Andreas Lapp has experienced and seen plenty of things in his life – but a school in the middle of Africa bearing his name came as a big surprise to him. “Thankfully, Mr. Lapp offered to help us”, Kope said. Without his job at LAPP Logistics in Ludwigsburg and other financial support from Andreas Lapp himself, the construction of the school would probably not have been possible. The Chairman of the Board of LAPP Holding AG travelled to Galebre in person to attend the opening ceremony.
So what has happened at the school now, more than a year later? “Oh, there’s a lot to tell you,” says Désiré Kope. This year alone, 119 new children were enrolled at the Collège Andreas Lapp. They have successfully completed primary school and their education is now continuing here at secondary school level, similar to the French school system. The Collège has also received state approval – an important milestone. The aim is for the children to complete their recognised school leaving qualifications in the near future. The Collège currently employs 14 teachers and one nursery assistant. There are also the head, a secretary, and even a security guard.
There has also been plenty of work on the site. A protective wall has been built around the site so that the children can play safely. As exercise is good for the body and for concentration, there is a sports field where children can play football and basketball. A football team has already formed at the Collège, and regularly plays together. There is now an extra building for the teachers, giving them somewhere to take a break. The completion of the water pump is extremely important so that children and teachers can have access to fresh water. Andreas Lapp has contributed a school library. Everyone at the school has access to reading and educational material, no matter how much money their family has.
In order to provide the best possible support to Désiré Kope in this project, Andreas Lapp not only promised financial assistance but also established contact with a well-known aid organisation. In Don Bosco the school has a reliable cooperation partner with a local office in Ivory Coast and they are now supporting the school’s further expansion. This partnership is another important building block for the long-term development of the school. In addition, two months ago LAPP made two further donations of mask packages for the Collège.
Kope is proud of the success of the project that is so close to his heart – and justifiably so. He has a lot more plans for the future. There will soon be a canteen where the children can eat and drink. Safe transport to school is also important, so a school bus is in the pipeline. For the new school year, there will be four new classes as at least 140 new children will be enrolled. Kope intends to drive the school forward from his base in Germany until he retires, and simultaneously continues working at LAPP.
Video: © LAPP: Collège Andreas Lapp – Désiré Kope built a school in the Ivory Coast