Building Schools

Worldwide, one in five school-aged children do not attend school.

There are many reasons for this, but lack of access should not be one of them. Too often students in our partner countries are forced to walk miles just to get to a classroom. Even if they do make the walk, they are too often left to learn in poorly constructed shelters – or even outside.

United Nations, Education Facts, 2016

We Build Schools

We work to improve school access by constructing new school blocks through our school-building program, in partnership with the non-profit organization, buildOn. After construction, the school is often the most structurally sound building in the area. There’s a palpable sense of pride throughout the community. School attendance increases and the community-focused methodology sets the foundation for future development.     

Every school construction initiative begins with establishing a local committee to take ownership of the project. The community is responsible for donating the land and collecting local materials such as sand and gravel to make cement. The community also provides the manual labor necessary to reach the final project and agrees to send girls and boys to the school in equal numbers as part of the initial agreement. There is no heavy machinery involved, and the entire process is done by hand. As a result of their contributions, the community takes ownership of the project upon completion. The result: A sustainable, high-impact project that will affect generations of students.

The Sonder Project believes education is a ladder of opportunity, helping pull future generations out of poverty. Being able to climb that ladder often depends on other factors, such as the availability of clean water, food security, and health and economic stability. With this in mind, The Sonder Project takes a holistic approach to development. Discover all of The Sonder Project initiatives that help children stay in school.

SCHOOLS BUILT

Students ATTENDing sonder schools every day

SONDER SCHOOL NEWS

Power Student Spotlight: Osward Cosmas

Power Student Spotlight: Osward Cosmas

In the face of hardship, hope emerged for Oswald Cosmas through The Sonder Project’s Education is Power program. Oswald’s story begins with adversity, as he was forced to drop out of school in Grade 9 due to financial constraints. Despite his parents’ efforts‑‑who are...

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The Man on a Mission is Back!

The Man on a Mission is Back!

Kurt Freudenreich is back out on the trail! This time he is hiking the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas and Oklahoma with the goal of sponsoring 50 students with The Sonder Project.

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Daniel’s Story

Daniel’s Story

Daniel Kalumbi was just starting Grade 10, but he already had his future mapped out. As a precocious lover of math, physics, and chemistry, Daniel was eager to finish high school and pursue a career in engineering.

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Unwrap Potential Series: Education

Unwrap Potential Series: Education

Veronica Zulu was in Grade 9, earning high marks and on a path to graduate high school. She was following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, who had both graduated from high school, with the dream of one day becoming a doctor.

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WeSonder for Education

WeSonder for Education

Meet Sonder sponsored student, Misheck Banda, and learn how our student sponsorship program is renewing students’ belief in their own potential.

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Exciting Student Sponsorship Updates

Exciting Student Sponsorship Updates

Our program leadership team recently traveled to Malawi to observe and assess the impact of our programs on the ground. We wanted to understand the impact of our Sonder Student Sponsorship Program, which we established at the start of the year. We were so encouraged by the success of the program, that we want to do more.

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Student Sponsorship Program

Student Sponsorship Program

The Sonder Project is thrilled to share the commencement of a brand new student sponsorship program supporting vulnerable students to stay in school.

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Welcome to Malawi!

Welcome to Malawi!

In January of 2020, our CEO, Chad Zibelman, traveled to southeastern Africa to establish a Sonder Project office in Malawi. Often referred to as “The Warm Heart of Africa,” the country is known for its friendly people and Lake Malawi, its vast freshwater lake.

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