Wednesday, January 28, 2009

View the YAIS Community Center Plans

As The Building Fund moves forward in its project to build a community center at the Young Apostles International School we are excited to share with you the plans for the community center drawn by architects of the Architecture for Humanity Chicago Chapter.

In November, 22 architects from AFH's Chicago Chapter gathered to produce and document several design explorations in response to the programmatic needs of the school/community
center. Upon completion, a team leader (one from each of 3 design teams) was responsible for assembling all sketches, drawings, and diagrams into a consistent format. The end product is a
a printed booklet which will be sent to Ghana for implementation by a local architect and construction team. To view a digital version of the booklet please click here.

In exploring multiple design solutions, the hope was that architects in Ghana will be able to choose from several designs, and have the opportunity to implement select portions from each scheme. The plans feature innovative designs that take into consideration the many challenges facing the school including climate, water access, and various community specific needs. We hope that you will enjoy viewing the designs and will check back here for future updates on the project.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meet Our Blog Team

The Building Fund is happy to introduce its new Blog Team contributors Kate Clabby and Lindsay Colbert. In addition to updates on the organization you can now visit the TBF Blog for the latest news on international education, profiles of organizations, and interviews with key leaders in the field brought to you by the Blog Team!

Kate Clabby
Kate Clabby is a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin, double majoring in Humanities, with a concentration in Women in African Culture and Development, and English. She has interned with the literary journal Farfelu Magazine and Collaboration Theater Company, and she is a writing tutor for freshman honors students. She is also involved with the UT chapter of Oxfam America. Kate plans to continue to work for social justice throughout her life, and she is excited to be a part of The Building Fund's effort to help bring education to all children.

Lindsay Colbert
Lindsay Colbert graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Masters degree in International Development and French. She moved to Chicago to intern with Heartland International, a non-profit organization which designs, implements and manages political, economic and social development projects, as well as international education exchange programs. Previously working with other non-profit organizations in the Midwest, as well as abroad, Lindsay has gained experience in multi-cultural communications and international development projects. Appreciating the importance of education in child development, Lindsay is looking forward to volunteering with The Building Fund and encouraging others to help make a difference.

We look forward to having Kate and Lindsay join our team!!

Education in the Middle East: Improving Lives and Promoting Peace

Greg Mortenson, a former mountain climber, pledged to build his first school in Korphe, Pakistan when he stumbled into the rural village, sick and exhausted, after a failed attempt to summit the mountain K2. After receiving an endowment from the scientist Jean Hoerni, Mortenson founded the Central Asia Institute, which has successfully established 78 schools for children in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. The CAI makes it a priority to learn from the local people, and to help the communities help themselves. Every CAI project is initiated by people in the community, and they are asked to volunteer labor for building the school. Mortenson believes that this policy helps to empower the local people as well as keeping costs low.

Mortenson and the CAI build schools because they care about helping children. Because educating girls has the biggest impact on quality of life for the entire village, they focus on enrolling girls. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, the CAIs work has taken on a greater significance for Americans. In much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only schools available are Islamic madrassas, which are often run by extremist Muslims who use them to advance anti-American agendas and recruit for the Taliban. Mortenson believes that if children are offered options for balanced, moderate education, support for terrorists will eventually evaporate. Therefore, the only sustainable way to fight terror is to improve access to education in the Middle East.

Since its inception, the CAI has expanded to provide women's centers and public health resources in addition to schools, teacher training, and teacher salaries. The New York Times #1 best seller Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time, coauthored by Mortenson and journalist David Oliver Relin, tells the CAI's story.

For more, visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Join Our Blog Team

The Building Fund is seeking volunteers to join its newly formed Blog Team.
The team will work to bring content and fresh ideas to the TBF Blog, while also increasing the visibility and viability of the Blog.

An ideal candidate for the Blog Team will have previous experience working with non-profits and an interest in international education. The position is unpaid, however, after successful tenure on the team individuals will have gained valuable skills and contacts, as well as a familiarity with the workings of a non-profit. TBF is also willing to write recommendations for future internships and jobs.

Responsibilities will include weekly postings that fully communicate current events and news in international education with a focus on Ghana and primary education.

You need:
• a strong interest in international education
• strong blog-style writing skills
• a reliable computer and internet connection
• strong internet research skills

Please submit:
• Your name
• Your contact information
• Your previous experience
• What you do full time
• 2 sample posts that you think should appear on The Building Fund Blog

Please email:
Please use subject line: Blog Team