Our Work

Together, we’re breaking the cycle

Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. We mobilize U.S. students to transform their communities through service learning and change the world by building schools in developing countries.


Where We Work

From America’s most underserved urban high schools to the world’s economically poorest countries, we build hope and opportunity where it’s needed most.

Boston

  • 490 students currently engaged
  • 51 service hours to date
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Bridgeport, CT

  • 1 students currently engaged
  • 353 service hours to date
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Burkina Faso EN

  • 176 schools built
  • 29,353 students enrolled in school
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Chicago

  • 1 students currently engaged
  • 511 service hours to date
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Detroit

  • 2 students currently engaged
  • 388 service hours to date
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Guatemala

  • 85 schools built
  • 11,681 students enrolled in school
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Haiti

  • 196 schools built
  • 48,835 students enrolled in school
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Malawi EN

  • 528 schools built
  • 78,301 students enrolled in school
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Mali

  • 465 schools built
  • 55,105 students enrolled in school
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Nepal

  • 382 schools built
  • 46,668 students enrolled in school
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Oakland

  • 247 students currently engaged
  • 347 service hours to date
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Senegal

  • 358 schools built
  • 41,486 students enrolled in school
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The Bronx

  • 1 students currently engaged
  • 658 service hours to date
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Nicaragua

  • 304 schools built
  • 15,808 students enrolled in school
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  • Global locations

Our Impact

2.5million

Hours served by U.S. students

6716

Students active in buildOn service programs

98%

of buildOn students graduate high school

Our Programs

We empower U.S. youth as they transform their communities, our world, and themselves by serving their neighborhoods and building schools in the economically poorest countries on the planet.

buildOn U.S.

Our Service Learning Programs help U.S. youth identify the issues impacting their communities, and provide opportunities for them to take action and create lasting change. 

30

high schools

6

U.S. cities

WHERE WE SERVE

  • Boston, MA
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Bronx, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Detroit, MI
  • Oakland, CA

buildOn Global

Our Global Education Programs empower people in the world’s economically poorest countries to take the lead in bringing education to their communities by building schools with us.

1889

primary schools

8

Developing Countries

WHERE WE SERVE

  • Burkina Faso
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Senegal

Service is at the heart of everything we do. From America’s underserved urban neighborhoods to the world’s economically poorest rural villages, we empower people to take on the most pressing issues in their communities through direct action. It’s not about what we do for the students and families we serve with, but what they do for their communities, our world, and themselves.

We believe that the people closest to challenges of poverty and illiteracy are best positioned to address these issues. In the U.S., this means empowering youth to investigate the biggest concerns facing their communities and providing opportunities for them to take action. Globally, we don’t build schools for communities, we build schools with communities, putting local residents in leadership roles and employing a construction model that centers on collaborative service.

Khema from Nepal

“After school I want to become a lawyer. There is so much injustice and I want to fight for people’s justice.”

Today, 11-year-old Khema is learning and thriving in the fifth grade, but not long ago a education seemed impossible for Khema and the other children of Dakshin Bhakari, Nepal. With only a dilapidated building to serve as their classroom, many parents in the community kept their children at home to help support their struggling families. Since the village came together to construct a buildOn school, much has changed, and today children like Khema are learning the skills they’ll need to break the cycles of poverty and illiteracy in rural Nepal. “Now all my friends come to school regularly because we are able to study in a child-friendly environment,” Khema says. “I’m grateful for this school.”

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United by a Common Goal buildOn is powered by passionate people committed to eradicating poverty.

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