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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Communities Without Borders

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, International, International Economic Development, Literacy, Microfinance

Mission: Our Mission is to enable a better future for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia through access to education and related care. Collaborating with community organizations and individuals, we build enduring personal relationships that foster mutual understanding and inspire a shared sense of responsibility as world citizens.

Target demographics: 1,500 AIDS orphans go to school

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,500 students attend primary & secondary school

Geographic areas served: Lusaka, Zambia

Programs: Tuition support, uniforms, shoes, teacher training, teacher materials, books, “Tree of Life” psychosocial support, school feeding program, medical support: immunizations, malaria bednets and treatment, equipment for community economic development.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I took two trips to Zambia this year to look for community schools that serve only AID orphans and vulnerable children. We visited many schools and were greeted with such friendly welcomes and respect everywhere we went. At the end of the summer when our self-funded service volunteers and board members returned, we selected two schools with which we will build relationships. They each have over 300 students. All the students are AIDS orphans or vulnerable and a few are handicapped. We plan to work with the community to increase the quality of the education the children receive eventually making these schools models for other schools in Zambia.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have now traveled to Zambia with CWB three times, and every time I am amazed by the work that is being done. The organization continues to expand its influence, and the community schools, orphanages, and colleagues that we work with in Zambia are phenomenal. Everyone is striving towards the same goal -- to improve educational and health opportunities for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia-- and being part of an organization that truly acts on its mission is something special.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Summer of 2017 I went on a service trip to Zambia with CWB. Only going into my sophomore year of high school the up coming year, the trip was very eye opening and gave me a lot of great memories to hold onto. I met great people, created great friendships, and a lifetime of stories to tell and cherish. Without CWB I would've never gotten the opportunity to experience such a rewarding journey that I will carry with me forever.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Communities Without Borders is and has been important to me since I began traveling with them to Zambia in 2008. CWB truly cares about the Zambians and continues to work to make their lives better and safer while focusing on educating the young girls and respecting/honoring their culture. I continue to strongly support their efforts and hope to make the trip again next year, #8 for me. Blessings

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an extreme desire to help in some small way AIDS orphans and thus wanted to make a trip to Africa to try to do so. CWB offered me this opportunity and members of my church as well. Through 6 years of trips I have become very attached to several in several communities surrounding Lusaka and will return this next summer to see and work with them once again. I am so very proud of the growth they have made and the improvements in their communities my church, Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lexington has supported and made possible. Additionally I am thrilled with the growth of several teachers I have had the opportunity to work with through time and one very special young girl who is to pass her exams this year.
I have been blessed to have been involved with CWB. (Ruth Hickox)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In June 2016 I traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, on a two-week service trip arranged by CWB to assist some community schools that teach children who would otherwise not be in school. The travelers in our group took on various projects according to our own interests. Since I am a retired librarian I volunteered to collect and prepare appropriate books for basic reading in English to set up a starter library for one of the schools which had requested this help. We travelers took over 250 books in our suitcases. The staff, teachers, and students were prepared, and together with us they constructed shelving, organized the books and began reading activities daily in a temporary space. It was a joy to see their enthusiasm and spend time in the school.

1 Ryan76

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I went on the most amazing trip of my life! All thanks to CWB I was able to connect with children in Africa. The opportunity to travel to a place so different from my own, and give a helping hand Is amazing. The organization itself impacts a sum of children in Zambia from oprhpans to those who cannot afford to go to school. However, annual trip makes a strong personal experience, and certainly helped me understand parts of the world and parts of myself better.

Board Member

Rating: 5

New to the organization, this summer I took a first trip to Zambia to see how CWB was doing there. Like the 15 other travelers in our group, I paid my own way and engaged in two weeks of intense activity to promote the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. Perhaps the moment I most came to appreciate the value of CWB's efforts was when I met four thirteen-year olds who explained to me that without the help of CWB their education would have ended in 7th grade. Edna, Sampson, David and Royce all come from difficult family situations and live in Lusaka's shanty towns. At age 13, the could have been be on their own without outside help. Instead they are now thinking of becoming teachers, journalists, army officers, and lawyers. Yet they are only four of 264 students CWB is helping, students whose individual lives I could see are changing for the better because of the contribution of CWB's dedicated supporters.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had heard heart warming stories of the impact of CWB for many years but this summer, I was really excited to go and experience this amazing opportunity. Seeing the smiling faces, the eager children and friendly people everywhere was beautiful. We brought glasses and ran vision screenings in conjunction with the CWB health screenings. We introduced 'Days for Girls', a washable sanitary napkin system wrapped up in pretty colorful cloth bags. The goal is for a sustainable sewing business to market them; and to avoid lost days for the girls.
It was great to see the improvements and changes the schools and communities had made with support of CWB. We were treated to special celebrations of songs and dances and felt very welcomed and appreciated. Dr Dick Bail and CWB has developed true working relationships with several communities and continues to look for appropriate opportunities to strengthen the education and health opportunities focusing on the children.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

February, 2016 we visited the two community school partners. We met someone who grew up in our hometown in Massachusetts. We told him about the amazing work Communities Without Borders was doing. He connected us with the head of a university in Zambia. We met with this man and he agreed to provide full scholarships for girls in our program who graduate with excellent records and said he wanted to donate 50 desks to one of our schools.

4

Donor

Rating: 4

Communities without Borders enables children to get educated under the most dire circumstances. They are typically aids orphans, living in compounds in sub-Saharan Africa, largely Zambia, who have no stable family or access to needed resources. CWB helps with health, nutrition, etc. as well as the obvious items like school fees and uniforms that are essential to get educated. Sponsored children have achieved better exam results as CWB and its partners have become more experienced.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Zambia in 2012 with my 16-year old son. What touched me most was the warmth and kindness of all the people there. The children are wonderful and excited to see us. They just crawl into your hearts.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been connected to Communities Without Borders for the past seven years. I initially went on a summer trip back in 2009 as a way to get to Africa, which had always been a dream of mine. After my first trip, I was forever moved by my experiences. I was so impressed with the children, caregivers, and teachers and the obstacles that they overcome on a regular basis. It is amazing to see the improvements and contributions that CWB has been able to provide to assist with education, health, and psycho-social supports which are extremely important to being successful. I'm so proud to be a part of such a great nonprofit.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of traveling with Communities Without Borders to Zambia in 2005 to conduct needs assessments, provide educational assistance and build infrastructures for new latrines and homes in several villages (e.g. Choma, Mendevu, Garden, Linda, Chwama). As a rising senior in High School, the opportunities I had to meet with rural tribal leaders, the children in these villages, and educational leaders working on HIV/AIDS prevention was incredibly inspiring. My experience with many families who were malnourished and afflicted with AIDS was so powerful that it formed my motivation to pursue an MPH degree and attend medical school 6 years later. Dr. Bail is a true humanitarian leader, compassionate, kind and a role model for all. I highly recommend Communities Without Borders and becoming involved with this nonprofit at any level possible.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Going on a trip to Zambia with our family was one of the best decisions I have ever made for a family vacation amongst the 20 years of my planning family vacations! We worked together every night planning with our CWB volunteer group the lessons for the following day in the Zambian community school supported by CWB, taught in the classrooms, built blackboards, bookshelves and latrines, and played, danced and sang together with the children in the schoolyard. I saw our daughter learn first hand about real poverty, lack of access to education, healthcare and nutrition and it changed her and all of our lives in immeasurable ways! Among other things, I joined the CWB Board, our daughter majored in public policy in college and my husband began selling donuts at church to raise money for CWB! The experience has most certainly deepened our relationships as well, made us closer as a family and given us fresh new perspectives on the difference we can make as helpers in this world, calls to action we can take to make difference for the less fortunate and created memories we will forever cherish!

7 Charlie15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Communities Without Borders is a wonderful example of what can happen when a small group of leaders -- in this case, the organization's founders, lead by Boston physician Dr. Richard Bail -- maintains a passionate, human, connection to a cause and an outcome. I worked as a volunteer for this organization for roughly ten years (1995-2005) and watched as they worked to help AIDS orphans in and around the capital of Zambia to have sufficient food and security to begin attending neighborhood and government schools. Some of the students in their program have already graduated, now, from college! An important component of CWB's work is to get groups of people to visit Zambia and complete service projects with the children and their caregivers. In this way, CWB creates companion communities in the U.S. that sustain support for these vulnerable people year after year. CWB is a marvelous organization that is always looking for additional help!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with CWB and its activities in Zambia, southern Africa since my trip (first of 9 trips) in 2006. We have come to know people in a very special way, and can see first hand how our efforts help children get a much needed education, that will benefit the country..This also benefits those who travel there, students and older. I have heard 1 US student on the trip, who made a point of chatting with everyone he met, say, "I'll never take middle class life for granted any more" when he saw how hard everyone works. Also, after talking with our bus drivers, teachers , add others there, I asked what they think of us coming, (for example did we appear to be telling them what to do , or feel that we don't respect what they try to do), the answer was "Just don't forget us." .I feel I have received far more than I have given. It's a moving experience for everyone, and I'm grateful to be associated with CWB.

6

Advisor

Rating: 5

I remember well waiting in line at the Lusaka airport ready to board the flight home -- first stop London and then on to Boston. Suddenly a Zambian woman I had met briefly ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and cried out, "please don't forget us." I was stunned and speechless. I had just completed certainly the most memorable two weeks of my life - visiting children left orphaned from the HIV-AIDS scourge; being greeted by aunts, grandmothers and sisters who were caring for the children; watching young adults from Boston singing songs and bringing joy to the children; and working with on-the-ground medical and educational services to etch out some hope for a better life and future for these children. Forget? I don't think so. What I was thinking was what can I do for the children when I return to Boston and how soon can I get back to Zambia.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Girl-child education has been a priority for years. We know that it improves the health and economic well-being of the mother and her child. So, it is such a pleasure for me to observe that directly, each summer when I return to Zambia. This year while visiting a random classroom in a Lusaka High School, a young woman broke into a broad smile and ran up an embraced Amy Archibald. Amy is the CWB Chief Operating Officer, but she had known this girl for many years in her role as a volunteer teacher in Garden Compound. This is one girl who is off on the right track!
Richard Bail, MD, MPH

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Zambia with CWB way back in 2005 and it was an unforgettable experience!

6 Barney F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and two adult daughters came with me on a CWB-coordinated trip a month ago, and it has changed all our lives. We were volunteers, helping schools operating on a shoe string, in the poorest neighborhoods of one of the world's poorest nations, Zambia. Much of the age 20-40 generation is missing entirely, a result of the AIDS epidemic. In a nation now numbering 14m people, the 24-year combined death toll from AIDS has been 1.35m. About 35% of the entire population is under the age of 11, many of them living as second-class members of the households of distant relations, or in households headed up by minors, or in no home at all. The government schools are insufficient to cover the needs of all those children. Even the $100/year cost for books, shoes, uniforms and fees to a government school is impossible for these kids and their families. So about 3000 "community schools" have sprung up, operated by volunteers. The schools that CWB supports with money, in-kind donations, and volunteer work are a carefully chosen few of these community schools. CWB has only one paid staff member, a former teacher from one of their community schools, who coordinates things and monitors to ensure the proper spending of the CWB contributions to the schools. The rest of the work is done by a cadre of incredibly dedicated volunteers in the US, some of whom travel each year to Zambia to visit the schools, create and maintain the necessary relationships, and even pitch in with the nuts & bolts work of operating the schools. One of my daughters helped with teaching and running health clinics; one daughter was the official trip photographer, and my wife helped run clinics and "Tree of Life" workshops for teachers and health workers. I helped with fixing broken desks, painting buildings, and establishing ties with local leaders. The Zambians themselves are the ones who do most of the work of daily teaching and caregiving for the orphans and other children at risk, though. It is a perfect partnership of people on both sides of the pond doing what they can to extend a hand of help to some of this world's neediest children. Although the sex-breakout is roughly 50-50, special attention is given to girls, who have often suffered additional trauma and who need additional support to stay in school and succeed. One of the appealing things to me about CWB is that a donation of only $100 pays for a child to attend a full year of school. Try finding a cost-benefit ratio like that anywhere else!