Congo Helping Hands – Fundraising to Build Schools in the Congo

June 30, 2010 at 9:20 am 3 comments

Congo Helping Hands is committed to building schools from recycled vinyl billboards! Their dream: to have these school throughout Congo…so when a plane flies overhead, the countryside is dotted with these bright colored structures with US logos all over them! Congo Helping Hands is committed to ending poverty through their commitment to education.

I had a terrific conversation with Woody Collins founder of Congo Helping Hands (CHH).  You can listen to a podcast of Making a Difference radio here. I met Woody at the NTEN Nonprofit Tech Conference. When I learned about CHH, I interviewed him on Cinchcast and we scheduled the radio program.

Congo Helping Hands has a partnership with a billboard company who donates used vinyl billboards. Recycling and reusing for a great purpose – education. The vinyl is easily folded and compacted for shipment via cargo container to Africa. In October, they are shipping over a portable saw mill and the vinyl. Students at Andrews University architecture program are developing the plans and the first demo school is planned for January! CHH will be training and paying the villagers to use the saw and build the schools, creating two micro businesses. Each school allows 250 students to learn and continue their education. They have also created a rainwater catchment allowing villages to collect clean water and the cost is only $3,000 per school! Congo Helping Hands is creating a real win-win-win:

  • Recycling vinyl billboards which would have been thrown out
  • Teaching villagers in Congo skills and paying them
  • Creating a space for children to learn
  • Catching rainwater that helps the villagers through the dry seasons

Listen to our radio conversation to learn more. To support Congo Helping Hands, volunteer or make a contribution, please visit, on Facebook or @woodycollins.

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Entry filed under: Fundraising, Making a Difference Radio Highlights, nonprofit social media. Tags: , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ending Extreme Poverty in the Congo  |  July 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Too Poor To Get Desks…

    Rural Congo is a place for big victories and sometime slightly bigger setbacks. We got a local craftsman to make desks for the local elementary school in the rural village of Bulape. The desks were reasonably priced. They were made……

  • 2. Ending Extreme Poverty in the Congo  |  June 30, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Get Your Clean Water Here…

    In the past few days, I was asked a similar question twice. Why would water located at a school attract more girls or benefit girls more than boys? In most sub-African countries, getting water is not equal opportunity job. Congolese……

  • 3. What's Woody Doing Now  |  June 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Education is the Key to Real Independence…

    June 30, 2010 is the 50th Anniversary of Congo’s Independence. It’s been a hard 50 years. That’s the past. The future is bright! The education of children especially the girls will make the difference. With your help, we can do it!! Education is the…


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