Paixbouche school

The Paix Bouche Primary and Pre-schools on Thursday became the first reconstructed schools since the passage of Hurricane Maria to be officially opened.

The schools were reconstructed with resilient features to provide safety to all the students who will be schooled there.

The work was done by an organization from the United States called All Hands and Hearts Smart Response, comprising over 40 volunteers from France, Germany, Australia, Bolivia, France, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Canada,  Israel, Spain, St Lucia and Dominica, among others.

 Principal of the Paix Bouche Primary School, Magdalene Honore, who spoke via video during the official handing over ceremony, said it has been a long journey for the school following the passage of Hurricane Maria.

“Hence, we at the Paix Bouche Primary School have to rejoice and give all the praise and glory to God almighty for having brought us this far,” she said.

Honore considers a true blessing, the selection of the school for repairs by All Hands and Heart Smart Response Organization, who she said, first expressed an interest during a visit to the learning institution on January 15th, 2018.

“At first I was a bit skeptical as others had visited and did not return with any word of assurance,” she explained, adding: “I must say on the onset I began to feel a sense of hope that this organization truly meant business.”

She went on to say that the frequency of their visits, the pertinent questions asked, the interviews, and the professionalism exhibited, all made her feel that something positive would result from all of those efforts.

“I therefore created every avenue to ensure that this project would become a reality…,” she said and pointed out that the school is now in a better position to deliver quality education to students.

“We now have additional classroom space, a staff room, a bigger kitchen, emergency exit doors, not forgetting a school plant that is now more resilient to hurricanes and earthquakes and much more,” she revealed.

One of the Founders of All Hands and Heart Smart Response Organization, Petra Němcová, who was addressing the ceremony said, “We are on this journey called life together. Today someone else may need help and tomorrow we may be the ones in need.”

To all those present at a ceremony who lent a hand in the reconstruction of the school, Němcová said their unconditional love humbles her deeply and gives her hope for humanity.

“Your care and unconditional love made it possible that today we are reopening the first schools in Dominica after Hurricane Maria,” Němcová noted.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Chandler Hyacinth, said extensive work was done in retrofitting the school for seismic risk by the columns and tying of the columns and the walls.

“The type of roof that is placed on the school with the hard wood, the greenheart wood from Guyana and other aspects of the retrofitting that was done, will make Paix Bouche Primary School resilient,” she asserted. “It will be able to withstand not just a category 5 Hurricane but also seismic risks.”

In September 2018, the Paix Bouche Primary School school will celebrate its 55th years Anniversary since it opened its doors.

Other primary schools which have been reconstructed since Maria include the Colihaut Primary, The Jones Beaupierre Primary at La Plaine, and the Delices Primary.