Operation Classroom: Heritage UMC Secondary School Construction 2008

Rev. Eddie Kamara dedicates the cornerstone for the new secondary school bulilding.

The 'OC' team found that they had a formidible task ahead of them. From brushing the area to digging a foundation proved to be hard work. Team members pictured [L-R] Dave Figi [Wisconsin], Carol Owen [Hawaii], T. J. Quintana [Colorado], Kyle Bacon [Colorado], Claire McKeever [Colorado], Kira Gruzinski [Colorado], Mark Gruzinski [Colorado], Lindsay Strine [Colorado], and Hope and Les Law [Colorado].

The pictures on this page will give the viewer an idea of the beginning stages of the Heritage UMC Secondary School construction. Heritage High School of Littleton, Colorado, raised money for the school. Operation Classroom team members assisted Kabala and Maya Forria secondary students and a local work crew in brushing the area and digging a foundation for the school.

Heritage students Kira, Lindsay, and Claire celebrate the completion of one of the foundation tenches.

From July 14-26 Team 1 helped clear the trees and brush and dig the foundation in the area where the school would be built. Above is a picture of Team 2 and the area work crew who began making the cement bricks that would form the walls of the school. The work was hard in the unforgiving heat and humidity but with the help of local students and an area work crew amazing progress was made during Team 2's work from July 30 to August 10. Below are pictures of Team 2 in action at the school site near Kabala.

Gordon Smith is pictured [left] resting on the hotel porch in Kabala after a long tough day at the school construction site. Even the tile of the porch felt good after a taxing day in the jungles of Sierra Leone. Hand tools and manual labor are the norm on upcountry construction sites.

Operation Classroom is successful because of the people of Sierra Leone. Two examples are pictured on the left and above. The student on the left will work all summer on the school site. His school fees will be paid because of his work at the new school site.

Peacemaker Kargbo [above right] is the liason who helped make sure that the school project could proceed. All funds that Operation Classroom raises are put directly into projects. No administration fees are retained. The money collected is used to pay local work crews, pay for fees of students who help build their own school, and for supplies of cement, tools, and building materials. All Operation Classroom team members pictured on this website pay all their own expenses which includes airfare to and from Sierra Leone, and transportation, lodging and food while in Sierra Leone. Below: The school begins to take shape.

Above left: Saffa Koroma [blue shirt] at the UMC Heritage school worksite. Saffa is the UMC Educatation Secretary in Sierra Leone. He oversees 21 UMC secondary schools and over 200 UMC primary schools. Above right: Mark Gruzinski prepares to remove a tree trunk from the school site. Below: Hope Law took a picture of a chameleon that was eyeballing OC work in Kabala.

Heritage UMC Secondary School Construction: October 2008

Heritage UMC Secondary School Construction: February 2009

Future Look: Heritage UMC Secondary School - Kabala Area

Heritage UMC Secondary School Construction: April 2009

Heritage UMC Secondary School Construction: May 2009