Why We Do What We Do – A BT Intern’s point of view


The number of charities and organizations representing various causes can be overwhelming. The search term “non-profit organizations” itself gets 38,800,000 hits on Google. So it’s reasonable for me to consider my position, giving up my summer for no pay as an intern at one of those establishments, and ask myself a fundamental question. “Why?” Among all the things one could devote herself to, is building schools in a country all the way across the ocean actually important? Is it necessary? Is it worth it? And why Building Tomorrow?

Our global society has largely concluded that education is a top priority. In fact, the United Nations counts education as an inherent human right and declared that at least primary education shall be free and compulsory for everyone. Research has found that in countries where the population is educated, the economy is more likely to be prosperous and the society just, with fewer regional disparities in those areas. For this reason, it is Building Tomorrow’s mission to equip young people with an education so that they can unlock their own potential and work towards a brighter future. And this is not at all a short-sighted goal. Educating one person yields returns far beyond those of the individual student. The US Agency for International Development has proven that a parent’s ability to read is one of the most important factors in determining their child’s level of literacy. This is how our organization knows that when we provide one child with access to education, we do so with certainty that its effect will be multiplied.

So education is important. Awesome. But 38 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa are still denied this inherent human right. Is building schools the right way to address the issue?

Think about this: there are plenty of children who are eager to go to school, but have other factors working against them. They are forced to compare the benefits of school to obstacles such as distance, safety, and time. Giving a community the resources to build a safe and accesible building with facilities as simple (and equally as crucial) as a bathroom, can make getting an education a feasible option for many children and their families.

Education is important. To make that education obtainable, schools are necessary. And if I can improve another person’s life by building that infrastructure, then working at Building Tomorrow is definitely worth it.

Here’s a bonus resource on this topic »

-Estelle Rousseau
Building Tomorrow Social Media Intern
The College of William & Mary – Class of 2014

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