BUILD SCHOOL IN BURMA (MYANMAR)
What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support the education of children in underserved areas of Burma
Build a School in Burma is committed to work with local groups in Burma to locate communities in need and to build and fund the construction of schools and preschools. Many villages do not have a school building but once a building has been constructed, the government will fund ongoing costs such as teacher salaries, thus ensuring sustainability.
In early 2010, while Robert Cornwell visited the villages of southern Shan State, Myanmar, he observed many children of school age that had no place to go to school. In the closest large town, Bob met the Burmese founder of a local organization who had previously worked with the Japanese embassy to build two schools for other villages in the area. Returning to San Francisco, Bob, his family and his good friend Andrew Lederer started raising funds and build the first primary school with the local grassroots partner in Nan Auw village. BSB has since completed fifteen schools. Three more are currently under construction, with four planned before the end of 2016. These 22 schools will serve about 1,500 full time students and their families, and about 10,000 students over their projected 25-30 year lifespans. Each school is equipped with a water system (tap, catchment or well), which often also provides water to the village, sanitary toilets and currently BSB is working with the villagers of San Chaung Lay to electrify their school previously build by BSB using solar energy.
Build a School in Burma partners with effective, community organizations on the implementation of the education projects. Partners include Karen Womens Empowerment Group and Meikswe Myanmar.
Formerly president of CSG Advisors, a financial advisor and consultant to governments and non-profit organizations, Bob Cornwell structured more than $11 billion in financing and public/private development projects. Bob served in the Peace Corps (Jamaica) and worked as a wilderness ranger in Colorado. He first traveled to Burma in 1996 and founded BSB in 2010.
Dan Kipp is a retired CPA, formerly with Arthur Andersen LLP, and regional CFO for the national insurance broker AJG. As an entrepreneur, he founded and grew a manufacturing company to over $6 million in annual sales. His travels to Burma led to his involvement in BSB. The first BSB project he undertook was the Htone Gyi Primary School, located about an hour and a half away from Rangoon by car. Kipp and his wife donated the funds to BSB to construct a new four-room building for Htone Gyi.
“I have long wanted to use my entrepreneurial, accounting, and management skills to do something meaningful, to really help people,” said Kipp. “My wife is a retired university professor, and my mother was an elementary school teacher. My aunts on my father's side were all teachers—all seven! I love teachers! And schools!”
Andrew Lederer is a former hospital executive, health care consultant, and Peace Corps volunteer in India, Lederer first travelled to Burma in 1996 with Cornwell. Lederer and Cornwell had previously discussed their desire for philanthropy and volunteerism—“to help people have better opportunities in their lives,” in Lederer’s own words. He continues to work with BSB because, unlike students in the First World, “access to a school is not a given in Burma,” he observed.
He is also the Champion of Build a School in India (BSI). Operating on a similar model as BSB, BSI is supporting the expansion of educational opportunities for children in the central-western state of Maharashtra—the region where he once lived and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer.