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Ofakaga is a small village of 3,000 people where the primary industry is farming. The 186 students were in dire need of a new school to replace the dilapidated single classroom--in the nave of the parish church--they had been using since the inception of the school 12 years ago.
In 2018 Fr. James visited the parish and witnessed the suboptimal conditions. He was so dismayed by the plight of the children that he contacted the local pastor and members of the community to discuss options for improvement. Together they determined that a school of six classrooms, including office space and furnishings, would be ideal. It was agreed that Education Partners Nigeria (EPN) would raise the funds needed to construct the school.
EPN, in its first major fundraising venture, raised $80,000 over a period of 14 months. Construction began in February 2019 and the building was completed in April 2020. St. Pius will welcome 240 children when school reopens later this year.