Q & A

Q: What does BE do?

A: Building for Education funds and oversees the building of educational facilities for poor communities in East Africa. Have a browse through other sections of this website to learn about projects we have been working on, the communities we’re working alongside and how our governance system is set up.

Q: Why build educational facilities?

A: 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 is a major key in empowering a new generation to build their own future free from poverty. Learn more here.

Q: Is BE*’s only focus on building schools?

A: While the heart of BE* is dedicated to providing buildings that house educational facilities, sometimes the scope of our work extends to improving other essential services such as water, sanitation and security. In Moi Ndabi for example, the first stage of our project involves building a water distribution system so children can spend more time actually going to school rather than hauling water all day.

Q: Who is BE*?

A: BE* is manned by a team of volunteers from builders, students and radio producers to CEOs and accountants, (a surprising proportion of whom are named John). Meet our governance board over here.

Q: How does BE* manage to give 100% of donations to the project?

A: BE* is staffed entirely by part-time volunteers, passionate about making a difference for communities in East Africa. Occasionally donations are also given specifically for the purposes of marketing and administration, which help go toward costs such as printing or bank fees. All funds donated as part of the Small Change campaign however are sent to East Africa to cover building costs. Where possible we always use local labour and resources to complete the work, contributing further to the economy of the community.

Q: How can I get a Tax receipt?

A: Email us at accounts@be.org.nz and we’ll sort one out for you.
If you can, let us know the reference you used in your AP, or the day your first donation went out, so we can make sure we get it right.

Q: Why just $1 a week?

A: Small Change is about a lot of people doing a little bit to make a big difference. $1 is an easy and affordable amount, making it possible for almost anyone to be part of it.

Q: Can I donate more than $1 a week?

A: Of course! If you’d like to support BE* with ongoing contributions of more than $1 via the Small Change programme, just set your automatic payment to your desired amount. Alternatively if you’d like to give a once off larger donation earmarked for a specific project or cause contact us, or click here to donate.

Q: Can I contribute towards BE*’s admin cost?

A: Yes please! BE* is determined to ensure 100% of donations to projects are spent on the actual projects, so we are always grateful for the occasional gift specifically designated for administration. To do so, head over to our donations page, or contact us.

Q: How can I keep updated about what’s happening with Small Change projects?

A: We’re not into filling up your inbox with weekly emails, but we’d love to share our journey with you as much as possible, so make sure you follow us on our facebook page – 
www.facebook.com/BuildingforEducation where we’ll be posting photos and updates when we can.

Q: How can I promote small change?

A: The more people on board with Small Change, the more we can make a difference, so we need all the help we can get to spread the word! If you’re keen to get out there and get your mates, and their mates involved, let us know so we can send you some pocket sized brochures to help promote the cause.

Q: What is the Charity and Tax Status of BE*?

A: 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 deductable for New Zealand tax payers.

Q: How does BE* identify and approve projects?

A: 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.

Q: What quality control process does BE* undertake on its projects? 

A: 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.