Project Update: New Classroom in Twi’ Ninwitz

Today I paid a visit to the new classroom being built adjacent to the local elementary school in rural Twi’ Ninwitz village. The building has been under construction since Monday, and real progress is starting to show. The seven construction workers on site have dug the foundation and begun to lay the stone and metal framework that will form the base of the building. Bare metal columns stand tall at all four corners, awaiting their cement filling in the coming days.This project is being managed by six members of the parental committee of the current Twi’ Ninwitz elementary school. The six Directors are tasked with the completion of the foundation before Vale UMC service group arrives to finalize the project on July 21st. Although seven workers were on site when I arrived- five of which hailed from the Twi’ Ninwitz community- none of the project Directors were immediately available.

Upon inquiring as to the whereabouts of the Directors, local worker Mario Diaz explained to me that the men in charge were currently occupied in the fields, but would surely come by later. The seven workers there today, Diaz told me, had volunteered to work because they were equally invested in the success of the project. “I also have a son and live in this community,” said Diaz. “I want the new classroom for the children as much as any man here.”The involvement of the entire community in the realization of this project is in line with one of AMA’s most fundamental operating principles, that of voluntary participation. As an organization, AMA only agrees to support projects that have received strong community support and a pledge for civil engagement from all sides- which is exactly what we witnessed today. Apart from Diaz, the other workers on site told me of nephews and sisters who they knew would one day benefit from the opportunity to study in the new classroom.AMA and Twi’ Ninwitz now await the arrival of the Vale service group in one and a half weeks’ time with full confidence that the construction process will continue as planned.

Laura Catania