Step By Step
Below are some photos and plans for the building projects for the Bellah church land. We currently meet in the Palava Hut. This dry season we hope to begin construction on the church gathering place as well as the school building and its supporting infrastructure (Click on plan diagrams below for more info). Please check below for more details about the children, the school, and how we plan to work towards sustainability.
“You Wash Your Belly… We’ll Wash Your Back”
Below you can follow some of the ongoing journey of the Bellah Project. While we began this work in 2012, the construction began with the Lord providing 2 acres in 2019, and an additional 4 acres this year. The church began working hard by first digging down 50′ in order to install a hand pump well.
They’ve also dug sand from the river, hauling it bucket by bucket, packing it, and then loading it into a dump truck so it could be hauled to the land. Next, they scraped gravel from the road and cracked boulders into crushed rock to make concrete. They have also molded about 10,000 of what will be ~50,000 dirt block. For now, in order to have a place to meet, they constructed a Palava Hut. This Hut serves as a focal point of the overall plan and will be continue to be used for workshops, small devotions, and after school activities.
Another important step began with preparation of the school farm, which includes brushing thick bush and de-stumping. All of this work is by hand and labor intensive. Most of these people live on less than $700 a year, so when they give up one or two days to work on the church land, it is a sacrifice.
Investing In The Next Generation
Below are some of the children from Bellah village. There are about 200 children from the ages of 5-12. These children do not have a school. The nearest are over an hour walk down a dangerous road. Bush roads are narrow and rutted, but being that they are the main means of getting around they still carry heavy motorbike traffic as well as large, overloaded trucks carrying timber and other goods. The school system is in shambles. Corruption is common as well as apathetic teachers and students. Illiteracy remains high.
We are, by God’s grace, planning to construct an initial 5 room schoolhouse on the church land. We have enrolled 3 young men in a teacher certification institute in Gbarnga. They are scheduled to complete this program by June of 2022. Having earned their “C” certificate, we will then be able to register our school with the government, which is required. In the meantime, we are holding a “study group” for some of the children.
The church and the village are molding dirt block, which will help keep the cost down. The blocks are a strong, low cost option. We will also begin molding cement block on site once dry season begins. These are necessary for the foundation.
Please help fund the construction of Bellah’s school and its supporting infrastructure. Our goal is to raise a total of $80,000 by the end of 2021 of which $18,500 has been donated as of November 2021.
Please help fund the ongoing operation of Bellah’s School. Our goal is to educate 200 students for $40,000 a year. For 55 cents a day… 17 dollars a month… 200 per year… you can provide life changing education for children who have no other hope of learning.
A Full Belly… And A Strong Work Ethic
In addition to the preparation for the construction of the buildings, the church is also preparing the land for planting. The planting serves two main functions: Feeding and Funding. The first preparation and planting is for the school farm. Our desire is to provide a nutritious meal once a school day for the students. But, as we say here… “nothin’ for nothin’.” As part of their curriculum, students will work the school farm, which will also include chickens and rabbits. Instead of feeding rice, the farm will raise more nutritious starches such as sweet potato, yam, and edo (taro). The second preparation and planting consists of Oil Palm, cocoa, and plantains. These cash crops will eventually help offset the cost of the school.
We strive for sustainability and independence, and we are hopeful… but we are also realistic. It will take some time to reach those goals. In the meantime, we will continue to seek creative ways to fund the running and the maintenance of the school. In addition we plan on requiring the parents to volunteer to work on the property as well as pay a small school fee, for we have found that when everything is free, it is not valued.
Please consider how you can be involved. Your prayers and donations will change their lives.