School in West Africa will keep Lilydale landslide victim 'alive forever'

Two years ago, 10-year-old Mohamed Fofana was killed in a landslide during a fossil hunting field trip at Lilydale Park in St. Paul, Minn. The fourth grader had a dream of one day building a school for children in Africa, and that dream came is now coming true.

Last week, the Fofana family broke ground on a new school in the Republic of Guinea, his father Lancine's native country. Lancine said the Mohamed Fofana Memorial School will "keep his name alive forever."

Vacation leads to mission

In 2009, Mohamed traveled with his family to Guinea, and witnessing the poverty in his father's home country made a serious impression.

"He was telling me that when he grows up, he wants to be able to help people back home," said Madosu Fofana, Mohamed's mother. "It's meant to be in his honor and to keep his memory alive."

Legacy of learning

The Mohamed Fofana Memorial School was designed by volunteer architects from the Twin Cities chapter of Architecture for Humanity. Once complete, it will enroll about 350 students.

The May 22, 2013 landslide also killed 9-year-old Haysem Sani, a classmate of Mohamed's at Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park, Minn.


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