As you know I am attending the NTEN Nonprofit Tech Conference. I had the great opportunity to chat with Woody Collins, President of Congo Helping Hands (CHH). Congo Helping Hands is a nonprofit, Christian organization that works in partnership to improve the quality of life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through human development in health, education, agriculture, and microecomonics.
Woody and I talked about what CHH is doing and we recorded a quick Cinchcast you can listen to here. But CHH has an innovative solution to building schools in Congo. As Woody tells me, he was watching TV and heard about women making purses out of old vinyl. Something clicked in his mind and he thought, “Congo Helping Hands could build schools from recycled, vinyl billboards.” Eureka!
He called some donors and friends and companies are donating used vinyl billboards for Congo Helping Hearts. They are recycling, will be building schools in Congo that until now were made of mud and straw and often collapsed within a year. The used billboards only weigh 50 pounds and are easily shipped. Woody and his team are finalizing design, working with folks in Congo to prepare the frame design so communities can easily build the schools.
I just loved the idea of recycle, reuse and voila a new school. From a 40′ x 10′ piece of vinyl comes a school for children in Congo. Woody’s dream is when Google sends another satellite to take pictures for Google Earth, Congo will be dotted with colorful schools made of vinyl billboard from the US.
If you can help Woody and CHH get their hands on some vinyl (and we are talking billboard not LPs), you can contact them through their website www.congohelpinghearts.org or Woody on Twitter @woodycollins.