buildOn Celebrates International Women’s Day 2015

International Women’s Day – March 8th, 2015

buildOn recognizes International Women’s Day by celebrating the contributions women make to their communities and their world, while also raising awareness of the struggles faced by women across the globe.

Empowering women and girls is central to our work. With thousands of female students currently attending more than 700 buildOn schools in some of the economically poorest countries on the planet, we have much to celebrate this year. But, our global movement still has a long way to go. Of the 781 million adults in the world who are illiterate, two-thirds are women and girls.

We believe all people have the right to be educated, improve their own lives, and contribute to society – no matter their gender or where in the world they live. This International Women’s Day and throughout the month of March, we are celebrating the contributions of every woman – whether she’s from rural Nepal or the heart of New York City.

Visit the buildOn Blog often for stories of the women buildOn is empowering across the globe, and please take an active role in our International Women’s Day campaign by following buildOn on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share our messages of female empowerment, post why you stand with women with hashtags #IWD2015 and #buildOn4Women, and download and share this photo with your social network. Please also consider donating to to support buildOn’s international programs.

We’re sharing stories of incredible women who are breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations, and highlighting the buildOn programs that directly contribute to empowering women, including:

  • Our Commitment to Gender Equality in School Building: Each village we partner with makes a promise to send their daughters to school in equal numbers with their sons. Currently, 50% of students in buildOn schools are female. This commitment also applies to the adults involved planning and construction, with women sharing leadership roles and encouraged to step outside traditional gender norms on the job site.
  • Adult Literacy Classes: Taught in the same schools their children attend, the Adult Literacy Program teaches parents essential literacy skills through the lens of health, enterprise and relevant life skills. Adult students then put these skills to the test through income generating enterprises. More than 15,000 adults have attended this program, 70% of these students have been women.
  • buildOn Apprentice Program: Women are given the opportunity to shadow buildOn’s skilled laborers and learn valuable construction and development skills during their communities’ school building projects. At the end of the apprenticeship some are hired as a members of the buildOn skilled labor team, building additional schools, generating income, and continuing to develop their regions.
  • Development of Women Leaders within buildOn’s International Organization: buildOn views developing female leaders in the countries where we work as essential to empowering women in the developing world. Significant portions of our international staff and global leadership team are women.
  • Empowering U.S. Students to Take Local and Global Action: Urban youth in buildOn’s service learning program are studying issues that affect women globally and learning about inspiring women around the world. Through an intensive curriculum that includes in-the-classroom lessons and experiential service learning, these students are becoming global advocates for women. Many will travel with buildOn this month and throughout the year to build schools in developing countries, helping to educate generations of women and girls.

This month, we’re also rallying a diverse group of 100 women leaders from across the U.S. who are committed to developing female leaders around the world. Each has invested $1,000 to support buildOn’s work to develop female leaders in our project countries. Meet these amazing women and see why they support women across the globe, and please consider joining them by donating to our programs.

Pictured: Women attend an adult literacy class in a buildOn constructed school in Nepal. Many women in the villages where buildOn works were denied access to education as children. Pictured Below: Girls learning in a buildOn constructed school in Haiti. All communities buildOn partners with to build schools make a pledge to send girls to school in equal numbers with boys.