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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

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Video: Student Work: Ghana School Library Initiative


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Students involved in Princeton's chapter of Engineers without Borders speak about their experience helping build a library in Ashaiman, Ghana. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

[Road sounds]

Mohit Agrawal:
We were invited to
Ghana in 2008 by an associate

Mohit Agrawal:
of Professor Gregory van der Vink.

Mohit Agrawal:
When we were driving through Ashaiman we realized

Mohit Agrawal:
immediately that this was an
in-need location, and so we

Mohit Agrawal:
decided to actually stop
and look around and see

Mohit Agrawal:
what we could do.

Mohit Agrawal:
We found our way to the EP
school, which is well regarded

Mohit Agrawal:
here in Ashaiman.

Mohit Agrawal:
And we hit it off well with the
administration and got in

Mohit Agrawal:
contact with them about
what they would need.

Mohit Agrawal:
They were ecstatic about using--
about our helping,

Mohit Agrawal:
building a library.

Mohit Agrawal:
The school has a long-term plan
to build a library and

Mohit Agrawal:
our involvement actually meant
the library will get done now.

Mohit Agrawal:
So this summer our budget
had three components.

Mohit Agrawal:
The first component was bringing
in lots and lots and

Mohit Agrawal:
lots of books.

Mohit Agrawal:
And we did that successfully
after a little bit of hassle

Mohit Agrawal:
at the port.

Mohit Agrawal:
And we've set up a temporary
library here which will be in

Mohit Agrawal:
use during the school year until the

Mohit Agrawal:
main facility is complete.

Nizette Edwards:
Here is the temporary library.

Nizette Edwards:
It was built to house the books
while the library is

Nizette Edwards:
under construction.

Nizette Edwards:
You can come in.

Nizette Edwards:
We've sorted the books according
to age level so here

Nizette Edwards:
we have early readers, lower
primary, upper primary, young

Nizette Edwards:
adults, adults and nonfiction.

Mohit Agrawal:
The second component
of the project is

Mohit Agrawal:
actually building part
of the library.

Mohit Agrawal:
This summer we only have about
five weeks for construction,

Mohit Agrawal:
which is not enough time to put
up the entire building,

Mohit Agrawal:
however, we should be able to
finish the reinforced concrete substructure.

Mohit Agrawal:
The third component is to
evaluate netbooks and to

Mohit Agrawal:
evaluate the kind of structure
we can use for the digital

Mohit Agrawal:
literacy component of the project.

Nizette Edwards:
We also have to
communicate with the leaders

Nizette Edwards:
of the community, the teachers,
the parents, so that

Nizette Edwards:
they know that the library is
for them and not just for us,

Nizette Edwards:
that we're not giving money
for them, but they need to

Nizette Edwards:
take ownership of the library.

Jane Yang:
Well, I'm very happy that after
a year, a year and a

Jane Yang:
half worth of work we're
actually physically putting up

Jane Yang:
the library structure.

Jane Yang:
After being with the kids for
nearly two months and seeing

Jane Yang:
how voraciously they read when
given the temporary library

Jane Yang:
just now, I'm really excited
about when we can actually

Jane Yang:
open the Achieving Greater
Heights Community Library.

Nizette Edwards:
This is what being an
engineer is about.

Nizette Edwards:
It's about helping people,
making things easier and

Nizette Edwards:
better for them.

[Music]

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