Pauline: Bikie is the place where my parents were born. It is a village located in the South West of the country.
The village never had a school, and the children of Bikie had to walk miles every day to neighboring villages to attend school. There is no public nor private transportation between these villages, and therefore many children have stopped going to school. As a consequence, most children of Bikie are illiterate.
Pauline: I was lucky enough to grow in a city, but my parents always kept a strong link to the village, where I spent all my summer vacations.
Two years ago I went back to Bikie after several years of absence, and was dismayed to see that there had been no improvements or changes in the village in all the time that I’d been away: there was still no running water, no electricity, no hospital or dispensary and no school. And I realized that most children are simply not going to school.
So, my siblings and I discussed the matter and we decided to provide assistance to the village in order to build a primary school.
Pauline: The Bikie primary school project is now well underway. The completed project will include three classrooms, an apartment for a teacher, running water and school latrines. Up until now we have been working closely with the villagers but with very limited means. Although we already achieved a lot, we still have a lot more to accomplish.
Pauline: Among our major aims, we want to drill a well for drinking water (villagers are still fetching water from streams and brooks). We also want to provide the children with learning material: schoolbooks, personal notebooks, teaching material for teachers, etc. On the longer term we hope to buy an internet connection that will help children get a broader view of the world and a deeper understanding of what they study.
Pauline: We would like to found an apprenticeship center to help young people from the region to gain technical training. But that's a very long term endeavour, almost a dream - although we will do everything we can to make this dream come true !