Retired Canadian architect pursues African dreams -- Sponsors and oversees construction of primary schools in impoverished areas of Tanzania
In September 2010, Canadian architect Alan R. Roy left for Tanzania to realize two long-held dreams -- climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and build a school. He accomplished both, and ended up building two schools, in only five weeks! One school is in the slum district of Majengo in Arusha, and the other in the village of Gongali, on the doorstep of Tanzania's world-renowned safari country. Now he's on a mission to recruit others to help him build more schools.
From Clay To Classrooms is the story of Roy's amazing adventure -- a journey of discovery, full of colourful insights and amusing incidents that expose the charm and friendliness of a struggling people determined to educate their children. Roy balances the serious business of construction with an open-minded willingness to learn and celebrate the local culture. Though he can create blueprints, he soon learns how local building techniques and materials -- and the local people's own ideas -- will dictate the exact final form of each school.
From his experience, Roy gained a renewed determination to make a significant improvement to the lives of a growing number of African children. He has established a registered charity, Primary Schools For Africa Society, as a mechanism for others to join his mission. Two more school projects are scheduled for November of 2011.
"The return on donor investment is incredible," Roy emphasizes. "Each new classroom will enable hundreds of graduates over the next decade. Education is the key to ending the cycles of poverty, and promote stable government."
From Clay To Classrooms: An Architect's Dream to Advance Education in Africa by Alan R. Roy is published by Agio Publishing House, Victoria (Canada), 2011, 198 pp., trade paperback $19.99, ISBN 978-1-897435-67-0.
About the author, Alan R. Roy
Alan R. Roy grew up in Cornwall, Ontario. After graduating from Royal Military College, he spent four years in Canadian and overseas postings. His architectural degrees from the University of New South Wales and RAIC Syllabus preceded 32 years in the architectural profession. His previous most memorable humanitarian experience was working with ex-president Jimmy Carter on a Habitat For Humanity project in New York City's Lower East Side. He lives with his wife Maureen in Victoria, B.C.
More info about donations and project progress at www.PrimarySchoolsForAfrica.com