Gidan Waya Nursery/Primary School
Giday Waya Secondary School
We traveled from Kafanchan for about 20 minutes in order to reach Gidan Waya, home to Gidan Waya Nursery/Primary School and Gidan Waya Secondary School. This campus is the newest in the diocese; it was built in 2011 after violence in Kafanchan sent people scurrying for safety. When the violence passed, people were anxious about sending their children back to the Kafanchan schools, even though they were not in harm’s way. At that time, a new school site was established far enough away to allay fears.
This site is the most impressive- all of the construction is in good shape. This is also the home of a newly constructed hospital on the other side of the site. The hospital was dedicated in April of 2018 and is open to patients year round.
The only immediate project needed for this site is the completion of an exam hall for students to sit for their WAEC exams, similar to our college board (SAT) exams here. Bishop was able to secure a grant that covered half of the construction- the walls and roof are up- but the interior needs completion. The hall is massive and will hold up to 500 students- refer to the photo. It will take about $15,000 US to complete the build.
Kafanchan Nursery/Primary School; Kafanchan Secondary School
We arrived at this first location- Kafanchan, the original school location in the diocese. Many of the buildings here were built in the 1930’s by missionaries. The fact that they are still in use today as a secondary school is a testament to their sturdy construction. That being said, the buildings are all in need of renovations of varying degree. The need is great and Bishop Markus and his team work hard to prioritize the most urgent requests with limited funds- there is simply not enough to go around to repair everything, especially when trying to manage seven schools.
The first building on our tour of Kafanchan was the original chapel, alsoconstructed in the 1930’s. The building is currently used for an examination hall on the secondary level campus; however, the interior ceiling is on the verge of collapse, making the space currently unusable. Note the sag in the photo. The building is in need of an entirely new roof.
By Elaine Chagnon
After a week of medical outreach, and participating in the dedication of the Graceland International School (GIS), Multi use/Exam hall. This was a momentous event and a milestone in the history of Africa Education Partnership (AEP) and GIS. Our time in Gusau ended abruptly at 2:00 p.m., as the first free clinic at Graceland Hospital, Gusau, came to an end.
After a quick lunch, we piled into the bus for the 4 ½ hour drive to Kaduna, our midway resting place on the way to Kafanchan. Our “mission” in Kafanchan was to investigate schools in the discese to determine needs. We also wanted to assess the planning and organization within the diocese to see if there was a possibility of a new partnership with Africa Education Partnership (AEP).
By Elaine Chagnon
I was able to sneak away from the hospital to photograph our students in classes. It was wonderful to peek in and I always forget how much they all love to be “snapped”!
The eagerness that these young people show for learning is inspirational and encouraging.
There was a buzz of excitement as we got dressed for the dedication of the hospital and the hall. Festivities started at 10:00 and lasted until noon. The grounds were filled with dignitaries and clergy, including the representative of the Emir of Zamfara State. We gathered within the school walls and then set off to the hospital, a football field length away.
By Elaine Chagnon
After a good night’s rest, Bob and I awoke refreshed and ready to travel. Bishop Markus arrived with his driver promptly at 7:00 a.m. We loaded our bags into the trunk and headed out on a beautiful morning. It was a long ride - about 3 hours - on pretty rough roads, but the scenery was beautiful - far more lush and green than in the north. We passed groves of trees with strange berry-like clusters- teak trees. Sources for lumber are abundant here.
I was able to meet with a small group of teachers and the administrative team to discuss the progress made at the school. In addition, we discussed the formation of a maintenance budget, which would allow us to make necessary repairs from normal wear and tear. We discussed items such as replacement of computers and furniture, bus maintenance, supply requisitions, and physical plant repair including painting, plastering, plumbing, and other miscellaneous expenditures. This budget will be discussed with members of the building committee, as well as with administration, and forwarded to AEP for review.
We were very excited to get a tour of the school after our survey of the hospital. The changes in just a year’s time were quite remarkable. The exam hall was completed and is truly beautiful. The exam hall is on the second floor; below on the first floor is an 18-desk computer lab, a media center with two computers, a teachers’ work room, and three administrative offices.
The structure is quite large and is outfitted with fans and lights. The upstairs hall can also be used for community functions when not being used during the school day. There is also a high speed copy machine, something that was desperately needed the last time we visited!
The site for the new borehole was shown to us. Although the ground is still too saturated with water from the recent rainy season, the blocks are made and once the water table lowers, construction will commence. The borehole is oversized and will service both the school and hospital. Many thanks to Canton/Avon Rotary Club for their support of the borehole project.
We arrived in Abuja in the early morning at approximately 5:00 a.m., Nigeria time (5 hours ahead). We had been on the move for about 24 hours. We got through immigration and collected our bags and were met by George, Bishop John’s right-hand man, at about 7:00 a.m. People and bags were loaded into the Graceland International school van and our journey to Gusau began.