May 14, 2014

Schools 15-20 | Construction Updates & Photos from Uganda!

Visit our website & Flickr for weekly construction updates. Latest news below!

BT's future primary school in Mayira celebrated its formal groundbreaking on Tuesday, April 29  and things are off to a great start! The community has had a strong showing of volunteers on-site each day this week and the team is making steady progress.

Foundation work continues at Kibimba where they are finishing the veranda of one classroom block while they just completed back-filling the foundation of the second and are getting ready to lay down the concrete slab for the floor. The latrines are also under construction and currently about 10 feet deep.

The team is finishing up the roof on the upper classroom block and making good progress plastering the exterior of the lower block.

With the upper classroom block nearly complete, the construction team is plastering the walls of the lower block and the door and window frames are receiving finishing touches. Two classrooms in the lower block are finished.

Heavy rains have caused slight delays at Butiti as walling work has been paused. However, the team picked things back up earlier this week and have started walling the exterior of the classrooms. So far the walls are up to about 4 1/2 feet tall.

Mar 13, 2014

The BT Academy of Kabasegwa is open for class!

Announcing...the BT Academy of Kabasegwa!

12 March 2014  |  In the remote village of Kabasegwa, Uganda, where there once existed little more than a grass-thatched hut, now stands a ten-room brick school-house, thanks in large part to the hard work, tireless enthusiasm, and incredible generosity of the University of Texas-Austin chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Their fundraising and outreach efforts enabled Building Tomorrow to partner with eight communities in Uganda’s Lyantonde District to provide access to a quality education for hundreds of out-of-school children. And early last Friday morning, amidst a crowd of 500+ parents, family members, friends, government officials and local leaders, we celebrated the opening of their school: the Building Tomorrow Academy of Kabasegwa.

In line with recent updates to our model, the Academy is what we consider a public/private hybrid. Private, because parents have committed to making contributions to the school each term to fund a nursery (pre-K) teacher, supplemental classroom materials, and daily meals for students. And public, because it's considered to be ‘government-aided’ by the Ugandan Ministry of Education & Sports, meaning that they fund salaries for primary-level (P1-P7) teachers but they’re not the ‘founding body’ of the school. Teachers have likewise been posted by the government, and a member of our staff, Willy (who serves as our Education Support Officer) interviewed and approved their hiring. He is also providing ongoing training opportunities.

In short, the community couldn't be more supportive or excited. And starting this past Monday, students and teachers reported for their first day of class.

at a glance

Where in the world is Kabasegwa? supported by  |  Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Texas-Austin
district  |  Lyantonde District
site managed by  |  Jjumba Cyprian
building committee chair  |  Perez Mwesigye
groundbreaking  |  Sep 21, 2012
first day of class  |  Mar 10, 2014


in pictures

from the chairman

"Today is a happy day because we celebrate the work that has been done here. For us to have a school here, us now here in Kabasegwa have a degree. Our students must be well looked after in buildings as well built as these.

When you own a banana plantation, you don't only look at the leaves and disregard the fruit. So with this school, parents, we don't just look at this school and say we are finished. No. We use this as an impetus, a fire behind us to do more. When we close here don't go. There's good food to eat and big plans to be made."

- Perez Mwesigye
Chairman, BT Academy of Kabasegwa Community Building Committee

the BT Academy of Kabasegwa

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:


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...


“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...


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...


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...


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...

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