Students from 8 Countries, 21 States Raise $120,000 to Rebuild Haiti Schools

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Kids initiate creative fundraisers and connect with Haitian students through videoconferences, web chats and film exchanges

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Youth Rock the Rebuild concert, Mill Valley, CA

Although most girls had heard about the disaster in Haiti, few knew how to help. The Students Rebuild program was an effective way to not just get involved but to establish an interpersonal relationship with students in different situations.

From walk-a-thons to rock concerts, from rural Kansas to New York City, thousands of young people are fundraising to build stronger, safer, permanent schools in Haiti as part of Students Rebuild. As the first anniversary of the earthquake approaches on January 12, Students Rebuild teams continue to build momentum to raise critical funds to help build 10 schools in Haiti that will serve nearly 2,000 children. This month, Students Rebuild partner Architecture for Humanity plans to break ground on the first four schools slated for reconstruction.

More than 100 student teams across 21 states and eight countries have raised $120,881 to date, which will be matched by the Bezos Family Foundation dollar for dollar, up to $2,500 per team. Countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Nigeria, Romania, South Africa, Pakistan, and the U.S. On January 7 and 11, Global Nomads Group will connect youth live in Haiti and the U.S. for a special anniversary program.

Students Rebuild is a partnership between Architecture for Humanity, the Bezos Family Foundation and Global Nomads Group to mobilize middle and high schoolers around the world to raise money to rebuild schools in Haiti. The call to action meets an urgent need by tapping our most creative resource—young people—and connecting them to each other across continents and cultures.

But it’s much more than a fundraising effort. More than 1,880 students have become real partners in the sustained reconstruction effort. Global Nomads Group connects students through storytelling, interactive videoconference sessions, live webcasts from Haiti, video updates and blog posts to Using a wide array of technology, students are learning first-hand how people can work together in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake to rebuild communities and lives.

"Although most girls had heard about the disaster in Haiti, few knew how to help," says Julia Enthoven, a senior at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. "The Students Rebuild program was an effective way to not just get involved but to establish an interpersonal relationship with students in different situations."

Youth-driven efforts have inspired stellar fundraising ideas:

  •     Mill Valley, California—Student bands played their third benefit concert as part of Youth Rock the Rebuild. A student in Haiti was inspired to write a song for the event that was projected during the concert.
  •     Dallas, Texas—Students at the Hockaday School did without traditional corsages at a Winter dance and donated what they would have spent on flowers to raise $3,315. Fifty students also participated in a webinar live from Haiti.
  •     Great Bend, Kansas—Students from five schools are hosting one fundraiser a month, rotating between each school through the end of the school year. They also helped make a video that was shared with peers in Haiti.
  •     North Hollywood, California—Eighth graders at Wesley School aim to add to last year’s $1,000 fundraising success through garage sales, bake sales, hand-made jewelry sales and a dance-a-thon. Students rise at 5 a.m. to participate in live videoconference sessions from Haiti.
  •     Plantation, Florida—South Plantation High School, with a a sizable population with close ties to Haiti, initiated a photo booth fundraiser, a teacher traveled to Haiti with the Students Rebuild field team and students participate often in videoconferencing.

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Students Rebuild was founded in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. The first initiative, Students Rebuild: Haiti, combines a $500,000 matching grant from the Bezos Family Foundation with Architecture for Humanity’s international design and reconstruction expertise and Global Nomads Group’s worldwide network of students and educators to activate our most creative resource—young people.

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