Travel restrictions keep Project Africa at home

By Secilie Villarreal

LOGOS STAFF WRITER

For two years, Project Africa leaders have been anticipating the day they would see the construction site in Mali, Africa, where the $32,000 they raised will go to build a school.

However, the U.S. Department of State has issued travel restrictions for that country due to safety and health risks that could set up liability issues for the University of the Incarnate Word, so Project Africa is staying home, said Dr. John Velasquez, Project Africa’s adviser.

However, an organization called Build On is going to construct the school. Build On has been to Mali 160 times and has constructed 160 schools, Project Africa leaders said. The newest school will serve at least 300 students and possibly 300,000 over its lifetime, Project Africa estimated.

The Mali trip wasn’t only going to benefit the children there, but the UIW students who were actually going to travel and worked hard these last two years to get to where they are today, said Velasquez, a psychology professor.

Numerous fund-raisers helped in the effort as well as support from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, UIW’s Board of Trustees, and UIW’s president, Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr.

“They (the students) wanted to do something that’s never been done before,” Velasquez said.

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