Building for Education funds and oversees the building of educational facilities for poor communities in East Africa. Our core projects provide buildings for schools, though where required we will also fund the provision of essential services such as water supply and sanitation for our buildings.
We partner with established education providers in East Africa to identify needs that can be met by the types of projects we deliver. Our relationships with our partners give us certainty over key developing world issues like land rights and quality of construction.
To facilitate lasting change through the provision of educational facilities for poor communities in East Africa.
Projects are built around a template designed to be flexible in the right areas and set in stone in other vital areas. Final quality control and project sign-off is undertaken by a contracted independent party in each territory to avoid corruption and to ensure that be* projects meet the highest standards and to ensure longevity.
We focus on what we’re good at – funding buildings and not the running costs of a school. For example, we do not pay teachers’ salaries, provide teaching resources or curriculum schemes, but we may fund building maintenance to ensure the assets we provide are looked after.
Where We Work
Where We Work
Building for Education is currently focusing its efforts on East Africa – in particular, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. As well as containing some of the most poverty-stricken countries on earth, the East African region also operates as a united economic community, making regional operations within the East African Community a lot easier.
Population: 40.5 million
Languages: Swahili, English
GDP Per Capita (PPP): $1.69
Kenya’s landscape is diverse, from the arid north, to the tropical Indian Ocean coastline and low plains in the east rising to snow capped mountains in the west separated by the Great Rift Valley which runs the length of the country.
A financial hub for East and Central Africa, Kenya boasts the community’s largest GDP, supported by export of tea, coffee and fresh flowers, and rapidly growing tourism and telecommunications industries. Despite this, factors such as poor infrastructure mean that 40% of Kenyans still live below the poverty line.
Kenya is home to an estimated 42 different people groups, speaking 69 different languages and living in communities from extremely remote tribal villages to densely populated urban environments, including Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums.
Population: 44.8 million
Languages: Swahili, English
GDP Per Capita (PPP): $1.43
The United Republic of Tanzania formed with the union of the two formerly independent nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which joined in 1964. Tanzania’s population consists of over 130 tribal groups, as well as small Arab, Asian and European populations.
In the north sits Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, while world famous wildlife parks including the Ngorogoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Gombe National Park are also situated within the nations borders. The picturesque islands of Zanzibar with its ancient Stone Town settlement lay just off the eastern coast in the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania’s economy is primarily agriculturally based, though exports of natural gas, minerals and the rare gemstone Tanzanite are growing. In the bottom 10% of the world’s economies, the nation’s extreme poverty is offset by one of Africa’s most stable governments and a relative absence of corruption.
Population: 33.8 million
Languages: Swahili, English
GDP Per Capita (PPP): $1.27
Home to Africa’s highest mountain range and the source of the Nile River, landlocked Uganda is situated high on the East African Plateau. A significant portion of the landscape is dominated by lakes and marshlands.
Coffee bean exports account for a large portion of the economy, although increasing development in service sectors and the recent discovery of crude oil could give GDP a much-needed boost.
Officially the Republic of Uganda, the country was formed from a diverse population of tribal groups and kingdoms, and today is politically divided into 5 traditional kingdoms and over 100 districts. Crippled by a long history of civil war and rebel uprisings including the violent dictatorial reign of Idi Amin during the 1970s, Uganda is finally entering a more peaceful stage of its recent history.
How We Work
How We Work
be* works alongside education providers in East Africa who meet a strict set of risk management criteria that identifies issues like school management, maintenance, accreditation, staffing and curriculum. be* steers clear of any involvement with the day to day running of schools, but these criteria do give a good indication as to whether potential partners are going to provide an effective platform for investment – part of due diligence in ensuring every dollar we raise is spent in the smartest way possible.
A typical be* project consists of multiple stages:
VIEW OUR PROJECTS HERE
Developing nations face a number of hurdles in their journey from poverty and dependence on foreign aid through to self-reliance and economic and governmental stability. Access to education for the next generation is a major key to progress, and while figures indicate steadily rising percentages of children in primary school worldwide, it’s also clear Sub-Saharan Africa is drastically lagging behind the rest of the world.
Lack of resources has been identified as a major barrier to keeping up with the demand for education. For example, many established schools suffer from a dramatic lack of classroom space – seriously affecting their ability to teach as many kids as possible. For those children who are lucky enough to be able to enrol in, and complete, a primary level education, the chances of secondary level education then being available to them are extremely limited.
be*’s mission of providing ‘bricks and mortar’ help in the shape of classrooms and facilities means that schools can get on with the job of education, bringing long term change, knowledge and an expanded skills base to their growing nations.
*UNESCO Global Education Digest 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
**Nannyonjo, Harriet. World Bank Working Paper No. 98. “Education Inputs in Uganda: An Analysis of Factors Influencing Learning Achievement in Grade Six.” The World Bank. 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
Formerly known as Hope Foundation Development NZ, Building for Education is a New Zealand Government registered charitable trust overseen 100% volunteers. Structurally consisting of an operational board with twice annual review from a select 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.
Dr Jim Bentley - Chairman
CEO of the Synergine Group and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research, Jim Bently brings a wealth of international governance and infrastructure development to BE*. Holding key portfolios for Thames Water throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East prior to helming MetroWater. Jim has a proven track-record in the management and growth of complex organisations.
John Blaiklock - Executive Director
With over two decades of experience in 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.
John Buchan- Project Manager
Director of his own Auckland-based construction company, John brings his essential project management, site assessment and materials sourcing experience to BE* onsite operations.
Anita Woodfield - Financial Director
Previously chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young, Anita brings over 15 years of wide-ranging accounting and audit experience in NZ, the UK and the USA to Building for Education, including roles with a number of charitable organisations, start-up companies and NZX listed groups.
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.
After five years of vital experience working in the challenging aid and development environment of East Africa, Building for Education has developed into an organisation with a strong focus on constructing a type of building with a narrowly defined situation – making the task of identifying suitable projects and partner organisations a lot easier.
Having already established strong partnerships in East Africa, we rely heavily on credible local knowledge to help us identify appropriate prospects and then put them through our risk management matrix, a simple but exhaustive set of criteria – covering issues like location, school governance, community involvement, government accreditation, local contractor skill and more – to help us make strong and effective decisions, both remotely and on the ground in East Africa.
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.
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.
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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"They have agreed to partner with our community in the challenges we are facing, and even letting others (such as St Kentigern College in Auckland) understand what we are going through. Building for Education has revived our hope, because now through their assistance we now have our Secondary School functioning. be*is now commencing assisting us with building a water project, centred in making our school sustainable, which will benefit the students and the community in its economic activities. We appreciate the way be* has worked with us in their initial extensive research, and shared with us their suggestions as we have planned together. This has built real trust amongst us concerning their personnel. Their regular visits to our community have resulted in optimism and a rising hope that people far from us in New Zealand, and other countries, are thinking about our struggle. They are willing to partner with the people of Moindabi to achieve our dream, of a stronger, better educated community."
"The community appreciates the construction of the school that be* built for us a few years ago. Surely the 400 odd children who are now taught in the new classrooms, out of the extreme weather that they were in, are very thankful. Now their performance has greatly improved, due to the 12 new classrooms that be* constructed for us. When some of our earlier classrooms were destroyed in a huge fire that swept through our region, and all of the school’s books and learning materials were lost, we were supported by be*’s financial assistance. Some of the orphaned and vulnerable children have been able to get their high school certificates through the assistance of be*’s ongoing support. We have a great relationship with be* and their people."