As advocates of children’s rights, nothing makes us happier than seeing that children that were hitherto prevented from enjoying some of their basic rights due to certain circumstances are able to enjoy them through the concerted efforts of people willing to make a difference. On the 8th of February 2019, the Barimayena township was happy to welcome the CRI team into their fold.

The community had for years been riddled with the problem of a kindergarten school block that was incapable of providing the needed amenities that supports the process of teaching and learning. We, at CRI staunchly believe that children everywhere have the right to quality, free basic education and could not look on unconcerned, knowing that there were children in a community who needed our help to make this a reality for them. We were spurred into action to support the building of the kindergarten block when we saw the efforts of parents in the community who willingly contributed levies that went into the building of a junior high school block. We could not turn a blind eye to such reassuring acts of consolidated communal efforts for positive development. Seeing how invested parents in Barimayena were in their children’s education, it was evident that they were cognizant of the benefits not only their children but the community as a whole would garner from providing the prerequisites needed to guarantee access to education. This is where CRI in collaboration with Mondelez Cocoa Life Program, stepped in to contribute to resolving the problem by contributing fifty cement bags and ten iron rods towards the construction of a kindergarten block in the Barimayena community.

An elated headmaster, thanked CRI for the contributions and help we have provided to the community since the introduction of the organisation to the community three years ago. He was beyond joy at the prospect that finally teaching and learning could be done in a safe and secure environment. Delighted that an appropriate classroom block was no longer one of his worries, he hoped that next, the school would be provided with needed teaching and learning materials such as furniture, textbooks amongst others which were not readily available to both staff and students. Speaking to the Patron of the CRI Club in the school, he spoke off how community members were unhappy that their wards had to travel to another community to attain JHS education. He explained the distance between the two towns was another hurdle both parents and children were unhappy about and that was what led them to collect levies put towards the building of a JHS block in the town. He disclosed that since CRI began collaborating with the community on projects, so many had been undertaken and completed. This has paved the way for teaching and learning to be infinitely easier for both teachers and students. He could remember a time when the only structure on the school compound was a rundown shack that inhibited the teaching and learning process, looking around he could already see the improvements that had been made and looked forward to what future cooperation between the community and CRI would bring with gusto.

It was truly enjoyable being in the presence of a community filled with so much positivity and hope for the future, the smiles on the faces of children of the Barimayena D/A when we arrived reminded us of why we do what we do at CRI. By involving ourselves in this project we are aware that the impact felt will not only be community-wise but also affect future generations. We understand that educating the younger generation not only places them on stepping stones to take charge of their own stories and destinies but also enlightens them. This communicates the importance of education to them and ensures that they in turn educate their children. It is a ripple effect capable of causing a tsunami of change, the CRI team is ready and waiting to ride that wave into a better future where education is truly a right enjoyed universally by all children, and we do that one beautiful community at a time. We are especially grateful to the members of the Barimayena community for giving us the chance to effect positive change and will always be available wherever the need calls. Now more than ever, we look forward to seeing the completion of the project undertaken and cannot wait to see lessons take place in a setting filled with the hopes and aspirations of a community that wishes to see their children become the best versions of themselves.