Npili School

In Guinea-Bissau, women and girls benefit the least from the educational system and have the highest rates of illiteracy. It has been proven that low educational and literacy levels have negative consequences for women, their children, their community and the entire society.

Npili School was initiated by the local NGO Atena Foundation and aims to support marginalized girls and women and improve their access to quality education. It also aims to design qualitative learning spaces that decrease the school’s dependency on donors.A new pre-school to secondary school facility will be built in different phases allowing for evaluation and improvements along the way. From the start, climate change and rapid urbanization, which creates new challenges for all of us, especially for poor communities, will influence the design of the facilities. In responce to these challenges this project incorporates sustainable construction techniques, solar energy, rainwater harvesting and composting latrines into the design. In addition one hectare of the site has been reserved for gardens and self-sufficient food production.

While gathering funds for phase one of the project, the community has constructed a pilot project in the form of a kindergarten pavilion. This is being built using local crafts and skills combined with recycled materials. Five young women from the community have just finished a peer-school education and will soon start to give classes in the new pavilion.


Ensalma, Biombo Guinea-Bissau


2018 – Ongoing


Quality education for girls and women in Guinea-Bissau.

New school facilities with decreased dependency on external donors.




Technology & Materials

Vernacular architecture: adobe and thatched roof, recycled glass and plastic bottles, brick and vault construction


Isa Lopes Da Costa


ASF Sweden


Private donations and cultural events organized by Atena Foundation