All of our schools are built in remote villages where there are no schools so that those who have no chance to go to school get that opportunity – we consider each student who enrolls in one of our schools to be a success. While we believe that it is important that every kid has the chance to go to school, we believe the process for achieving this is equally, if not more, important.
It is easy to look at all of the communities where there are no schools and see need. While in some sense this is true in that each community would find it valuable to have a school, we believe that need – true need – can be defined as people’s willingness to work.
The agreement Village Schools makes with each community is simple – if you donate the land for the school site, if you quarry the tons of foundation stones, if you make all of the bricks, if you provide the sand and the water, then we will provide the metal roofing, cement and other essential construction materials. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice on the part of the community to make this all of this happen – this is community-driven community development. They have put the sweat equity into building this school and they have the tremendous dignity of being able to say it is their school that they built for their children and their grandchildren.
Once a school is built and opened, the leaders of Village Schools find teachers who are committed to not only giving their students a quality education, but who are also willing to go out into the community to find all of the kids who, for one reason or another, don’t feel like they can come to school.
Every school from the day it is opened is required to be financially self-sustaining. It is an enormous responsibility and incredibly difficult, but after 16 years we know it is able to be done.