Weekly Feature

2017-10-25 / Front Page

Peace Corps volunteer starts project to help build classrooms in Africa


Caruana Caruana Kenmore West High School alumnus Troy Caruana is hoping to promote gender equality throughout Benin, Africa, and expand educational opportunities for children in the village of Ouèssè.

It’s a place that has impacted him as a Peace Corps volunteer. He teaches at a school where classes are overcrowded and some even start late in the day.

Students, especially young women, at the school have faced dangers in the dark on their commute home.

According to the Ken-Ton School District, Caruana teaches three classes twice a week for students at the middle school level and runs an after-school English language program.

As he finishes his second year as a volunteer, he is dedicated to an effort to build new educational facilities in the village.

His goal is to raise $13,000 to build three new concrete classrooms, which will greatly impact the children of Ouèssè. It will allow the students to have better access to classroom facilities.

The project will also make sure that classes are scheduled during daylight hours so that students don’t have to put themselves in danger in order to attend school.

Additionally, the school administration and teachers will participate in a two-day interactive training on topics, such as gender, gender-based violence, and how to incorporate gender equitable practices into the classroom and school environment, according to the Peace Corps.

To learn more about Caruana’s project, visit donate. peacecorps.gov/donate/ project/building-classes building-equality/.

While in high school, Caruana was captain of the rugby team and a varsity wrestler. Being a member of what is now the school’s Challenge/Interact Club, he began to be involved in supporting many different organizations and causes.

“The cultural exchanges and positive work we did in this club inspired me to pursue the Peace Corps, where I could continue making an impact around the globe,” he said.

After graduating from Kenmore West in 2009, Caruana attended Buffalo State College where he majored in philosophy, and French language and literature.

He became involved in the Buffalo State College Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Team, which explored the complexities of ethical and moral dilemmas and influenced his decision to serve in the Peace Corps, according to the district.

Benin is a country located to the west of Nigeria in sub-Saharan Africa. Caruana’s background in French has helped him in Benin, where French is the national language.

“I have really enjoyed the people, culture, and my time here in Benin and have found much fulfillment in my work as a Peace Corps volunteer,” Caruana said.

email: awalters@beenews.com

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