Celebrating 25 Years and 1,000 Schools Built with Our Partner GE

As buildOn continues to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we are also celebrating another important milestone: the completion of our 1,000th school!

The new buildOn school in Nerane Diarere, Senegal, will empower a rural community to lift themselves out of poverty through service and education. The school includes three classrooms and three gender-specific latrines and is furnished with desks, chairs, and permanent chalkboards. Like all buildOn schools, this project was constructed in true partnership with the local community. The village’s men and women contributed equally to construction and project leadership, logging 1,633 volunteer work days, and the community has pledged to send their daughters to school in equal numbers with their sons.

Since 1991, buildOn has mobilized rural communities like Nerane Diarere to create educational opportunities in some of the economically poorest countries on the planet. From the beginning, our partner GE has worked hand-in-hand with buildOn to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations. That’s why we’re pleased to dedicate our 1,000th school to GE in honor of twenty-five years of support for our movement. GE’s two-and-a-half decades of support has helped more than 2 million children, parents and grandparents attend buildOn schools in nine developing countries.

Earlier this month, a GE team traveled to Nerane Diarere to inaugurate the new school in honor of buildOn’s 25th Anniversary. While in Senegal, the team also broke ground on a new buildOn school, working in partnership with the parents and grandparents whose children will benefit from the school. In the spirit of solidarity, the team also stayed with host families in the village – sleeping in mud huts with no running water or electricity. Members of the team included: Robert Green, Jennifer Vanbelle, Alexander Hails, Kora-lynah Abelard, Sydney Baker, Gabriella Pettinichi, Kelly Fitzwater, Sarah Byrne, and Constance du Cauze de Nazelle.

Check out these amazing photos captured by photographer Tara Rice as she chronicled this milestone trek in buildOn’s twenty-five years of breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.


The team arrived in Senegal, greeted by excited children and parents who will have the opportunity to learn in the new school.







The team GE employees visited the 1,000th school and got to see first-hand the impact GE’s support has made on thousands of children in the developing world.

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The trip was more than a celebration of past achievements. The team also broke ground on a brand new school in Keur Bano Gory, Senegal, where they lived with and worked in solidarity alongside villagers.