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Why are We Building Tomorrow?

“The world is facing a hidden and silent emergency in education…Cameras will never capture children going hungry for want of education, or lives devastated for want of learning. Yet there is overwhelming evidence that disadvantage in education costs lives, undermines economic growth, fuels youth unemployment, and reinforces national and global inequalities.”

Gordon Brown, Former British Prime Minister
The Case for a Global Fund for Education

We are working to overcome this disadvantage.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 31 million children in sub-Saharan Africa wake up each morning without a school to attend. In line with the 2nd Millennium Development Goal, many countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa have initiated Universal Primary Education (UPE) programs guaranteeing a free education to every child, yet are plagued with chronic classroom shortages as they lack the means to construct enough schools to meet the demand. In many cases, this results in students walking miles to get to a “school” in a neighboring community, scribbling their lessons in the dirt for lack of proper learning materials or even gathering under a tree to learn.

Last year, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) released a “Learning out of Poverty” infographic. In agreement with Brown’s report, it describes the multiplier effect of education as it relates to health, economic growth and poverty reduction. According to USAID:

  • A child born to an educated mother is more than 2x as likely to survive to age five.
  • Educated mothers are 50% more likely to immunize their children than mothers without an education.
  • Every extra year of school increases productivity by 10-30%.
  • Individual earnings increase by 10% for each year of school completed.
  • A girl who completes basic education is 3x less likely to contracts HIV/AIDS.
  • Educated women re-invest 90% of their income in their family. Men invest 30-40%.

Furthermore, we’ve seen firsthand that there is a “twin crisis in access to school and learning in school.”

Brown’s report states that, “One of the reasons that so many children drop out of school after the early grades is that they have not mastered the basic reading and numeracy skills that they need to progress to higher levels. And many parents keep their children out of school because they know that education systems are failing their children. It follows from this that we have to simultaneously tackle both parts of the crisis. We need to remove the barriers and structural inequalities that deny so many children a fair chance, while at the same time reforming education systems to raise learning achievement levels.”

Building Tomorrow is doing just that.

In September 2014, we increased our commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to improve both access to and quality of education in East Africa through Educate51k, our five year, $12 million plan to provide a safe, local, permanent, quality and supportive learning environment for 50,980 out-of-school children in rural communities across Uganda.

Investing in Education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty.” By partnering directly with local communities, leadership, teachers and the Ministry of Education, our goal is to not only provide our students with a safe, permanent and local place to learn but also with the opportunity and skills they need to succeed beyond the classroom.

$52 = one day of school for a student in the US, one year for a student in Uganda