For every child, a classroom
150 students from Abidjan’s Yopougon district will start the new school year in brand-new community-built classrooms thanks to the MSC Foundation
With the start of the new school year around the corner, children play football and watch as builders add the finishing touches to their school. Thanks to the MSC Foundation, 150 preschool students from Abidjan’s Yopougon district will start the new school year in brand-new classrooms.
Traoré Yamoussa, 8, comes from Abidjan’s largest district Yopougon, or Yop City, as it’s colloquially known. He is in first grade and likes mathematics. “Classrooms used to be overcrowded,” says Traoré. Some classrooms can be crammed with over a hundred students. “Now that we have this new school, more children from our neighbourhood will be able to go to school and classrooms will be less crowded”.
When I grow up, I want to be a bricklayer and build schools like this one.
Some of Abidjan’s neighbourhoods are littered with plastic bags, bottles and other plastic waste. For its innovative project, UNICEF partnered with Conceptos Plásticos, a social enterprise from Colombia. Conceptos Plásticos recycles plastic waste and turns it into valuable plastic bricks. These are then used to build much-needed schools in order to address school overpopulation.
Builders Djèbi and Digbei are assembling plastic bricks as children watch them. “Building schools with plastic bricks is much faster,” says Djèbi. “Plastic bricks are lighter than other traditional materials, which makes them easy to carry. It’s also really easy to assemble them.”
UNICEF, in collaboration with its partner Conceptos Plasticos, taught construction workers like Djèbi and Digbei how to assemble plastic bricks and build classrooms. In turn, they trained several community members who assisted them in the construction of these new classrooms. As a result, the community has a feeling of pride and ownership towards these sustainable classrooms that transform lives.
“I prefer this kind of school,” says Konan, 11. “It’s very pretty and big!” Another child takes a break from his football game to chime in. “I like it! It looks better and it’s very bright,” says Adamo, 7.
Thanks to the MSC Foundation’s generous contribution, UNICEF will build 152 classrooms in Côte d’Ivoire for more than 7,000 children and help remove 760 tonnes of plastic from the environment.
“We decided to support this programme, as it combines many aspects of our foundation’s mission,” said Daniela Picco, MSC Foundation’s Executive Director. “It contributes to a cleaner environment through plastic waste reduction, provides income opportunities for families, and at the same time offers thousands of children access to quality education. MSC Foundation is extremely proud of this innovative programme and of our partnership with UNICEF.”
For every child, the right to learn in a clean environment.