During the September visit we caught up on how the girls’ refuge programme was developing and agreed that a shower block would be the next addition to the dormitory. Situated to the rear of the building, with access only via the main entrance, this shower block would be fitted with modesty screens to create six cubicles.
The internal layout of the building having been agreed, work commenced on the new showers during the following weeks. Thanks to the generosity of one of the Yellowmen, metal bunk beds for the girls were also ordered. A delivery of tables, chairs and rush floor covering will soon complete this part of the project. Needless to say, the girls are very excited at the imminent completion of their dormitories.
Of course this is not the end of the story. This block is a temporary home for the girls. The intention is to eventually move into another area of the school campus and to create a ‘student village’. Modelled on the traditional bandas (or small cottages – see below) the accommodation will take the form of a series of bandas, each equipped with a shower, which will become home to six or 8 girls. Each of these bandas will cost in the region of £800 to complete and they will be built as and when the finances become available. Land within the student village will be set aside to allow the girls to grow their own fruit and vegetables in an attempt to make them as self sufficient as possible.
Fundraising for this project is already underway with the hope of building the first banda in the near future.