Building Tomorrow, which builds schools in Africa, cut the ribbon on its seventh academy in January with some help from the Indianapolis business community.
That was unusual for the local not-for-profit, which works primarily through chapters on college campuses.
“The funding for this particular school was waning, despite the good intentions and hard work of one of our college chapters,” University of Wisconsin at River Falls, said Paul Knapp, Young & Laramore CEO and board chairman of Building Tomorrow.
Building Tomorrow founder and Executive Director George Srour turned to Indiana Pacers President Jim Morris to find more support for the school. A former executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme, Morris has supported Building Tomorrow since its founding in 2006. He quickly raised 75 percent of the school’s building cost, which is about $50,000, through friends in the Indianapolis business community, Knapp said.
Building Tomorrow says its academy in the village of Jomba is the first formal school to become available to hundreds of children in a 4-1/2-mile radius.
Similar to Habitat for Humanity’s sweat-equity policy, Building Tomorrow raises money for construction. The money becomes available if African communities agree to put in 25,000 hours of volunteer labor. Building Tomorrow leases the buildings to local governments, which operate the schools.
Srour, an Indianapolis native, started Building Tomorrow in 2006 while a student at the College of William & Mary.