Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Village's Primary School

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from Africa! As many of you know, we’ve been volunteering with the Peace Corps since June. We’re settling into our small village, which is located in the lush southwestern region of Burkina Faso, and getting to know our community’s challenges and needs.

The most obvious aspect of village life is how difficult it is to survive. More than 80% of Burkina Faso’s population relies on sustenance farming, and education provides one of the few opportunities to break the hand-to-mouth cycle. When children learn how to read, write, and perform basic math, they manage money better, have fewer children, and are more involved in their communities.

Our village has a primary school, but through an unfortunate series of events, it remains partially completed. Three rooms lack a roof, floor, and desks, thus limiting class size, and students do not have access to latrines or a library. Without a fully functioning school, some children simply cannot attend.

Education is essential to economic development and one of our projects is to help our village of Karfiguela finish its primary school. The village is currently raising money for more desks and is ready to donate labor, sand, tools, and transportation of materials. The cost to complete the school is approximately $8,000, which is an astronomical amount in a community where a large family survives on less than $500 a year.

We’re hopeful that with the support of our family and friends, the village of Karfiguela can finish the primary school and give its children an opportunity for a better future. To donate, please click the button on the right side of the screen and electronically send funds via credit card or PayPal.

100% of your donation will go to the construction of the school, and we will post photos of its progress on our blog. This holiday season, rather than buy a fruitcake or cheese platter for a neighbor you don’t like, why not help build a school in Africa?

We appreciate all of your help and support!

Happy Holidays,

James Megivern and Julie Ryan

Click on album below to view more photos: 


  1. I'll send this to a couple friends. John and I, I believe, are the FIRST to donate. :)

  2. Great updates guys - Julie the henna feet are so cool! I think James should get a full henna sleeve. Despite the fact they say men don’t generally take part in the henna process, James also rides a girls bike and wears dresses into the field. So, he could totally man up the henna process.

  3. Hey guys,

    Lovin' the blog. Can't wait to join you guys and perhaps have some sort of holiday celebration together. Keep it real till we get there!

    Chad & Tana

  4. Hello James and Julie - we see James's mother at the YMCA often and ask about you two each time. We are glad to hear things are going better for both of you now. She just provided the link to your blog so we are reading for the 1st time. We are so impressed with your hard work and the sacrifices you are making to serve the people of Africa. We have sent the link to Natalie/John and promise to make a donation to your school project. Enjoy your time there and please be safe!! Happy Holidays..Bill and Connie