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.
Mar 15, 2013

Chief Dreamer Check-In | March 2013

March 3, 2013

Seven years ago on my first trip to Uganda representing Building Tomorrow, I took out a pen and paper as my plane flew South over the Sahara. The sands beneath seemed to stretch forever, painting the skies a warm, mesmerizing orange. This morning, the deep ocean blue one would usually see crossing the Atlantic is shrouded by clouds on my way back to the USA, and though not as picturesque, the temptation to write persists.

Along Building Tomorrow's journey, you have put us on your shoulders and carried us to places I never dreamt of on that first trip. Never is my sense of pride and gratefulness for what you have done as powerful as on the tail end of a visit with our staff and in our communities. I hope you'll allow me to start a new tradition with you—sharing my reflections after this and subsequent visits—giving you a glimpse into Building Tomorrow’s work on-the-ground.

Each trip, I eagerly look forward to dropping in on our communities. On a visit to the Building Tomorrow Academy of Kyeitabya last week, we met with the headmaster, Emmanuel and his team of two other teachers. Just opened, the school has 76 students through P3, though Willy Kajubi, our Education Support Officer will tell you there could easily be 500 students one day. Emmanuel, a fiery twenty-something spoke confidently about the first month of class. Though the challenges are many, he spoke at length about an engaged community and the ‘beautiful classrooms’ that greet students each day.
Today was built yesterday
Affixed to the walls of Emmanuel's office were the usual signs-the national anthem, a school schedule and roles and responsibilities of each teacher. Littered in between were several quotes, one in particular which caught my attention:

"Remember, today was built yesterday."

I thought to myself, that's why we're Building Tomorrow.

With 15 Building Tomorrow Academies built or underway and a desire to scale in the years ahead, much of our week was spent documenting the Building Tomorrow model and walking through how our work can be improved. Guiding us through this highly-technical exercise was our masterful Jack of All Trades, Maggie Kirkpatrick and Country Director Joseph Kaliisa. In total, we spent in upwards of 40 hours debating, writing and offering ideas for conversation.

It was meaty, but timely, too.

As we prepare to welcome a Program Manager to our team to oversee our construction-related activities and ramp up our investment in ensuring the delivery of quality education, the conversation was rich and the final product now much anticipated. In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing this comprehensive document detailing our model with staff and supporters.

Five months ago, we equipped our Community Development Officers (CDOs) with camera phones in hopes of receiving more regular updates of site progress and happenings. At first, I didn’t know if our plan would work given the location of our sites, the lack of electricity and network coverage. But like many times before, I was wrong. A message from Burungu, one of our CDOs hired last year made it to my inbox the night before our all-staff meeting:

The picture in the background is showing you a well-constructed and finished school. Am happy to send you that picture and I think I've moved a step ahead as community development (officer).

Burungu, arriving a bit late from Kidula on Saturday morning brought a pineapple from the site, which we collectively devoured in celebration. His colleagues offered him a round of applause and Burungu went on to speak of how the community expected great things now from their children, far more than they had before Building Tomorrow's work commenced.

These are exciting times at Building Tomorrow. With commitments taking us up to 20 Building Tomorrow academies and a dedication to improving quality inside each classroom, we have a long road ahead—one made all the easier to travel with the support and friendship of all those who believe in our mission.

Onward and upward,
George

Dec 28, 2012

Progress Report: the BT Academy of Kabasegwa

Dec 28, 2012 | Kabasegwa Progress Report
name the BT Academy of Kabasegwa
supported by Kappa Kappa Gamma at UT-Austin
location Kabasegwa, Lyantonde District, Uganda
design 2 distinct classroom blocks
groundbreaking September 21, 2012
status the walls are beginning to take shape




October 2011
Kappa Kappa Gammas at UT-Austin, led by senior Ellie Chernosky, reached their fundraising goal of $45,000 for a new primary school for 325 students in Uganda.






May 2012
In partnership with the community of Kabasegwa, Uganda and the local Ministry of Education, the future Building Tomorrow Academy of Kabasegwa was formally commissioned. Once the donation of land has been finalized, groundbreaking will occur!






September 2012
Building Tomorrow's team in Uganda joined parents, family and friends of future students as they gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of their Academy.







October 2012
The entire community has been working tirelessly since the groundbreaking. From clearing the land to digging the foundation, they've come out in droves to offer their help in any way they can.






October 2012
Truckloads of bricks are delivered regularly to lay the foundation and build the walls of the Academy. A handful of skilled masons, assisted by community volunteers, are ensuring a high standard of construction.






November 2012
The foundation walls have been built up around certain areas of the Academy to account for the slope of the land and ensure a level foundation and floor.







November 2012
With more than 800 bags of cement needed to mix all of the concrete for the foundation, walls and floor of an academy, water is brought in by the wheelbarrow-full and concrete is hand-mixed directly on-site.






December 2012
The community in Kabasegwa has proven to be one of our most active partners ever. To speed up construction and ensure everyone could help, they formed one of many assembly lines to move materials needed to build up the floor.






December 2012
Community volunteers are pouring the foundation and casting the concrete slab floor of the lower classroom block and the walls are beginning to take shape!



Nov 9, 2012

Progress Report: the BT Academy of Kidula


Nov 8, 2012 | Kidula Progress Report
name the Building Tomorrow Academy of Kidula
supported by UNC-Chapel Hill
location Kidula, Luwero District, Uganda
design single row of classrooms
groundbreaking December 30, 2011
status plastering the interior


breaking ground | nov '11
The community of Kidula broke ground on Building Tomorrow’s 12th academy amidst what they described as ‘many, many cheers.’ When local leaders asked the community to start work on Tuesday, they quickly protested. Monday sounded better.





laying the foundation | jun '12
Construction continues like that of a well-oiled machine. The foundation has been set and walls are beginning to take shape. Bricks are brought in by the truck-load and masons are hard at work.




making way for a road | jun '12
Joseph Kaliisa, Building Tomorrow's Uganda Country Director, addresses 30 volunteers on a Wednesday afternoon. Over the course of a week, more than 250 community volunteers show up, without fail, on their assigned day to work. On this particular day, they were clearing the way for a permanent road to the school.



one year later | oct '12
This time last year, UNC students were rounding out the 7,000+ miles to Uganda and wrapping up fundraising for their first BT Academy. Fast-forward one year and UNC is $13,000+ towards their 2nd academy and their first academy is ready for the roof.




raising the roof | oct '12
Timber was delivered on-site this week and construction began on the trusswork to support the roof. Before the tin sheets are attached, the timber will be painted with a sealant to protect it from termite damage.

The Academy is beginning to take its final shape.




heavy rains | nov '12
Although heavy rains have slowed construction, our team is still hard at work. The roof is up and soon they'll be installing windows & doors.





pay it forward | nov '12
Last weekend, 20+ dads worked tirelessly on the nearly completed Academy. In their words, their time has 'expired,' so it's time to 'pay it forward.'

Next up? Plastering, landscaping & finishing touches.


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