About: Be The Change Volunteers (BTCV) is a development aid non-profit organization dedicated to our mission of improving education opportunities worldwide. Our mission is accomplished by partnering with local communities to address infrastructure, equipping, and training needs. We operate primarily in developing-world countries serving remote communities with a demonstrated need for educational facilities and resources. Our organization is unique because we do not simply send funding to these communities. We provide on-site, in-depth needs analysis to help identify long term solutions to be completed in phases over time. Teams of generous self-funded volunteers that we call Changers, travel to partner communities to participate in our education-focused service projects and unique and profound cultural exchange opportunities – or, as we like to say, we build schools and we build relationships that unleash the power of education all around the world. More about BTCV...
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- Honoring Our Son Phomotso -
In May of 2016 Phomotso Makeke Cook, the adopted son of BTCV Co-founders Jimi and Cristi Cook, tragically passed away from a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 23.
Phomotso was an early inspiration for our "BTCV Kids" fund, a scholarship program that allows students to live out their dreams through the gift of education. He attended school at Farview (BTCV 004) in Mt. Fletcher, South Africa where he met Jimi & Cristi, telling them of his dream to be a photojournalist on the very first day he helped work on that BTCV project. His contagious smile, passion for education, and relentless pursuit of his dream instantly won the hearts of the whole BTCV team, and a little over a year later he was able to come live with Jimi and Cristi and complete his junior year of high school at Columbia Independent School (CIS) in Columbia, MO. When he returned to South Africa, he finished his senior year of high school and passed the National exams with flying colors, making him eligible for university enrollment. He applied, interviewed, presented his portfolio and was accepted by the prestigious Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa to study photojournalism – the chance to pursue his dream. To read more of Phomotso's story and see his portfolio Click Here.