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Report on a project to build secondary schools
Sunday, 01 May 2011 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Land for high schoolOur Secondary School construction project in Kivumu hasn’t been brought to a halt. On the contrary, we’re working on it each and every day. However, it will take time until we see the shape of the future building on one of our pieces of land in the parish. The paperwork is very complicated, and we’re also still solving problems with folks who entered our land illegally...

But, in order to inform all our donors about what is being done and how it is being done, and also where the money is being invested, I feel obliged to write a sentence or two about the entire project.

As early as 2008, an opportunity arose to buy a large chunk of land which borders our friary. The widow who was selling the land was asking 75,000 euro. We started an initiative and, with the help of good people from Croatia, Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina, we managed to raise the necessary sum. And then there was an unexpected reversal. Some problems arose in the widow’s family, and in the end they decided not to sell the land.

But we were not discouraged. We searched for a solution to buy some other piece of land. We were persistent in our efforts, because we so much want to build a secondary school for the children of Kivumu.

Then the diocese ‘jumped in’ and donated eight hectares of land in the vicinity of the friary in 2009. It was the same piece of land that was given by the government to fra Vjeko Ćurić for the construction of a Secondary School, even before the war. Unfortunately, the handover came to a halt because of the war, and after Vjeko’s death the issue was left unsolved… However, with the help of the diocese, we finally got the land!

Our future studentsDue to the fact that the land was given free to us, we agreed with the donors to use the money we got from them to improve the terrain for the future school and renovate existing buildings which were already there on the given land. 

You see, the land contained four dilapidated old buildings that were used by the primary school a long time ago. To the present time, we’ve managed to completely renovate three buildings with three classrooms and two storage rooms, which was already written about on our webpage.

The new classrooms are now being used by the students of our Padri Vjeko School, because we need them due to constant rise in student numbers. Don’t forget, that last year, we started up three new courses, for welders, electricians, and plumbers.

In addition to the improvement of the existing buildings, a part of the money was used for geometric and topographic measurements of the land, registration, taxes, leveling and clearing the land, and for making additional 35 desks and 70 chairs for the classrooms, as well as numerous other works… So, one part of the money was spent, while the remainder is going to be used for future work that you will be informed about on our webpage as well.

We still have some problems with the final registration of the land, because three chunks are still being used by people who entered our land illegally.  But with the help of our Bishop, we’re working to solve this issue, and then, when everything is finally ‘clean,’ we’ll be able to start the so much desired construction of our Secondary School.

Translated by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken

Father Vjeko Center

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