Dormitory Project - Next phase towards self-sustainability 

American MoringaCommunity.Org private supporters enable
construction of M.C.S.T. Youth Hostel & Student Dormitory. 

 Moringa USA's 2012 Newsletter Appeal To Donors
  The Moringa Community School of Trades (MCST) was built by unpaid volunteer village labor in 2009 thru early 2010 with the Ghanaian NGO giving the children of the hardest workers enrollment at the school for free.  The school has since paid this debt to its builders and is bringing students from farther away who are required to pay a maintenance level tuition to help offset the cost of educating them.  Without any student housing on the compound, historically headmaster Abu has placed students in host family homes throughout the village each semester.  There have been ongoing unmanageable problems with this scenario, as teenagers being teenagers, can and often do get into trouble without adult supervision.  Also the school has accountability to keep the sons and daughters of the attending families safe and secure.  As a result of the lack of student housing, it has become increasingly evident that the school simply had to build an on-site student dormitory in order to house students in a monitored supervised environment.  In November 2012 the USA organization president Jeff Lohr put out an appeal to our project donors who responded favorably to raise funds to construct the dormitory. Thanks to this remarkable loyal group of private American citizens and the vested sweat equity of the African personnel for making this dream of proper student housing become a reality

March 2013 Status
Please follow the construction progress through the photo story below to understand the level of sweat and toil put into the construction of the Moringa dormitory.  Photos speak louder than words.  By clicking through the thumbnail images with referenced captions below, the reader can get a glimpse of the progress made in the three months following the USA Board's approval of funding for the dormitory construction.

In the face of obstacles - "improvise, adapt and overcome"
As many who have followed our project know, the bridge to the Moringa compound was severely damaged in flooding that occurred in early 2012.  The Moringa Bridge (one of the first constructions completed) is currently so compromised that Abu will not risk the new 2011 Kia truck crossing it.  Abu found another truck owner, short on cash, who was willing to cross the bridge for a price.  They agreed that the truck owner would assume the risk of crossing the bridge with his truck empty.  The payload needing to cross the bridge would be offloaded before the bridge, then hand-portered across the bridge to the Moringa side where it would be reloaded on the truck for the remainder of the 100 meter trip up the hill to the construction site.
African.Porters Truck.On.Moringa.Side.Of.Bridge Ghana.Porters

Time to clear the construction area and begin digging the foundations.
Clearing roots and stumps Dorm.Construction

As has been the case throughout this project of hope, Moringa has no access to machinery or any beast of burden.  Moringa only has access to human toil.  With the exception of the use of a truck, everything must be done by hand labor.  Please note how the Ghanaians mix their concrete - by hand, in an earthen pit, using hand-carried water and shovels.

African Women Water Bearers African Brick Making African Women carrying block

      Terracing the incline on our compound to continue construction.
Abu overseeing the construction
Many will recognize some of the key staff members on the site but we are happy to see a photo someone took of Abu (center above).  Like many principal actors in any project, Abu usually takes the photos and rarely gets a chance to be in the photo. Hurray for whoever took this photo of Abu.  Abu carries the weight of a multitude of people on his shoulders

                          Our domitory walls begin to go up !

African Cement Work

 The wall construction goes so fast that Abu needs more blocks than the on-site workers in Baako can make.  Abu asks the workers on the Moringa land in Assin Kruwa to make cement blocks as well.  The workers then transport the adjacent village-made blocks to the Moringa bridge for off load and hand porter up the hill to the compound construction site.

    Time to let the concrete lintels cure to before trusses can be mounted.

 With lintels curing, time to move onto the concrete slab floor installation.
Hand Wheeling Concrete
Hot Work in 100+ degree F heat   Screeding the floor

 Second Wire of American donated funds permits roofing framing to start.
Dormitory Roof Framing Sowah & assitant work on roof

With Student Dormitory/Hostel as of March 2013Moringa Trade School Dormitory

With main dormitory for student housing project well on its way, work is returns to 2nd phase of our 2013 housing project:  Teacher Housing 
Our earlier American donors will remember that if we can provide reasonable housing for teachers, the Ghana Ministry of Education has told us they would fund our teacher salaries.  Although our teacher and staff salaries are very low by American standards, funding for teaching staff has and will be an ongoing expense we needed to address.  Currently we have three respectable size quarters designed for shared use by teachers that are pictured in the thumbnail images below.
that ow. 
Moringa Teacher QuartersTeacher Quarters Moringa Teacher Housing

         Some commentary from USA organization president, Jeff Lohr
 Those among you that are tradesmen like myself will no doubt be amazed at what our African friends have been able to do in extreme equatorial heat and with very little in way of resources. I chose the US Marine Corp mantra of "Improvise, adapt and overcome" as title to this construction photo series as having traveled to Ghana and experienced the conditions in which these truly resourceful people must work, it is humbling to me.  The work shown in this March 2013 status update has been done in just over 90 days and with just over $30,000 in funding. The cement and iron-rebar in Ghana cost nearly three times what it costs in the USA.  On that fact alone I see remarkable progress.  Thanks to our truly generous American project supporters, we have $38,000 left in our dormitory construction budget to finish the dormitory building project.  These funds will dwindle quickly as metal roofing, electrical wire,  and lumber are significantly more expensive in Ghana than in America, plus the building still needs stucco, windows & doors, outlets, lighting, ventilation, gutters, hardware, and other finishing accoutrements.  This is even before we build over 60 bunk beds and find some funds for mattresses & bedding. Trust we will do it even if we have to sew and stuff our own mattresses with tick and straw.  The job will be done.

Abu, Linda and I want to thank all who have helped this dream become a reality and trust we will honor your support with full accountability on how your donated funds are put to use.

Blessings to all,
Jeffry Lohr
March 2013