Meet The Lebanese Woman Architect Hand-Building Schools In Senegal

BBC | Lets Build My School

Leila Meroue is a Lebanese architect in London, and active in humanitarian work since the age of 18. After spending 10 years working in London, she got tired of the workload and decided to go to Senegal where her parents used to live.

She found local villages with no school facilities and decided to allocate her experience and skills to build them schools.

Leila used a technique designed to build shelters on the moon to build sustainable schools in Senegalese villages.

Leila Meroue initiated her innovation by having bricks manufactured using a long roll-to-roll cut bag filled with local [Senegalese] dirt, clay, and a little cement to connect the mixture.

All the materials used are available on-site to reduce construction costs.

This construction material is ideal for the hot climate because the earth and mud mix to absorb the cold air at night and reduce heat during the day, keeping classrooms cool as well as rain resistant.

For her new life goal of building schools, Leila founded an NGO of architects called Let’s Build My School and her architectural firm LM Architecture.

Her NGO has for mission to “building schools in remote areas and giving more and more children access to education.”

“We believe that education is a universal right,” the team states on their website, and so they have embarked on that noble journey.

Let’s Build My School‘s team is formed of architects from around the world and attracts volunteers from everywhere and from local communities in Senegal.

The NGO wants to empower the communities they are working in with new practical skills and the aim is to multiply the number of schools in the country so that more and more Senegalese children can have access to education.