We are so grateful for the support and generosity of our wonderful donors. Because of charitable donors like you, Building Blocks in Africa was able to adapt to the changing needs of the communities we partner with and continue towards our goal of building self-sustaining schools and brighter futures for the students and communities we serve. 2022 was full of challenges all around which made the successful projects that much sweeter.
Porter’s School in Ghana
The school opened in 2019 and now has almost 300 children enrolled! We are actively working on making improvements around the school to accommodate the growing number of students. The Grade 4 classroom was completed and we are working on financial planning with Papa, the local Project Manager and School Director, to expand through Grade 6.
Papa started a project to build an outdoor kitchen to protect the kitchen workers from the sun and rain. He provided half of the funds and your donations helped to complete the project.
As the school has grown, it became clear the bus was much too small to meet the needs. A gracious donor advanced the money so we could have time to work on our bus donation campaign. Papa was able to use these funds along with the profits from selling the old bus to purchase a school bus to start the 2023 school year off right come January! Smaller projects are always in the works when it comes to the school. Your donations also helped to provide new desks, chairs and tables as well as improve security with locking window shutters, security lights and safety railings.
We visited in October and were able to attend a PTA meeting. We were amazed by how many parents came and participated. It was a packed house! They were all so grateful for our donors and everything that you have done to improve their community. The work that Papa has done to help his village and the sacrifices he makes to ensure the school is successful was incredible to see. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to help him in his efforts to give the kids in his village a brighter future.
Mama Yaa’s Home for Children
Big news of 2022 - we officially completed Mama Yaa’s home for children! The home is beautiful and the family and children appreciate everything you have done to give them a home. They have a kitchen, living and dining room, 3 bathrooms and 4 very large bedrooms with a whole lot of bunk beds. The kids have plenty of space out front for playing some seriously competitive soccer after school. The large covered porch is heaven on a hot sunny day and even more delightful during the rainy days.
Jane has become a call point for the local social workers when a child needs placement until family can be located. So in addition to the 26 kids they took in when Mama Yaa passed away, they have touched the lives of many more children who have stayed with them even if just for a short while.
In early 2023 we plan to gift the family with a washing machine after seeing Jane and the girls do laundry by hand for 17 people! The older kids are off at boarding schools, but when everyone is home for vacations they have a full house for sure.
This year we worked with Jane on expanding the bakery to meet the financial needs of the home. Jane realized the smaller villages in the area did not have a baker so she found women in those villages willing to sell her bread. Her wholesale business has become very profitable. Jane has seen the value and is reaping the rewards of strict financial tracking. She was initially hesitant to increase prices when costs went up, but once she saw how her profits changed depending on price and costs, you could see the business woman emerge.
The economy and inflation have been extremely challenging but Jane is a force when it comes to her bakery. We are hopeful that things will slowly begin to improve as Ghana leadership works to stabilize their economy.
As costs increased and transportation became more expensive, Jane asked us to consider assisting with the purchase of a motorized tricycle to deliver the bread to the villages. We had a donor provide the funds to empower Jane as a business woman and now we are helping to pay for lessons for Jane to get her license and learn how to drive the tricycle!
Bakery plans for 2023 are to look at moving the bakery to the home for convenience so Jane can more easily take care of the kids, home and bakery. The goal for the bakery is to provide for all financial needs of the home as well as education funds for the children.
Spring of Hope in Kenya - Community Garden
The community garden is thriving. They have been through several successful harvest seasons and Noel, our local Project Manager and future School Director, is a natural farmer and business woman. The seeds that were planted in the fall of 2021 provided enough capsicum that Noel was able to use the profits to buy seeds, pay the labor to plant the zucchini harvest and help purchase a motorcycle to transport the produce to the local market. The capsicum harvest proved so successful that when the zucchini was harvested, the local supermarket purchased the majority of produce. In all, they harvested 20 tons (44K pounds) of organic produce! The profits provided the funds to pay for the grounds keeper to live on site and care for the garden, purchase seeds for the next harvest and add to their savings.
Noel planted trees of all varieties earlier in the year and determined which trees work best in the garden. In October, we helped to plant over 100 more trees - fruit trees as well as trees that will be windbreakers for the school grounds. Once the school opens, the produce from the harvests and trees will help provide food for the students and opportunities for them to learn how to grow their own food. The trees surround the school property and proved to be difficult to water by hand. Your donations helped Noel add water lines to water the trees.
The bees we helped purchase last year are very active. The first harvest did not provide honey, which is to be expected with new hives. With the fruit trees and vegetable harvest, Noel anticipates the bees having plenty of work to do and she is hopeful the next honey harvest will be fruitful.
Unfortunately, Kenya’s dry season has become a significant drought. The drought affected water and food sources, leaving the community the school will serve in a dire situation. Noel reached out to tell us she would help by providing drinking water from the school water tower and asked if we would be willing to donate to a food drive. We had donors jump at the chance to help and were able to provide $2,000 to purchase food for over 200 families. Thank you to everyone who helped with this community outreach project. The relationship Noel is building with this community is strengthening the ties with our future school.
Spring of Hope School for Girls
The secondary school for girls is in the works with the goal of opening doors to students in January 2024! Noel has been working hard to get the blueprints just right and was able to submit the plans for government approval in November. Once the government gives the green light, she has 6 months to begin building. The plans for 2023 are to build the first classroom block, administrative block and teacher’s living quarters. The school will begin as a day school and once all building is complete, will be a boarding school. The school is a beacon of hope for young ladies in the Masai community. We look forward to sharing more updates on the school throughout the year.
As we go into the new year, we thank you for everything you helped us accomplish in 2022. The impact you have made will last for generations to come. We look forward to everything we will do together to make 2023 the best year yet! We wish you the happiest New Year.
We are so grateful for the support and generosity of our wonderful donors like you. The
challenges that have impacted us over the past two years couldn’t slow down our project
managers in Kenya and Ghana. Papa, Jane and Noel have been amazingly resilient and are
determined to make sure the projects benefiting their communities are a huge success.
Mama Yaa’s Home for Children
Construction on the children’s home began in the summer of 2020. This year, Jane and Papa
were able to complete the roof and electrical wiring, started the plumbing, plastered the walls,
and installed floors! In early 2022 they will complete the plumbing, install windows, paint, and
furnish the home. Everyone is excited for the coming day when Papa & Jane’s family and the
26 orphans in their care can move in!
This year, Papa’s focus has been on helping the school to work toward self-sustainability. We
have continued to work with Papa to help him with financial planning. BBA assisted with
funding a new bus engine to help with the safe transportation of students. The fees collected
from students for transportation are just one more way the school is on its way to becoming
In loving memory of Louisa, a sweet 4-year-old student we lost to malaria in August, Papa
began a malaria screening program at the school.
Jane’s bakery continues to grow and Jane is showing her skills as a business woman! This year
she installed electrical wiring and had shelves built. This allowed her to bake more bread to
keep up with the increasing demand. Board members have been teaching Jane how to use
spreadsheets to track the finances and she is learning fast. The profits from the business will
support the orphanage and ensure the children have everything they need to thrive.
Spring of Hope Secondary School coming soon!
This year has been an amazing one in Kenya. The land BBA purchased for the school was found
to have an ample water supply perfect for a water tower. Noel oversaw drilling of a borehole at
the end of 2020 and in 2021 a water tower with solar panels for the pump was installed. The
community elders are planning to install a second water tower to supply the village, which will
allow the school to collect royalties that will be used to pay for maintenance of the borehole,
pump and water tower.
A portion of the land has been cleared and plowed. The drip irrigation system was put in place
and the planting began! The land was prepped for the 70 fruit trees that that are doing very
well and vegetable seeds that will help provide food for the school and community.
Beekeeping Sustainability Project
We recently invested in the school’s first beehives. Noel found a local company that doesn’t
just supply the hives, but also provides training and support. When this pilot project proves
successful, Noel will increase the number of hives with the intention of selling the honey and
using the wax to make candles and other goods to sell.
In 2022, Noel plans to start working on the next phases to include classrooms and housing. The
next couple of years are going to be busy in Kenya as construction begins and the sustainability
projects continue to grow!
As we look back at everything that has been accomplished since we started Building Blocks in
Africa in 2017, we are in absolute awe. Your contributions have helped improve the lives of so
many within these communities for generations to come. We cannot thank you enough for
your support. We wish you the happiest New Year and look forward to seeing what we can
accomplish together in 2022!