WBZ Cares: Life-Changing Impact


BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling School the World, a non-profit organization committed to solving extreme poverty through the power of education.

WBZ Cares features School the World. It's based in Boston, but its outreach is changing lives in Central America through the power of education by building new schools in severely poverty-stricken areas that had little to nothing to offer young students.

Founder and CEO Kate Curran says, “They might have had no school whatsoever. They might have had a teacher, but they're learning in like, a shack with dirt floors and tin on the roof or tin walls. They're dark. When it rains the water comes in, it floods, and it rains there, ya know, several months out of the year. When we first started, for example, there were no books anywhere. I would never see books when I went to a school. Kids were somehow expected to learn without books.”

In the 10 years since its launch School the World has built 100 schools serving more than 11,000 children.

“They are simple schools. They're concrete buildings, but they're always the nicest building in the community, and they have electricity, and light, ventilation, they're painted. Sometimes the kids just get excited about having color. You know, just paint. And they're anywhere between three and ten classrooms typically. Oh yeah, and a playground too. The playgrounds we started adding about five or six years ago. And now they've got libraries in every classroom,” stated Curran.

“We're really an organization that it's a true, true impact and you can see it, you know, years and years down the line,” said School the World’s Communications Manager Ali Rouatt.

Ali Rouatt is the communications manager. She spends a lot of time at the school building sites in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama and has witnessed the life-changing impacts a new school can have on those communities.

“We really believe that through education so many other aspects of your life can be improved. Your health, vaccination rates, mortality rates go down, just overall well-being and happiness in life come with learning and education. And when they don't have a proper facility the teachers don't show up as much because they don't have a great environment to teach in and the kids aren't as focused, so they don't take the school as seriously. But we see immediately when they have this new learning environment and school, they get so excited. Enrollment rates go up. Parents show up and want to be a part of our parent trainings. Teachers, you know, start showing up every day. So it really shows that infrastructure is, for us, the first step, but is a very vital part of learning and the whole school experience,” concluded Rouatt.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports