Members of the Movement: Nathan Chandra
At buildOn, we celebrate the creative and adventurous steps that members of the buildOn movement take to support education and service at home and abroad. Our ‘Members of the Movement’ series highlights the vital work of these supporters are doing to help empower youth and end the education crisis. Team Hollywood is comprised of members from the Los Angeles community and the entertainment industry who are fundraising to build three schools – one each in Malawi, Nepal and Haiti – with buildOn. Here Nathan Chandra, a member of Team Hollywood and buildOn supporter, shares his team’s goals and his commitment to improving access to education abroad.
Why I’m Committed to Building Three Schools This Year
This year, I have partnered with buildOn to help construct three schools in a few of the most economically disadvantaged places in the world. A group of my peers and I have formed a team that will help provide the gift of education to rural villagers in remote communities around the globe. We are raising funds to travel to Malawi and Nepal to work hand-in-hand with villagers to build two of these schools. Our efforts will also make it possible for high school students from buildOn’s service learning program in Detroit to travel to Haiti as part of buildOn’s “Trek for Knowledge” program. These students from one of the most challenging urban areas in the United States will help construct another school there.
After we return home, buildOn will continue to partner with the local governments and ministries of education in these countries to ensure the success of the new schools.
This project will be life-changing for everyone involved. Villagers will receive improved access to education, which will revolutionize their quality of life for years to come. The people traveling to these villages will experience life from another perspective and enjoy being of service to others. Being a part of this fulfilling experience will impact my life in many positive ways. Below are four reasons (from a long list) as to why I committed to this project.
Service Strengthens Community
I have witnessed such growth in the bond of the community of people involved since we began this project. It has not only further united my immediate group of peers who are making the trip, but also the larger group of supporters rallying around us to make this mission possible. Working together as a unit has helped us strengthen relationships. It will allow us get to know one another on a deeper level and has created a bond among us that will last a lifetime.
Personal Growth and Self Esteem
I believe that personal and social transformations go hand-in-hand. Since I joined this mission, I have already had to overcome personal blocks that were holding me back. Initially, I had difficulty raising money and asking for donations. I decided to tackle this challenge and pressed send on an email that went out to over a thousand people. There was an immediate shift in energy. Not only did I receive positive and supportive responses, I am now able to stand stronger behind my mission. It’s such a great reminder that sometimes things seem difficult because we’ve never done them before, but we surprise ourselves once we make that leap of faith. I know this project will provide many others opportunities for growth and I welcome them eagerly.
The schools that Team Hollywood is fundraising for will benefit hundreds of children, including students like these from rural Nepal.
Being a Role Model
If my deeds can have a positive impact on the world, then I can be a positive role model in my community. I have taken steps to put my words into action and have transitioned from talking about the idea of being of service to actually being of service. There is a quote from Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith, that helped me make this transformational change. “Say: o brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”
Making a Difference
As I grow as a human being, I strive to impact other peoples’ lives. Many of the adults that I will be working alongside in these villages cannot read, write or even sign their own name. buildOn states that “in developing countries 57 million children of primary age have no access to classrooms at all.” This fact makes me feel sick inside and building schools will help improve this situation. It is important to me that my efforts make an impact in the lives of these villagers for generations to come and continue to positively motivate change in the world.
Nathan Chandra is a co-Founder and CEO of WeLink. He is a creative entrepreneur who has successfully started companies in the technology, legal and music industries. Mr. Chandra holds an MBA from Pepperdine University. Prior to his entrepreneurial adventures in technology Nathan was hip-hop artist and music producer. In his spare time Nathan focuses on humanitarian projects and has joined Team Hollywood to help build three schools with buildOn in some of the most economically disadvantaged places in the world with buildOn.