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WWCS receives block press, encounters trouble in shipping

By December 29, 2011

Uganda (MNN) — Quality of education can often determine the direction of a nation. But quality education can only take place if there is a place for students to receive it.

Uganda has a high need for schools. Worldwide Christian Schools has a list of school buildings that need to be built and is checking them off one by one. But building a school is time-consuming and expensive. It's not a quick process.

Toward the year's end, though, WWCS received a gift that may not only lower the cost of building a school but speed up the time in which it takes to do so.

A block press was recently donated to WWCS specifically for use in Uganda. Using three gallons of diesel, 2.6 cubic yards of dirt, and one hour of time, the Vermeer BP 714 can pump out 240 blocks. (Watch a video here.) The blocks have holes and notches (think Legos) which make assembly of a wall simple even for amateur volunteers.

The significance of such a machine in Uganda is immense. More schools will be able to be built at a quicker rate, and it'll actually boost the economy as well.

"There will be nationals that will be employed making the blocks for the school," explains Steve Geurink with WWDS. "So it's both producing a better quality block for us, as well as giving people a living in Uganda."

More schools, less cost, faster pace, more jobs. If it all sounds too good to be true, it's probably because there's one more step to getting the block press in motion: transporting it from West Michigan to Uganda.

"The cost of getting it through immigration, transporting it through Kenya up to Uganda, and then getting it set up: there's going to be about another $9,000-$10,000 worth of expense," says Geurink.

Still, that's only half the cost of what this $20,000 item would have been to purchase. If you feel led to make this project part of your year-end giving, e-mail hands@wwcs.org or click here.

WWCS brings quality education and the truth of the Gospel to children across the world.

"If someone wants to be a part of this financially, they're going to be making an impact in Uganda," notes Guerink. "That touches the lives of children, and teachers as they have a place to teach the children the Gospel as well as a basic education."

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