NGO Spotlight: Build Change

When natural disasters strike poor countries, volunteers building homes are a familiar sight. People pour into the afflicted country with good intentions and the desire to help; but it is difficult to create lasting change with a week-long visit. Build Change wants to change the way we approach infrastructure after a disaster.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed an estimated 200,000 people. Millions of dollars in donations flooded the country, but there was much speculation about whether the funds were being used wisely or efficiently. Build Change believes that rather than spending time and money on building shelters for disaster survivors, NGOs can better serve the population by providing training for locals who can then rebuild their own communities. In Haiti, Build Change provides intensive courses for locals who want to start a career in construction, as well as training for Haitians who already have a background in building.

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So far, the nonprofit claims to have contributed to the construction of 48,000 earthquake-safe buildings. Although the Haitian earthquake was only considered to be “moderate”, the homes and schools in Haiti were not built to withstand natural disasters. One of Build Change’s major projects is to prevent such loss of lives and homes from happening again by providing building design training to vulnerable populations.

Build Change’s new initiative is a big one: they hope to reach 10 million people in the next ten years with their programs. If you want to learn more about how you can help, go to Build Change’s Universal Giving page.

 

 

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