Improving existing schools

Imagine being a child and going to school for the first time only to find that there are no desks or chairs for you to sit at. Imagine if the teacher has to use half a text book as the other half is in the classroom next door. Imagine if there are no toilet facilities or running water so you have to go out into the jungle just to relieve yourself. Imagine if every time it rains you have to huddle with your classmates in the one corner of the classroom where the rain isn’t pouring through the broken roof.

Well this is the harsh reality in many of the schools that the Costa Foundation works with to give children a safe, quality education. We don’t just build brand new schools, we also improve existing schools by adding new facilities, mending broken floors, ceilings and windows, repairing and redecorating tired and dilapidated school buildings, providing new or refurbished toilet facilities and wash basins and of course ensuring that there’s sufficient learning aids for all of the children (and teachers).

Improving an existing school is an effective way to encourage and motivate children not to drop out and gives them the enthusiasm to have a good education. Here’s the story of Edonias who has experienced one of our school upgrade projects at Chitzunun in Guatemala. 

“My name is Edonias , I am from the community of Chitzunun. I have a little sister, a little brother, a big brother and a big sister. I am in 5th grade; it makes me happy that next year I will be in sixth grade and complete the primary school. My teacher told us that we are going to paint the school because Plan will provide the paint. I think the school will look very pretty, I want and will continue studying so one day I can have much money to help my siblings, and to buy a house and clothes. We have learned many things this year with our teachers and, with a new project granted by Plan International and Costa Foundation, we have learned that we must not fight at school, they say that we are all equal, teach us nice songs, and make us participate in class. They will also replace the school roofing, with which the school will look nicer and brand new, and we will be more eager to study.”

"Until a few months ago our school did not look very nice now when I'm coming to school, I say how beautiful it looks, I'm very happy to study at this school, thanks to all the parents who came to help paint our school and change the roof, I think they love us a lot, because they care for us to study in a nice place, we are in a cleaner place and so it makes us want to study, I'm going to earn my degree, I really like being in school because they teach me new things. We do manual works, we participate in songs, in races and we also pass in front of our classmates to say what we think, now we are not afraid. When I leave school I will continue studying because our teachers recommend us that in order to have a good job and know how to speak well we must study, when I grow up I want to be a teacher and arrange beautiful places for children to study and not get bored and not get scared when they do not understand something."

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