We believe that the eradication of poverty and the seeds of prosperity start with a foundation of education.  Currently, more than one billion people around the world are illiterate.  Empowering people with education and knowledge can lead to improvements in everything from crop sustainability to gender equality; from the creation of wealth to the establishment of human rights.  Too many people around the world are denied the opportunity to gain a basic education, the fundamental tool they need to provide them with the hope of a better life.




Why buildOn:

buildOn has extensive experience building schools, having constructed over 700 schools in third world countries throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa since 1992.  Additionally, it has received Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating, ranking it among the top 5% of nonprofits in terms of fiscal responsibility.


Beyond the main goal of providing schools for rural communities in undeveloped countries, the buildOn model also positively impacts these villages by emphasizing to local residents that they will be primarily responsible for the success of their school.


In the initial planning, long before the foundation is laid, it is stressed to the townspeople that they will need to invest a significant amount of “sweat equity” to get the structure built.  buildOn requires that at least 10 villagers work on the site every day, which not only makes construction less costly, but affords villagers the opportunity to have a stake in the education of their children, and ultimately in the viability and prosperity of their community.


In the basic agrarian economies of the regions where these schools are built, a lack of organization by those who live in the small communities is a great hindrance to their growth and development.  buildOn teaches teamwork and collaboration which can greatly benefit other areas of village life ranging from social services to agricultural cooperatives.  Once the school is complete, there is an extreme sense of pride and accomplishment by the community and a feeling that if they can work together, they can improve their way of life.


The buildOn model:

  • Supports gender equality by requiring at least 50% of students be female, as well as stipulating that half of the work force during construction be women

  • Empowers the village by requiring extensive participation in the school’s construction

  • Reduces costs by requiring the community to provide materials such as sand and gravel

  • Improves organizational efficiencies of communities by promoting leadership and collaboration

  • Facilitates collaboration between local governments and communities, resulting in higher confidence in public officials and greater political stability