Let’s Build A School

Lena Baunsgard, Director of Planet Changer

Nakalado needs a new school.

In this classroom 50 children sit on the dirt floor of an old pig pen to attend classes. There are hundreds of children in this community who attend this school. We at Planet Changer have been a presence in this community for over 10 years, as they were selected as one of the first to receive one of our cistern wells (pictured below still running clean, image taken Feb 22, 2024). We have brought several groups of visitors and they have been extremely hospitable. When the head teacher presented to us their students and their joyful welcome, he also shared their plea, they are long overdue a new school building and latrines for students. This message was echoed by many.

When we entered the newest of their classrooms (presented in image above where I am speaking), I knew it had not changed in the past 4 years since my last visit. I also could see on the teachers faces a fear that my words would be empty. We even visited their dying elder of the community, a man I remembered as having been in better health 4 years ago, and he made the same request, “Build us a school and latrines!”

My friends, the time is now. There is no reason why this community where there are hundreds of healthy children trying to learn, a place where they have had clean water for over a decade, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have a nice school. It doesn’t have to be outrageous or fantastical. It needs to be clean and functional. They need to not sit on dirt floors. They only ask for meager wooden desks, simply and locally made. They deserve chalkboards that are not broken. They deserve lesson books for students (which literally cost $5 a piece). They are asking to demolish the old pig pen their kids are learning in and put up a solid and “modern” structure that can provide protection from rain and empower learning.

Wouldn’t you want this for your children?

Let’s come together and inspire hope for this beautiful community. The teachers work hard. The students desire learning. The families want hope for a better tomorrow. We will soon have the figures available to plan funding, but we are tentatively asking to raise $40k. Together we can get this project started and we can show this community that they are not forgotten.

Planet Project Funded | Community Tube Well, Nepal

A community tube well, often serves 6 to 10 families. Typically, this is the first time in their lives that these families have access to a deep well that provides clean water. The impact on their lives is dramatic. The clean water improves the health of the individuals in the community. Children who were collecting water all day long for their families can now go to school. Women are able to better care for their children and even contribute to the family’s income, rather than spend innumerable weekly hours carrying water. Local technicians have been trained in sound well-drilling practices. This ensures wells are constructed properly, are sealed (preventing contamination) and provide clean water from a deep source. In addition, selected community members receive system maintenance and repair training to ensure sustainability of the project.

This fully funded project brought clean water to a remove village in Nepal. It included material cost, local labor for installation, and associated education programs to the village (sanitation, system maintenance and repair, etc.).

Planet Project Funded | Family Support, Haiti

$500 worth of Haitian handcrafted jewelry was sold at an event. 100% of the proceeds went directly to the 16 ladies who created the pieces and the program that provides their education, material, and work space. Supporting their livelihood allows the ladies to achieve financial stability and care for their families. Women in this program have literally been able to bring their children, who were living with extended family, home again to care for them.

Planet Project Funded | School Sponsorships, Cite Soleil Haiti

Cité Soleil is one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of the biggest slums in the Northern Hemisphere. It has virtually no sewers, electricity, stores, health care facilities or public schools. Families often do not have food for the day or money to purchase necessities.

This fully funded project includes annual tuition and two meals a day for children in families who are otherwise unable to care for them. Without this assistance, these children are at risk of being given to another family as a restavek (child laborer) in the hope that they may be better fed and educated; or they may be given to an orphanage out of desperation.

Haitians value education and that is especially true for those that live in places like Cité Soleil. Haitian parents want their children to attend school because they want a better life for them. They want them to be prepared to get a job and take advantage of any opportunity that arises. They do not want their children hindered by illiteracy and poverty as they are. These are their dreams for their children’s future. Planet Changer is helping parents to keep their children and realize these dreams.