Building Tomorrow, Inc.

Building Tomorrow envisions a world where every child with a desire to learn has a safe, permanent and local place to do so. Working towards this goal, Building Tomorrow empowers young people to invest their resources, time and talents in providing students in East Africa with access to an education.
Jan 2, 2014

We're not just building schools anymore.

We’re partnering, empowering, innovating, sharing and learning every step of the way as we work to provide access to a quality education for hard-to-reach students and communities across rural Uganda.

And to kick-off 2014, we wanted to highlight a number of new projects, supporters and exciting developments to our model from the past year. All of which you (yes, you) make possible. Reading our updates, sharing our story, and making a donation through GlobalGiving go a long way towards catalyzing real change and providing incredible opportunity for our partner communities in Uganda.

Take a look:

Partnering

We partnered with the Varkey GEMS Foundation to provide training and resources for our teachers in Uganda. In September, two head teachers from Building Tomorrow academies and one of our staff members were selected to participate in a week-long workshop hosted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation. Keep reading...

Empowering

“My goal for Building Tomorrow at Pinecrest is not only to raise money to build a classroom but to raise awareness about how privileged we are to have the opportunity to go to school.”
- Maddie Dyer, Sophomore at Pinecrest High School

Maddie approached Building Tomorrow this past summer about getting involved. Her sister, Heather, has been involved with our chapter at UNC-Chapel Hill for years now. “When my sister first told me about Building Tomorrow, I became very interested. I spent lots of time researching the organization and very quickly became extremely passionate about the project… I have come to realize how fortunate I really am to be receiving an education.” Throughout the semester, Maddie has been rallying together a group of students to help raise funds and awareness for the construction of a classroom in Uganda. Keep reading...

Innovating

On a site visit earlier this year, Henry Katongole, now our Chief Community Development Officer brought me over to a foundation wall that had just been started. Strewn about the site were all the materials and tools one would usually see, a pile of bricks, bags of cement, string, a level and then a particularly-long metal bar a mason had just picked up. He positioned it horizontally and checked it against the three new bricks he’d just set. As I continued to watch, Henry looked over and said, “this is our latest innovation.” Keep reading...

Sharing

If you were to ask any member of our team, I am confident they would agree with the sentiment that one of Building Tomorrow’s greatest strengths as an organization is our willingness – eagerness, truly – to critically review every aspect of our model; constantly seeking out opportunities for improvement, no matter how large or small. And over the years, our community partners, staff and supporters have gone above and beyond, proving time and again their commitment to the shared belief that every child deserves the opportunity to learn in a safe, supportive and high quality learning environment.

Teachers are sharing best practices within their own networks, parents are taking an active role in the education of their children, and government officials are lobbying hard for support beyond what was initially committed. But it’s not been an easy process and we most certainly did not get where we are today without facing our fair share of challenges.

All that said and done, we have learned an incredible amount along the way. So much so that last year we embarked on a project to document, in great detail, the evolution of Building Tomorrow’s model from 2006 to 2012 and outline a step-by-step look at our programs, policies, and overall quality of education strategy moving forward in 2013. Keep reading...

Learning

In 2011, Uwezo-Uganda collected data indicating the percentage of P3-P7 students competent in English, Math, and both. On average, in districts where BT is active, less than 42 percent were competent in English, 58 percent in Math and 34 percent in both.

In our own experience, it goes without saying that rural public education—both access to and the quality of—remains one of the biggest challenges facing the post-2015 international development agenda. The flow of education-related capital, human resources, training and oversight to rural communities lags far behind the curve, and even further behind where it needs to be. Keep reading...

Oct 24, 2013

Chief Dreamer Check-In | October 2013

The buzz words 'monitoring and evaluation,' have become so hip within international development organizations we've coined them a nickname: 'M&E.' No doubt, it is a critical function in assessing the impact of a particular model and one in which Building Tomorrow practices. But as this latest trip reinforced, we'd be remiss to expect only statistics, percentages, and numbers to define our work; there's more to the story.

Statistics overlook the story of Muganga Nasanaili, a thin-figured, reserved lifetime resident of Mabaale who himself never had the chance to attend primary school. Vincent, our Community Development Officer (CDO) posted to Mabaale asked him to come forward just as a building committee meeting wrapped up.



"This man, he is an inspiration to me," Vincent said as he held up Muganga's callous-ridden hands. "You see, not only did he give us the land on which we are building this structure, but he has been here working each and every day without fail." Muganga and Vincent embraced in what is now one of my favorite Building Tomorrow images.

Percentages fail to capture the ingenuity of William, another one of our CDO's who after two hours of visiting his soon-to-be-completed Bugabo site, insisted that I go see the pit latrine. Reluctantly, thinking there could be nothing different about this pit latrine than the countless others I've seen before, I followed William. Steps later, he turned around, beaming.

"I designed this toilet," William said. "I've heard parents and students saying we need to make the latrine even more private, so I added a return wall on this side for girls, and on this side for boys for this purpose."


William's emphasis on ensuring an instilled sense of dignity for each future student didn't end there - he outfitted Bugabo with a wheelchair-accessible ramp and proudly asserted that every Building Tomorrow site to come will not be considered done until it too has a ramp.

Numbers don't capture the moment a handful of children at our future Building Tomorrow Academy of Kabasegwa shared with another as they cautiously moved toward our parked car, nestled under the shade of a jackfruit tree. Standing inside one of the classrooms, I knelt down as their forward progress would cease if they looked around and spotted anyone watching their harmless inquiry.

At first, one by one, the children made faces at the back window of the car. After each, they laughed hysterically. The younger ones discovered the same phenomenon looking eye-level with the body of our car, one daring enough to reach their hand out and make contact in a scene reminiscent of E.T. Half the crowd turned away unsure of what would happen, the other grew wide-eyed when nothing did. Peering out of a hole left in the wall for a window, I realized it was likely long before I first entered a classroom that I'd had the chance to see my reflection in a mirror.



Indeed, I learned, this was a first for many at Kabasegwa that day.

I've always believed the work of social change is peppered with split seconds of fulfillment - unexpected, goose bump-inducing moments that reaffirm the sometimes crazy notion that a small group of committed individuals can make an incredible impact. Indeed, the work of Building Tomorrow continues to prove as much, with statistics, percentages, numbers and a whole, whole lot more.

Onward and upward,
George

Sep 6, 2013

BT Academy of Lukindu is Open!

the BT Academy of Lukindu
the BT Academy of Lukindu

BT Academy of Lukindu is Open!       

This summer, Building Tomorrow celebrated the opening of its 12th academy, the BT Academy of Lukindu, with a joyous commissioning ceremony. Should you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these cermonies, you will feel the sense of accomplishment and achievement shared by the members of the community. Following a celebration with speeches, dancing and gratitude, the community shared delicious food to commemorate the opening of the school. 

We are grateful to the Segal Family Foundation for their generous support of the BT Academy of Lukindu.

Currently, Building Tomorrow has 12 schools open in Uganda and another 7 under construction or undergoing site-planning. Be sure to check out our Building Tomorrow Academies webpage for all the details and updates on each of these schools.

As always, thank you for supporting our vision of a world where every child with a desire to learn has a safe, permanent, and local place to do so.  

Webale Nyo!



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