Charity News | An Encounter with the Builders Without Borders President and CEO

Posted August 8, 2012 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 4,559 views


By Ronnie Mayanja – Last week I returned to Uganda and had the rare opportunity to sit next to an interesting gentlemen whose passion is to provide for less privileged members of society. Because we had 13 hour flight ahead of us we decided it was great idea to get acquainted. Later as we got talking I was quite impressed by what Peter Fenger and his team are doing in East Africa through their work at Builders Without Borders. In the transit lounge I got talking with Daniel Dodrill the  President of this Charity organisation and wanted to know what had inspired him to start Builders Without Borders.  I was able later extend an invitation for their team to visit and set up shop in Uganda since opportunity beacons given the hospitality of our people and the success Uganda has now become in the region.

Peter Fenger together with the President and CEO of Builders Without Borders Mr. Daniel Dodrill were making another of their many trips to Burundi and Rwanda were they have build schools and homes for the poverty ridden and war ravaged nations of East Africa. Through a Not For Profit Organisation that gives back 100 percent to the community this group of individuals are setting the bar of how charity organisations should operate. The team travelling on this flight had paid their travel expenses to and from Africa.

Founded on a Christian principle this group of builders continue to provide structures for Christian communities worldwide. As we later went on separate flights to our final destinations I kept wondering what manner of love is this that someone would travel half way the world to bring hope to people he or she has never met.  It is never too late to give back and become Samaritans of hope  but as for me I was glad that I had formed a friendship bond that I sure will grow into something fruitful one day!  Below is a brief on Builders Without Borders Inc. a Charity organisation headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida.

Builders Without Borders is an international network of ecological builders who advocate the use of natural, local, and affordable materials in construction. We believe the solution to inadequate shelter is not merely better buildings, but people who know how to build for themselves. To this end, BWB creates educational materials and opportunities to empower communities, organizations and owner-builders.

Since its founding in December of 1999, Builders Without Borders (BWB) has formed a network of ecological builders and other volunteers dedicated to natural building. Our focus is educational and organizational. We connect a network of professionals and volunteers with those in need. We support those working in the field, through providing books, videos, and DVDs, advice, connections with experts, and hands-on training. BWB promotes straw, earth, and other natural building materials, and facilitation techniques that are culturally-sensitive, fun and effective.

Straw bales are highly suitable for solving the housing shortage in economically marginalized communities because of their super-insulating qualities and their low cost as an agricultural waste material. They function as giant building blocks and can be quickly stacked into walls by a volunteer crew with little or no building experience. Plastered with earth they can provide a comfortable and healthful place to live.

However, Builders Without Borders does not prescribe one solution for all situations, but rather a climate appropriate, relationship-based process that allows individuals and communities find their own solutions through dialogue and collaboration. Such a process is:

• Hands-on. Developing practical skills within communities.
• Regionally appropriate. Utilizing local knowledge, skills and materials.
• Cross-fertilizing. Creating a cross-cultural exchange of ideas and techniques.
• Respectful. Empowering local decision making.

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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