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In 2004 a Center for Education and Development was founded in a rural commune in Benin. Here, some 33 at-risk children receive lodging and food. Presently, 15 boys and 14 girls are learning trades on site and all 33 receive a primary school education on site. All the children receive training in agricultural production and animal husbandry as well.
The Peace Corps volunteer works with this center on agricultural production, environmental activities and education, with the goals of improving the children’s nutrition and creating income-generating activities.
The Center presently grinds its corn and soy (for human and animal consumption) off site, at a local mill. This is both labor-intensive and costly. A processing center on site would eliminate this expense and help reduce labor. Funding has recently been received for the purchase of a mill, but a facility to house the equipment and carry out transformation activities is lacking.
The construction of this facility would provide a space where villagers could grind their corn and soy (at a reasonable price) and could also be trained in agro-alimentary transformation activities. The children will also be trained in these activities. Such skills may prove useful upon the completion of their sojourn at the Center and their reentry into society.
The construction of this center will serve 5 primary goals: 1) Reduce labor and save money for the Center; 2) Encourage income-generating activities at the Center, and in the community; 3) Help the Center come closer to financial independence; 4) Provide a space for community trainings. 5) Community access to quality food products.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.
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