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And the countdown begins for our next project to formally kick off! 3 Days until Forrest ‘Fode’ Matthews leaves for Guinea, 8 days until Fode ‘Lavia’ Camara leaves, and 2 weeks until I can head out.
-- Our trip has a lot of work involved! The site survey was completed last year, so now it is time to start construction. We will meet with local builders, outline our architectural expectations, and develop our estimated construction budget. I will be bringing all the money that has been, and will be, fundraised through Dec. 20th. This will all go toward our initial building costs. During my short 1 week there, I will also begin arrangements for the youth portion of our culture exchange program. Just like International Inspiration’s first project in Liberia, we will initiate another pen-pal exchange program between youth in our local communities; this time between American students and in Guinean students. Even more exciting is that this pen-pal exchange will be in French!! Elementary students studying French in America and Guinea will be able to practice writing in their language of study. We are looking forward to kicking off this program. It truly helps bring our communities together.
-- Additionally, we are very lucky to have Forrest out there for an amazing 4 months. During this time, he will be monitoring the school’s construction and ensuring that are hard-fundraised dollars are being put to proper use. Stay tuned for pictures and project updates from him!! -- We are all very eager to get this project off the ground. Every time we talk about the significance of this school, my passion for it grows in ways I didn’t think it could. Every time Forrest, Fode, and I meet to plan, we feel ever more enthusiastic about the difference we will be able to make for all the members of the Guinean community and for those who enjoy studying West African culture. As the first of its kind that we are aware of, our school is not only dedicated to preserving a culture that is draining from its home country, but is also comminuted to including and uplifting as many as Guinean artists at home and abroad, from beginners to masters.
-- We have great visions for this project and only through your support can it be a dream come true. No support is too small! Inuwali!