HUG IT FORWARD stands for Humanity Unconditionally Giving it Forward – and it’s based on the idea of giving out love and expecting nothing in return. this nonprofit has one goal: to unify people as one and empower communities at the same time. one project of Hug It Forward’s is building schools out of used plastic bottles! to give an example of how this is done, below are some photos of one school they built in La Cereza, Guatemala. it was a small rural community, with inadequate educational infrastructure – by that i mean there were only three classrooms for grades Kindergarten through Sixth. teaching so many mixed levels and ages is a definite challenge and as a result, the children were not learning as much as they should have been…
in Guatemala, they have completed building 10 bottle schools in 20 months – their goal is to get that number up to 100. Bottle Schools are amazing projects that do so much good for the communities. not only do bottle schools provide kids in need with educational infrastructure, but they also clean up the surrounding neighborhood and streets of non-biodegradable trash. after the school was finished in La Cereza, the parents and teachers were able to secure a 4th teacher for January 2011, a step up from the three teachers they were working with before.
the surrounding communities and children help build the schools from the ground up – giving them a hands-on project which teaches them about environmental awareness. once the school is built, community members have something to be proud of – something that is their own. the children help out by filling the water bottles with trash – which insulates the walls.
to donate to this cause, click here. the average cost to build one school is around $12,000 – so even $20 goes a long way. if you’re interested in building your own bottle school, the website gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make one! they cover everything from construction, to choosing the right site, to how to get community members to participate. i think community participation is the most important element in building bottle schools – if you don’t have the support of community, why even build a school there? everyone must be on board for something like this to work, and so far they have seen very promising results. check out the Wiki page here.