Gourcy School Project

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is incredibly poor, having faced numerous challenges, such as frequent military coups until the 1980s, recurring droughts and high rates of HIV/AIDS. The poor quality of education is also a big problem, with Burkina Faso scoring exceptionally low on the Human Development Index, ranking 181 out of 187 countries for education¹. Without an adequate level of education, Burkina Faso lacks the capacity to be able to break out of the cycle of poverty.

We worked in Bethel Secondary School to improve their facilities and enhance their ability to provide education to the local communities. Working closely with the school and local community, Article 25 developed a school design which would provide protection from the extremely hot climate. We also made sure our final building was made out of locally sourced materials, such as laterite stone. This meant expensive materials such as concrete, which is not locally available, did not have to be imported. As laterite could be locally sourced it also meant it was a material that local builders were used to working with.

Furthermore, the school is now able to educate more pupils and encourages girls to continue in secondary education.

Grant Smith, a long time supporter of Article 25 and an award winning architectural photographer, visited Gourcy to see the finished school in action. This video of his trip captures students and teachers’ thoughts on the new buildings. We have added some of his images of the finished school to the Facebook album of construction photos.

 ¹Human Development Reports, Education Index, United Nations Development Reports, 2014

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