Community Center (Suriname)
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Info about the Community Center (Suriname)
A village in Suriname is requesting assistance in the construction of a community center. The goals of the community center are to improve the infrastructure of the village, empower women, improve education and increase organizational development in the village. The community center will achieve these goals by serving as a multipurpose meeting hall, a center for woman’s groups, and a building to hold preschool and adult continuing education. Along with these essential functions, the structure will also collect clean drinking water, a much needed resource in the area.
The village is a traditional Maroon community consisting of approximately 150 citizens. It is located along the Suriname River, four miles from the regional center. Women and children make up the majority of the population. Out of necessity, many of the adult males have moved to the capital city, Paramaribo, in search of work. The remaining males provide for their families through government employment, agriculture, a few small businesses, and income they earn by transporting people by boat. Along with raising their children, the woman work on jungle garden plots. The children attend school across the Suriname River. Currently there is no preschool, primary school, or secondary school in the village.
Education is a catalyst for change. Having a suitable location for a preschool in the village will give the children a head start on their education and increase the chances of them succeeding in primary school and continuing on to secondary school. Along with providing a location for preschool, the center will be an apt spot to hold adult education. Several of the women in currently meet for continuing education, but the village lacks a structure adequate for their classes. Not only will this center benefit the women who currently meet, it will also encourage others in the village to improve their education.
A community center will also provide a setting for economic activities. With tourism in the region increasing, and the paving of a nearby road, the Upper Suriname River will soon be the site of remarkable change. A community center will provide an ideal location for the women to work together on marketable crafts. This will help the village to capitalize on increased traffic on the river.
With dramatic changes happening in the region, it is more important than ever for the people of this village to have a meeting hall to discuss the aspects that will have a direct effect on their village. The community center will provide an ideal spot to hold these discussions. It will also serve as a home for the World Wildlife Fund clubs in the region. Having a home for these clubs will not only benefit the children and adults involved, but will also help promote village and regional awareness of the benefits of environmental conservation.
Lastly, the community center will help to benefit the overall health conditions in the village, which currently does not have access to piped or filtered water. This leaves the villagers to rely on the river, creeks, and collected rain water for drinking. Equipping the community center with rain-catchment systems will provide an additional source of clean drinking water; the two 750 gallon capacity durotanks will be available to the entire community and will help reduce the occurrence of waterborne diseases.