Education Is a Vital Human Right
We believe that the best way to eradicate poverty is to ensure that all people have access to a quality education. That’s why buildOn partners with rural communities in developing countries, empowering local residents to build schools, enroll out-of-school children, and educate adult learners.
Schools built in developing countries
Children and adults attend buildOn schools
Volunteer work days contributed by community members
Where We Serve
We build schools in eight of the economically poorest countries on the planet, providing access to education to hundreds of thousands of children, parents, and grandparents.
More than 70 percent of Malawians live below the poverty line of $1.90 a day, and nearly half of all primary school-age children drop out before advancing to secondary school.
students enrolled in school
During the rainy season, students used to struggle to complete their lessons because they used to learn under the trees and in shifts.
Learn More About Malawi Programs
Our Global Movement
Education is a vital human right, yet most of the world’s people living in extreme poverty lack basic education. We’re committed to changing that. In the world’s economically poorest countries, buildOn empowers local residents to take the lead in bringing education and opportunity to their communities.
buildOn works in eight different countries across four continents to build schools with villages that lack adequate classrooms. Oftentimes, students have been learning in huts or under trees in all weather conditions, or they’ve been forced to walk several miles every day to the nearest school. Many have never set foot in a classroom.
Before breaking ground on their school, every community member signs the buildOn Covenant—a solemn promise between buildOn and the village outlining our contribution to the project. We contribute engineering, materials, and skilled labor. Each village provides land, local materials, and the weeks of labor it takes to build the school. Every village also promises to send girls and boys to school in equal numbers.
Once a school is complete, buildOn staff closely monitor and evaluate its success. Communities that continue to honor their Covenant—through a proven commitment to cooperation, education, and gender equality—are considered for second schools.
Our sustainable approach ensures that schools are built with a community, not for a community—because the people we work with are true partners, not recipients of aid.
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The Key Pillars of our Methodology
Before breaking ground on their school, every community member signs the buildOn Covenant—a solemn promise between buildOn and the village outlining our contributions to the project. We contribute engineering, materials, and skilled labor. Each village provides land, local materials, and the weeks of labor it takes to build the school. This approach ensures that schools are built with a community, not for a community.