It’s hard to imagine what 20,000 hours of labor looks like.

Having been apart of the BT staff for 2 years now, I often point to the community’s commitment and involvement in our schools as a sign of our success. They show dedication, ownership and responsibility every step of the way throughout construction and post-construction.

Part of that commitment is volunteering over 20,000 hours of labor towards the project. The Building Management Committee creates a schedule for different villages and community members to come out on the site and work.

20,000 hours of labor is obviously a huge time commitment. The community is also in charge of some of the most physically challenging parts of the construction process. BT hires a team of masons and trained builders to construct the walls and manage other important structural aspects of the building. The community is therefore in charge of back-filling the foundation – which means digging, shoveling and pick axing away at tons and tons of dirt.

Another huge part of their labor commitment is getting water for the mortar and cement mixing. One day of work might mean 5 or 6 trips to the well to get water, carrying back 6-8 jerry cans full each time. While on site, we had community members come by with bicycles to help with this process as well.

After seeing – and to a small degree experiencing – a few of the 20,000 hours of labor, I am even more impressed by the community’s commitment. The Academy, very simply, would not be built without it.


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