Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Work starts at Shyogwe Primary School

Lines marked out with string, and tree branches used as pegs. Lower courses of foundations in place. Stones are shaped on their outer surfaces; inner section is rubble and cement.
Stones waiting to be shaped and cemented in place. This gives you a good idea of the lengh of the classroom block - well over 32 metres.

Splitting and shaping blocks of tough quartizite stone for the foundations. Nobody seems to be wearing goggles to protect their eyes from splinters!

This shows the size of a single classroom

I thought this might be a decorative feature, but it is a base on which they will mix cement hen they build the walls of the classrooms.

The whole rear playground at Shyogwe has disappeared under a tidal wave of bricks, stone, cement and aggregate.

Women carrying big blocks of stone to the masons. The stones are balanced on a ring of banana leaves on top of their heads.

Another view of the mound of building materials.

Mixing cement in one of the circular pits.

Here is a finished section of the foundations. All it needs is for the cement to dry thoroughly and we can start building the classroom walls.

The masons at work. No radios (they are right next to a classroom in use); just quiet concentration and the clink of hammers against stone.

The final lorryload of bricks (the 20th) arrives. Seconds after I took the picture this whole scene disappeared under cloud of dust which went straight into a classroom window. The workman in the photo emerged from the dust cloud wearing a pink tee shirt rather than a white one!

Another look at the foundation trench.

Piles and piles of bricks. They are all made within a couple of miles of Shyogwe, so the "road miles" incurred are minimal.


roulien said...

Dear Bruce,

My name is Roulien Benschop and I am communication manager at Randstad and initiator of this project. Thank you so much for this update. I am so thrilled that the work actually has been started!

with kind regards,

GeoffreyMcMaster said...

Dear Bruce,
I am delighted to read about the progress of the school. I visited the school last year. I posted a video clip on

There is a group of us in Ireland who support Shyogwe (and we visited last year).

I love your reports and photos. They are almost as good as being there.

Keep up the good work.

Wishing you every blessing.

Geoffrey McMaster

Stella Obe said...

Dear Bruce,

Education as you know leads to knowledge which is one of the backbone of any civilisation - and to catch them young is of utmost importance for the future growth of Rwanda. It is good to know that there are people like you out there who cares. God bless you

Stella Obe
A Friend of Shyogwe