Faso + Mali, the team embarked on a journey that will lead to them helping construct the first of their design in October 2015.