Our Core Values
- The local communities are where the most effective change can take place for multi-generational improvement for people.
- Prosperity at the local level comes through education and personal empowerment to dream and create new sustainable realities for living.
- Creating solutions through engineering, business development, and construction practices produces an environment where communities can thrive.
- Developing strong leadership skills through multifaceted exposure to methods, applications, and cross-cultural interactions while providing needed development is a location
Community –Driven Development
Foundation Builders has developed an approach that covers more than just building an orphanage or clinic. The Foundation Builders team joins the local leaders and builders to start a school to train the local artisans in the current building code and practices. When the projects are completed, the local community will have the skills in both construction and business to continue developing their community and bringing sustainable prosperity to the people.
How is this accomplished?
Foundation Builders International is a collection of Engineers, project managers, builders, trade technicians, business owners, accountants, and attorneys who give our students their expertise to train them in all manner of construction and business development. We have volunteers and paid staff managing the Institute, the Enterprise, and the Construction Projects. We work alongside the local community to build sustainable community resource centers over a five-year plan to have these centers self-sufficient, owned, and operated by people in the local community.
How do we measure the success of the five-year plan?
The goal of Foundation Builders is not just building a project. We begin with the initial evaluation of the location, community needs, governmental involvement (both local and national), partnerships with other organizations working in the area, and cost analysis. Once the site and project have been chosen, a project development schedule is established to track the Institute's development and student involvement. The general preference is for the Institute and Enterprise to be established and fully functioning two years before the first construction project is accepted. The students will use their growing knowledge and skills in those first two years to develop the Institute campus and the business enterprise.
By year three, we evaluated the Institute staff and students as our first students graduated in year two and now had one year in practical application working on Foundation Builders construction projects. This evaluation allows us to begin the transition of ownership to members of the local community, many of whom are former students stepping into leadership roles at the Institute and the Enterprise.
At this point, we maintain a regular evaluation of staff to ensure the highest quality of administrators, teachers, and support staff to provide for the sustainable success of both the Institute and Enterprise. These evaluations are a close partnership between the team of Foundation Builders, our students, and the local community. All that happens through Foundation Builders in a local community is designed to involve the community to ensure the projects are built with a culturally appropriate focus while maintaining the highest educational and building practices.
Finally, once the Institute has been turned over to the local community, which means the ownership, the administrative board of directors comprises people from the community and the staff. Foundation Builders will maintain a relationship with the Board of Directors to help in the ongoing success of the various components of the Institute.
Testimonials from our students in Haiti
Jean Pierre Fritzner (Boss Loulou) said the Foundation Builders School teachings were excellent. I learned things that I never knew. The training was different from the training that I received. They focused on international code and practical application. I felt that as a construction contractor, it helped me immensely. I improved on my cages and form-making. Also, I learned how to fabricate wooden trusses better. Those I have contracted to build foresee my work being different and better than other contractors, opening doors for more work. Overall, I feel that it has made my confidence and abilities.
I would recommend to others to get training from Foundation Builders. At the same time, I find that many of those who need the training do not see the importance of it but are only interested in making money. Yet, I would be interested in further training as a mason/carpenter & construction contractor.
Adancy Durasien (son of boss Joe)said that Foundation Builders school helped him improve his ability in welding. I learned proper welding techniques and how to prepare better and plan my welding projects. I now have a better understanding of welding principles. Yet, I cannot perfect them as I would like because I cannot find work in my field. Yet, I know that I am better prepared for future work projects. I am delighted with what I learned and would recommend others in the future to participate in Foundation Builders school. I hope that in the future, I can further my studies with them in welding and fabrication.
The Foundation Builders International-Abaco strategy contains several vital components involving the students receiving vocational training and primary economic education. The second component is entrepreneurial skill development and enterprise development.
- Youth Involvement in Educational Strategies
- Gaining life skills is equally essential to acquiring vocational skills. Each student starts with an aptitude test to assess their educational level and help them decide which vocational skill they will be most compatible with. The student's involvement in this process helps them identify their needs and support their choices. The information also helps the staff and students plan, implement, and control their development process. All these facets of the student's vocational training and economic courses build their self-esteem and confidence.
- Involving Communities and Other Key Players
- The second phase encompasses starting an SME once the Institute is established. The SME will develop a management team of Institute staff, business students, and local business leaders to develop emerging business leaders, manufacturing using students in vocational training, product quality, marketing, and distribution. The business students will analyze the local community for business opportunities. From the data analysis, students and business instructors will work with the local community to determine what SME best pares the vocational skills available through the Institute students with the most immediate needs of the community. The SME team will also work with governmental agencies focused on developing the local economy.
- The ongoing development of the Institute will include networking and collaborating with The Ministry of Education, TVET, government leaders, and other partners to maintain a standard that prepares students to take the certification test administered by Government agencies and other certifying organizations. Foundation Builders International Institute-Abaco will keep a close relationship with certifying agencies while working with our graduates to ensure our students receive their certification. FBII-Abaco will develop linkages and alliances with government institutions, agencies, and NGOs working in vocational/business training, which will be promoted to improve leverage, advocacy, and employment for youth receiving vocational and business training.
- Small Scale Enterprise Development
The youth Enterprise development support will comprise financial and economic assessments and small-scale business management training. The Enterprise management team will be self-managed based on systems and procedures jointly developed with FBII-Abaco Institute of Business, local business leaders, and community leaders. The SME will be designed using skills and knowledge taught at the Institute. Students will work at the Enterprise both in management and production. Income generated by the Enterprise will cover operating costs, including payroll for those working there. FBII-Abaco Institute will use a percentage of the profit to cover some of the cost of operating the Institute. The Board of Directors will regularly monitor the operation of the Enterprise for FBII-Abaco.
- Vocational and Business Skills Training
This component will follow formal and informal approaches to skills development based on needs assessment and skills audit activities. The main emphasis of vocational training is to prepare the student to pass the certification test associated with their skill. Placement of the student in the local community practicing the skills they have acquired is an integral part of the student's development. Existing businesses offering relevant services will be identified as outlets for student placement. Businesses that hire an Institute student in an apprentice program will receive help from an Institute facilitator to ensure the student is a good fit for the company and acclimates to the work environment.
Institutes will be constructed at strategic locations identified to serve as multi-purpose centers to train youth from other satellite communities. Each Institute will provide training based on recognized and preferred needs (e.g., welding, metal fabrication, carpentry, masonry, and concrete/concrete form ). The Institute will provide students with essential training tools and materials during the training.
Students who complete the Institute's courses and receive a certificate of completion will be encouraged to take the TVET certification test. The Institute staff will work with them to ensure they obtain the certification.
Students interested in starting their businesses will be paired with a mentor who will help them through the start-up process. The Institute will maintain an ongoing relationship with these entrepreneurs. Through the network developed by the Institute, the businesses will be encouraged to form Co-ops around the vocational skills they have learned to leverage their production and market share. Accessing micro-loans for business development will be a feature of the Business Institute.
Project sustainability plan
FBII-Abaco envisages continuity with our graduates beyond the institutional setting. The following steps will ensure continued support for the graduates.
- Development and creation of alternative skills for self-employment: The Institute will promote the growth and innovation of skills that provide opportunities for the self-employment of graduates.
- Involvement of graduates at all levels: The Institute will demystify the steps needed to achieve economic growth and business development with the participation of the stakeholders through the various disciplines the student will encounter. This process will continue after graduation as the facilitators and mentors will continue to work with the graduates.
- Training and Institution building: graduates receiving the production, leadership, and management skills will be the vehicle to accelerate the societal transformation or change process. Females who graduate from the Business Institute will focus on community business development and management opportunities. Graduates will be encouraged to work in groups and Co-ops to address common problems.
- Investment in micro-finance activities: graduates will be encouraged to work in groups or Co-ops to embark on income-generating activities with the view to revolving funds to allow for growth and expansion. Through the small-business training they have acquired and the continued mentor support of the Business Institute, they can sustain their financial growth.
- Community service information collection and analysis: The Institute will involve the consistent collection and analysis of information through networking, collaboration, and partnership to guide the implementation and business development process. Such information is fed back to communities and other agencies for replication and to drive local business development. In addition, the Institute will connect up-and-coming companies with the local communities they aim to serve. Communities they seek to serve.