How to Build a School in Africa?! – Thank YOU!!

by birtanpublished on September 2, 2020

So I am currently in the bottom of a toilet in the middle of Africa with my buddy Dan. So do you guys remember the wedding present that the What's Inside family got us when we got married? When Dan and Claire surprised us with two classrooms full of desks for kids in Kenya.

Along with a fundraiser with the potential to build an entire school here in Kenya. And thanks to you guys, we've raised over $30,000. It was successful. And now it's time to see how everything comes together. Since all of your donations went to the school, we flew out with our own money to show in real life how those donations are being used. And we're just getting started.

This is amazing! Right?!

What do you think? I'm freezing up because I'm overwhelmed with emotion. I just completely trusted them to take me down a huge hill. Everybody just made sure I was safe. I'm a complete stranger. Yeah. We had a lot of help getting down here. That was really cool. Is that what you expected? I had to keep myself from crying so many times because I was overwhelmed with

Just like…I don't even know…they're so appreciative. Like education is the most important thing and now that these kids have a place to come and be educated…it's like you can't put a price tag on that. My name is Zack. This is my wife Cambry.

It's our pleasure to meet all of you and thank you for making us feel so welcome. So we're about to get our African names, Cambry. (Cheering) Your name now is Munga. Sada. It means a person who is ready to offer, to sacrifice, and to help others.

A person who loves others and is ready to help us. So welcome so much. Disability is not inability. We are proud of you. Made from a coconut shell. Feel at home. I am now called Sada.

So these are the classrooms they used to be using for their school. Inside is kind of this mud/brick hut with wood pillars. But as you can see, it's not as solid and doesn't last quite as long as a brick building. And with the rains they get, there's no way anyone is staying dry, let alone paper. The new brick buildings are much easier to keep clean because they have a cement floor

And aren't as leaky. Because these buildings are made of mud and soil, anytime it rains they are in need of repair. So it's multiple repairs a year. And if there's like a torrential downpour or a massive rain, then the buildings can just be washed away and, you know, be gone. You can see the blackboard is still here but everything else is washed away.

This particular building was built in 2011 and it's been repaired every single year since then. But you can tell it's still in a severe state of disrepair. I'm all about fixing things and making things last forever, but when you build with durable materials, the things just last a lot longer. So the trick here is that these blocks have to be pressed into shape, right, and then dried for 5 days. And until they are done drying, they are pretty soft. So we're going

To go take this, put it back in the machine and try again. Looks like I should just leave this to the experts. So the blocks that make up the school are made from one part cement and 6 parts quarry dust. And they are hydraulically pressed into a machine that extrudes the block's shape. And then they are set outside to dry for 5 days. That is, you know, if you can set them down without them breaking. They are pretty soft until they've had time to harden, just

Like any type of cement. The nice part about this machine though is that it's extremely portable and can be brought out to any type of remote village anywhere in Africa. With minimal instruction, the whole thing can be operated and produce enough bricks to build the entire school. And the blocks are shaped in a way that allow them to interlock with each other so the whole building is structurally sound – which we like. This is much harder than it looks.

So it's pretty interesting how the water works at this school. There is a series of white PVC pipes that are connected as a gutter underneath the tin roof that collects all the water when it rains. All the water runs down the roof, collects in the PVC and gets dropped in this massive tank behind me, where it stores all the water and then they can use little spigots like this to pull the water out when they need it. So as long as the rains keep coming, the tank keeps full. But if the rains stop, and the tank empties, then they run out of

Water. In that case, you need a well. But since it rains so often here, this system is a very good idea. So this is another example of one of those water collection things. So this is on the gutters of the roof. All of the water runs down the tin into the PVC and then comes here to this massive tank where it's, you know, stored for later use. It works out really well because the building is just a massive collector of rain. Rain that would otherwise

Just hit the ground and not be useful to anybody. But in this particular case we have two runoff points that go into this giant tank and it makes the rainwater much more useful for a much longer period of time. And then the students can come here and collect the water for use whenever they need it. Works out pretty well. So I'm currently in the bottom of a toilet in the middle of Africa with my buddy Dan. It's a true story.

And right now we're constructing a girls bathroom for a school here in Kenya. Their other one collapsed. So we're starting over, and how it works is we have this massive hole in the ground. We're building a block wall that kind of goes up and creates this little cavern at the bottom for toilet stuff. So to construct the wall, we're going to have Dan show us how it's done.

Alright, first brick…one of the first bricks. So this latrine was dug entirely by hand and it will take probably, you know, another week or two to finish it off and get the toilets up top. And this is basically just a huge storage tank. It'll probably take…with 400 students, and this is for all the girls…this will

Probably take about 4 years until it fills up. With the solid waste. Liquid waste kind of seeps into the ground. But then they'll bring in a truck and pump out all of the solid waste and then they can continue to use the same bathroom. So yeah…happy to help, and it's kind of fun to actually get your hands dirty. Yeah. And this time around we're building it with blocks. So this one should last quite a bit longer and won't collapse in the future.

You may or might not know, but last time Zack was on a ladder, it was not good. He broke his wrist. This one he has a lot more help. So Dan was the guy who started all of this. Started the ball rolling and then, you know, made it possible for all of us to donate for these schools. I mean, it was crazy because I wanted to give this guy some sort of present. I didn't anticipate that all of you guys would like donate money…enough to build an entire school

And toilets for all these girls at this school. We paid for our own flights out here for all of us, our hotel, and everything is paid for out of our money. We just wanted to show you guys mostly what your dollars went to. So we are sitting inside of the classroom that all of you guys helped build. This whole school building is thanks to you guys and thanks to Dan and the What's Inside family

For kind of starting it all. With what they were going to school in, I don't know how anybody could focus on their educations. So giving them a foundation like this so they can study and work hard and have a future is unbelievable. These are the same kind of solid wood desks that Dan got us for our wedding present. Built with screws and super strong wood. They should last for quite a while.

Even though the money was donated from all over the world, the construction and all the materials were purchased right here in Kenya using local labor, local materials, and local people. Giving an opportunity for others to learn and make something more of themselves is the greatest gift you can give. And this particular building is going to last for a long time. The foundation is

Super super important. Just like this building's foundation is cement – education is the foundation for life. You can donate anything from a desk to an entire school building. There are so many ways you can contribute. And just a few dollars can go a long way. And every penny is spent here locally.

They're building up their community by providing the jobs to build this facility and then for the kids to come and learn and gain an education. I guess with all of this we just want to say thank you for letting us share this experience with you. We were able to fund an entire school here in Kenya. But there is more that we can still do. We passed a school that still has 60 kids to a classroom, so there are still

Plenty of opportunity to help kids in Africa. We'll keep the same link that Dan started 6 months ago down in the video description. So if you want to contribute, the opportunity is still there. Thanks once again for contributing. And thanks a ton for watching. We'll see you around.

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