Since 2005, Building for Education has been working to provide education facilities in East Africa.


Who we are

Formerly known as Hope Foundation Development NZ, Building for Education is a New Zealand Government registered charitable trust run 100% by volunteers, with no paid staff.

Structurally consisting of an operational board with twice annual review from our governance and advisory board, be* divides its operations into two distinct management sectors:

East African operations: Overseeing project management, research, construction, design and resource allocation.

New Zealand operations: Overseeing fundraising, skilled volunteer management, public and corporate relations and communications.

Governance Board


Dr Jim Bentley - Chairman

Jim Bently has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the infrastructure sector, much of it in water and wastewater services. Having spent 12 years with UK's Thames Water, including 4 years living in Istanbul with responsibility for the company's Turkey/Middle East Business. Jim moved to New Zealand in 2005 and held a number of roles including CEO of Metrowater Ltd, the water utility for central Auckland, CEO of infrastructure services consultancy Synergine Group and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research at the University of Auckland.

Jim moved to Australia in 2016 to becoming Managing Director of Hunter Water Corporation which provides water and wastewater services to nearly 600,000 people in the Greater Newcastle area.

John Blaiklock - Executive Director

Managing Director of a medium sized construction company in NZ and with over two decades of experience managing a nation-wide property portfolio, John BLaiklock brings to be* an intimate understanding of how to help organisations manage and grow their property assets. As a founding trust member, John has 10 years' experience building projects in East Africa.

John Buchan- Project Manager

Director of his own Auckland-based construction company, John brings project management, site assessment and materials sourcing experience to BE* onsite operations.

Anita Woodfield - Financial Director

Anita is a chartered accountant who brings over 20 years of wide-ranging accounting and audit experience. She has worked with a wide range of organisations over the years, from multi-national listed companies through to not-for-profit organisations. She currently works for the Waitangi National Trust as their Corporate Services Manger. Anita has spent time in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and is a passionate about enabling young people yo escape poverty through education. 

Nadine Hill

Nadine has a strong finance background with experience in finance, governance and risk management and currently works for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as an Investment Manager which involves raising capital from global investors for NZ companies. She has a Business Degree from Massey University and has spent 20 years in business and corporate banking, working for both ANZ and Westpac in New Zealand as well as Irish and Italian Banks in the UK. Nadine has a young daughter, which has increased her passion form protecting children in poverty. 



Taking into account the challenging environments in which BE* projects are inevitably situated, accountability and clearly defined management procedures are vital for project success and for parties on both sides of the process.

How does be* identify and approve projects?

With over 10 years' experience working in the challenging aid and development environment of East Africa, Building for Education has been able to establish strong partnerships in East Africa. 

We rely heavily on credible local knowledge to help us identify appropriate prospects. We assess all potential projects and put them through our analysis matrix, a simple but exhaustive set of criteria. We consider a number of factors: location, school governance, community involvement, government accreditation and land ownership, to name a few. These considerations enable us to make strong and effective decisions, both remotely and on the ground in East Africa.

What quality control process does be* undertake on its projects? 

Building for Education provides a project template designed to be flexible in the right areas (such as local geographic conditions and individualised project outcomes) and set in stone other vital areas (such as building design, construction materials and use, stage by stage reporting and timelines). Final quality control and project sign-off is undertaken by a contracted independent party in each territory to avoid corruption and ensure that be* projects meet the highest standards and to ensure longevity.

What is the Charity and Tax Status of be*?

Formerly known as Hope Foundation Development NZ, Building for Education is registered with the NZ Charities Commission – No. CC24028 – and has been granted offshore tax-free status by the Inland Revenue Department in addition to being recognised as a charitable trust.

This means donations are tax deductible for New Zealand tax payers.

Finance policy

At be* our policy is that a minimum of 90% of all project donations will be delivered directly to on-ground projects. be* gives 100% of Small Change donations to the Moindabi project. 


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