New primary School in Benin, Africa

A project to construct a new primary school, improve infrastructure and train more than 400 teachers in the district of Klouekanme in West Africa.

Teacher in Benin

The need

Benin in West Africa is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 167 out of 177 countries on the 2016 United Nations Human Development Index. A primary school in the village of Zounzounkanme had 452 pupils but did not have the infrastructure, resources or teachers to provide a good education. The school had no latrines and there was limited privacy, which affected girls in particular.

The situation at a glance:

  • 452 pupils – 255 boys and 197 girls
  • 6 teachers
  • High drop-out rates
  • Poor sanitation facilities
  • Low motivation among pupils and staff

Headmaster Raymond Wenou said:

"For more than five years, our school has broken records in head counts and there has been a marked improvement in end of year results in primary school completion.”

 Mary was young when the project began. Now aged 15, she says:

“We are fortunate to have this support and the trained teachers have provided us with good guidance. I am proud, like many children in the village, to have attended this school and my ambition is to become a health worker to accompany the development of my community.”

What we achieved

Fundraising began in 2006 to improve the education facilities at the Zounzounkanme primary school. Working with Plan International, our project constructed new classrooms and latrines and trained new teachers so the children could access quality education in a clean environment.

More than 400 teachers received training across the district, improving teaching in 66 schools.

The project successfully:

  • Constructed a new block of three classrooms
  • Built a new library and storerooms
  • Supplied books, furniture and resources
  • Provided training for teachers
  • Improved water, sanitation and hygiene systems.

Pupils and families gathered for the official opening of the new classrooms in 2006. The celebration was attended by the Mayor, National Education Advisor and other officials and members of the community.

The impact

Five years on, the primary school enrolment numbers continue to grow, and pupils are benefiting from new resources, canteen lunches and better results. More than 200 students enrol in the school every year.

With this school construction, our dream of a school in which our children can learn properly is coming true. Thanks so much to Plan and Study Group.

An elderly villager

Benin School - Before Shot Benin School - After Shot