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buildOn is a global nonprofit that (i) builds schools for early age and adult education; (ii) conducts adult literacy programs; and (iii) provides seed funding into savings and loan schemes that support entrepreneurial endeavors arising from the adult literacy programs.

Since 2001, buildOn has partnered with rural communities in Haiti to increase access to quality education for residents of all backgrounds and identities. Over the past 11 years, 4,431 adults have enrolled in buildOn’s Adult Literacy Program globally, 78% of whom are women. The program develops the agency of participants to affect change in their own communities while acquiring literacy, numeracy, and income-generating skills. Adult Literacy Program participants are encouraged to utilize these skills to start businesses that will strengthen their communities. In many cases, participants collectively establish a savings and loans programs, seeded by buildOn, to help launch these entrepreneurial endeavors and lend to others in their communities to do the same.

Why We Invested

After an earthquake devastated southern regions of the country in August 2021, WoWE grant invested into buildOn’s Adult Literacy Program to help rebuild resilience in these communities. buildOn was compelling because of their track record of success in Haiti (and globally) but also because of its strong alignment with WoWE’s values and approach to driving change. Gender equality is incorporated throughout the entire organization; Women and men equally participate in laying bricks for school construction, attending literacy classes, and holding decision-making positions. Improving access to education and capital are also upstream interventions that create lasting change where women are equal participants in their communities and economies, and if managed well, can be self-sustaining. 

Impact Sector: Education, Economic Opportunity
Deal Type: Grant Investment
Region: Haiti

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