Be The Change Volunteers is a non-profit, non-government, equal opportunity organization. At our core we are committed to being an education-equipping and learning organization. Our projects, partners and volunteers are all over the world. Our philosophy is simple. Education is a human right. Our mission is to Empower Communities Through Education Locally. We call it E.C.T.E.L.
BTCV was formed in July 2007 during a school rebuilding project in Butare, Rwanda when thirty five volunteers from around the world traveled to Butare to restore a primary school that serves 500 children. The Ecole Primaire Catholic de Butare was devastated emotionally and physically by the genocide of 1994. All of the classrooms in each of the school buildings on the small campus had bullet holes in the walls, broken windows, damaged or missing doors, and leaking roofs. Teachers and students were without a functional setting for learning, not to mention the lack of desks, supplies, and resources to provide an education for the beautiful young minds that will shape Rwanda’s future. Many of the children attending the school are orphaned as a result of the genocide and live on or near school grounds with classmates and faculty. This is now the only “family” they know. It was hard for the BTCV founding members to believe that this had been the state of education in Butare for over a decade. Amazingly the students spirits were strong and their thirst for learning was intense! The founders and their friends assembled a 35 member volunteer team to raise funds for a restoration project that would Be The Change this community needed. The volunteers spent two weeks working at the school. They learned much while interacting with students, faculty, community members and hired skilled workers from the area. Six classrooms were fully restored and completely outfitted with desks and supplies.
Lives were changed… theirs and ours.
The Be The Change Volunteers inaugural project (pictured here with founding members Brian Anderson, Dominique Anderson, Jimi Cook and Cristi Cook) was the October 2008 build on Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Floating Learning Center will serve a floating community of 160 families with limited and to no educational resources.
Be The Change Volunteers (BTCV) was established as a charitable organization in 2008 by directors Brian J. Anderson, Dominique M. Bisogno, Crystel R. Cook, and James L. Cook exclusively for charitable and educational purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.