Building a school is Rebuild South Sudan’s inaugural project, and our intent is to accomplish this in a collaborative, responsible manner. The community expressed many needs which we used as guiding principles for this project:
For a people displaced by war, a permanent structure represents more than just shelter; it is a statement of belonging once again to their homeland and hope for the future. We aim to build a safe and permanent structure that doesn’t need to be rebuilt each year when the land floods. We have designed a school to exceed the standards of UNICEF’s Child Friendly schools.
We were invited by and have worked with the community from the start to build a school that will best meet their needs. The school will also serve as a community center by creating a large space for gathering, along with public access to books and computers.
Building in South Sudan is one of the most expensive countries in Africa in which to build due to the lack of supplies and infrastructure. We are utilizing appropriate technology, relying on local labor and leadership, and tightly managing our budget to make sure our school is competitive with any other similar school project.
A building in this climate can easily and unintentionally become uninhabitable – hotter, darker, and more humid than outside under a tree! Our deceptively simple design has been born from extensive fluid mechanics modeling, careful attention paid to building orientation, proper shading, prevailing winds, and window size and placement used to create the most comfortable and practical learning environment possible.
The building will be the only permanent structure within 7 miles, and likely the only flood-resistant building in the region. It will serve as a community hub as well as a safe place for learning. Eight large, well lit and ventilated classrooms will accommodate up to 640 students in two sessions. Flexible furniture and solar lighting will also allow the space to be used for adult education in the evenings. A 6m x 36m (3100 square feet) hall will be used as a community hall. The library can house 5000 volumes available to both students and community members. A computer center, located at the school entrance, will connect Jalle to the rest of the world and, perhaps equally important, function as an incentive for students to come to school regularly.
Total estimated cost of building the Jalle School: $315,009.
metrics of success
Projects of this scale have both tangible and intangible metrics for success. We intend to evaluate our project’s results and learn from its failures. Success for us will be measured in the following ways:
- School will be in operation and well attended; school will withstand the yearly flooding
- Students will be able to attend school even during the rains
- Increased percentage of students from region will enroll and finish primary school compared to state average,
- Increased percentage of students will go on to secondary school compared to state average
- Increased percentage of marginalized students (orphans and girls) who attend school compared to state average
- Community will use gathering space for more than school purposes
- Jalle will see an increase in return rate of displaced community members
- Building will be cooler inside than outside
- Adequate day lighting for reading will be provided naturally
- Ministry of Education will look to this design for replication
More updates on the school
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