Under the Mango Tree (2005) Mohamed showed me his home town Fodécariah, 760 kilometres from the capital Conakry, a village with 11800 inhabitants, consumed by poverty and left to rely its own resources. Without giving any guarantees, I asked the parents’ association to tell me about their greatest concerns. In addition to addressing the problems with the water supply (they only had a drinking water well with a broken pump), they especially wanted to find ways of giving their children hope for the future.
Selecting a Plot of Land (2008) After founding my new non-profit association, I first concentrated on building a library. It was to be a stand-alone module and cost around 10000 € which, even if the association failed, would still be a realizable project and would be useful to the villagers. Better to have a completed library than a half-built secondary school!
Home-made bricks (2008) In December 2006, the software company SAP AG donated 6000 €. Together with a further 3850 € of private donations, we were able to get our project off the ground. The villagers made the bricks for the library building themselves. I created the plans, in particular for the projector room, which the locals simply could not imagine. Armed with 9850 €, Mohamed explained to the villagers what they had to do. At that stage, no regular communication was possible, as there were no mobile phones in Guinea. Our project manager, Mamadi Kaba had to travel 60 kilometres on a motorbike to find a phone in Kankan.
The Library Shell (2009)
Our first delegation (December 2011): Inauguration of the library Mrs Clémot (Martine’s mother) cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
In front of the library: The first stones for the secondary school During the delegation’s visit, we were able to hand over a further donation of 9000 € from the Foundation for Development and Cooperation (Stiftung für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (SEZ)) to build the first six classes of the secondary school
The library’s interior The library has three rooms
The projector room (empty)
The projector room (furnished)
The book room
The computer room The room was equipped with six computers that were powered by generator and enabled those interested to take their first steps with computers. It is our aim in 2018 to power the computer room and the planned information technology room by solar energy and enable an internet connection so that children can have free access to all the libraries in the world.
Design Thinking Workshop in the Projector Room I conducted my first 2-day Design Thinking workshop in the library to convey more modern teaching techniques – above all with the aim of rethinking „learning by fear“. On the first day, we held the workshop with 33 teachers from Fodécariah and the surrounding area plus three school inspectors. On the second day, the students from 7th and 8th grades were in attendance.
The Library is well received The library with its three rooms was an attraction for the whole area. All the meetings of the parents’ association took place there.