Empowering Kenyan Communities Through Build Sites

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Written By Alyssa Vandenberg

Build sites in Kenya can hold the key to countless possibilities. Since it is the location of a future school where Kenyan children will be able to receive an education, a build site can generate immense changes in a community. At the build sites, volunteers dig trenches, mix cement, and shape the wire structure of the school. Volunteers then help chisel heavy rocks into bricks before placing them into the cement to create the walls. Each wall can be up to ten feet tall, although volunteers do not make the walls any taller for safety reasons. To ensure that the school will be built properly, Fundis (Kenyan workers) help the volunteers construct the school and monitor their progress.

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Build sites play an essential role in alleviating poverty. In 2002, the Kenyan government announced that primary education would now be free. However, there were not enough schools to accommodate the additional one million children who could now afford to go to school. Building schools gives more Kenyan children the opportunity to receive an education. In fact, one schoolhouse can educate 1,000 students for twenty years! The impact that students will receive from the schoolhouses created on these build sites is unparalleled—according to Free the Children (Human’s of Change’s partnered nonprofit), one year of education can increase a person’s future earning up to 10%, the chance of survival for mothers during childbirth by 5-10%, and life expectancy by 0.6 years. Therefore, build sites not only empower the children who can attend the schools that are built there, but also transform communities as a whole, allowing families the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty through education.

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