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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

How Schools Develop Community Infrastructure

By Allison Kooser

This fall, we are exploring eduction around the world. Through a careful study of the Ahobrase Academy in Ghana, we are studying how investing in education transforms the lives of students, families and entire communities. Join us. 

Do you remember your elementary school? Mine was a red brick building just down the street from my home. It housed our second grade classroom - the one with the extra-high ceiling - that we turned into a life-sized ship to learn about the Mayflower. The third grade room upstairs where learned about chemistry by combining baking soda and vinegar. And the gym with the toppling basket of kickballs.

When Comfort Appiah looked around her community near Accra, Ghana, she saw children longing for a bright future, but she didn't see a school. She knew that education was the key, and she was willing to serve her community, but she didn't have access to a safe, welcoming building to use. Instead, she gathered a small handful of students on her front porch and began to teach.

But this was just the beginning. 

With the help of Opportunity International's Education Finance tools, Ahobrase has grown to serve over 600 students from nursery through middle school. Instead of sitting on a porch, the students now attend classes in a large, two-story classroom block that includes a computer lab, gender separated washrooms and a cafeteria.

And the impact of the school has sent ripples throughout the community. 

Beyond the infrastructural improvements of the school itself, Ahobrase has also constructed proper drainage benefitting the entire community. Today, they are collaborating with local officials to build a paved road to and around the school - a road that will be an asset to the students, and the entire neighborhood. The school now serves as a catalyst for improvements in local infrastructure.

When you invest in education, you are transforming the lives and futures of students. But you are also transforming the local community - providing them with the resources they need to lead safer, healthier and more productive lives. 

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