Frequently Asked Questions for Schools for Burkina Faso.

What is this project / fundraiser?

This fundraising project is an effort to raise 4300 Canadian (3454.51 US, as of Feb 13th 2015) to donate to Buildon.org’s (NPO) Schools for Burkina Faso international school building program.

BuildOn.org facilitates a team of people, who have fundraised like me, on the ground in Burkina Faso.  Once I reach a certain point in my goal, I will be given a departure date and placed in a team.  I then travel to Burkina Faso on that date and volunteer.  I will stay with a family in a village, get up every day and help build a school. :) Exciting!

Why are you fundraising?

In July of 2014 my father, Cal Vardy, passed away, after being in the hospital for 9 months.  He spent his whole life in education. I was inspired about Burkina Faso.  I believe that you should grow and learn from all experiences, especially when these experiences are difficult.  I want to have a impact on change, for me, I want this to be more hands on then I have done previously.  In his memory, I would like to help build a school in Burkina Faso.

Why Burkina Faso?

I had heard a lot about Burkina Faso.  I was inspired by this.  When I was researching school building programs, I found that Burkina Faso is in dire need of education related efforts. Burkina Faso is currently ranked by the UN as the 5th economically poorest country in the world. It has the lowest level of literacy in the world, with 78% of its population illiterate and only 58% of its children in primary school. No country has ever achieved continuous and rapid economic growth without first having at least 40% of its adults able to read and write.

How can I help?

Well first, every donation, no matter how small, helps.  So, please consider donating by clicking the donate now button on the previous page.  You can also support me by sharing my page on facebook, twitter, instagram, google + or any other social media.  You can also help by talking to and emailing your friends any of the links provided on the previous pages.  You can also help by supporting any events I host by attending or buying any good that is offered. If you are a entertainer, a venue manager or a business owner I would love to talk further about how you may help obtain my goal.

You can email me at;  ianvardy@gmail.com

How long will you be in Burkina Faso?

I will be in Burkina Faso for one week.  I want to stay longer and am looking into this, either as a extension because of being over my goal, or I will take on the expense of staying myself, in this case only staying with a volunteer family for one week.  It takes more than a week to build a school, I will be looking into what part of the process I will be involved in.

When are you leaving?

Once I reach a certain portion of my total goal, I will be given an official date.  However, it will be sometime this summer, June, July or August.

Are you really excited?

I really am. :D

What will my money be used for?

It costs 35,000 US to build a school in Burkina Faso.  Each member of a 10 person team must raise a minimum of 3500 US. Roughly one-fifth (875 US), of this is used for administration: that being cost of translators fees, food, transportation, and the cost of one night in a hotel.  I arrive in the city near the village, travelling to the village the next day.  The rest of the money goes directly into the school.  No part of your money is for my own travel expenses, I pay that out of my own pocket.  No part of your money is for my accommodations while in the village, as I stay with a volunteer family.

Below is a list of costs that can give you an idea of what your donation goes towards:

  • $10 pays for 2 bricks in the construction of a school

  • $25 pays for 2 bags of cement to construct a school

  • $50 buys 5 shovels for excavating a school foundation

  • $150 pays for all the nails, nuts, and bolts to build a roof for a school

  • $500 pays for 1 mason in the construction of a school

  • $1,000 buys all of the paint for a school

How long does it take to build a school?

It takes 10-14 weeks to build a school.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

No, this project is a fundraising effort for a US based NPO called BuildOn.org.  I am personally fundraising (for social welfare) and donating to a NPO.  As per the Canadian Revenue website; “A NPO cannot issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes”.  If you are a US based organization wishing to donate online, please check with your revenue agency to determine if your donation is tax deductible.  

To learn more you can visit the CRA by clicking here.

Do you issue receipts?

GoFundMe will email you a receipt for your own records.  However, as stated above and within that email, it can not be used for tax deductions.

What is BuildOn.org?

BuildOn.org is a US based NPO that builds schools in poverty stricken areas both in the United States and the Third World.  They have been building schools internationally for 20 years and have built 4 schools in Burkina Faso.  As of 2015, they have built 700 schools in developing countries.

You may visit BuildOn.Org here.

You may visit BuildOn.Org’s international program site here.

What is GoFundMe?

GoFundMe is a very popular social / crowd fundraising site.  It lets you set up donation pages that integrate easily with search engines and social media.  More importantly, it lets you set up donations for your NPO that accepts your countries currency.

You may visit my GoFundMe donations page here.

Why are you using GoFundMe to take my donation, wouldn’t it be BuildOn.org?

This is to make it simpler for you, as I assume most of the people donating are Canadian.  BuildOn.org is a US based NPO and although they are working on a Canadian interface, they currently only take donations in US currency.  As to not have people do the exchange rate math, I setup GoFundMe to accept Canadian donations and I will transfer them to BuildOn.org once my goal is met.

What will be the process for the GoFundMe to BuildOn.org transfer?  

I converted and updated my goal of 3500 US goal to 4300 Canadian (3454.51 US, as of Feb 13th 2015).  Right now, I plan to exclusively use GoFundMe until my goal is met, then transfer the funds from GoFundMe in its entirety to BuildOn.org.  This may change, as I have a pre-goal that will reserve my date in Burkina Faso, the pre-goal amount may have to be transferred earlier.  GoFundMe will always show the total to date, so that I can keep track.   It is possible that I could be short because of current exchange rates, if so, I will donate the difference or continue fundraising to make it up.

Currently, my BuildOn.org donation page has 201 US in it due to family donations.  Although unlikely, as I am Canadian who is fundraising locally, it may receive more.  Since I wish to raise as much as I can, and 3500 US is the minimum for a person to become part of a build team, I will announce the grand total donation once my GoFundMe campaign has ended.

You may visit my US based BuildOn.org donations here.  Please note, if you donate through this page, you will be paying in US dollars and your bank will take the Canadian equivalent.

How will you keep track of your donations and of this transfer / do you have something I can see?

In order to track and be forthcoming in this process, I have created an audit document, linked below.  You can follow the updating of this document to see the breakdown of money in GoFundMe to money in BuildOn.org and the current totals for each.  Depending on how donations come in, I will try to keep this document as up to date as possible, but updates could be delayed by up to a week.  It will be timestamped as to easily identify its last update.

You can view the audit document here.

What is your strategy for fundraising?

I am really hoping to accomplish at least two-thirds of this goal by hosting 2 or 3 events that will be for and involve the local and surrounding St. John’s community.  If you are a entertainer, a venue manager or a business owner, I would love to talk further about how you may help obtain my goal.  I also plan to solicit local business and individuals (like you, please donate!!).