You’re Making a Difference Here



Ghana was, until very recently, one of the poorest countries in the world. Over the past few years, the nation has experienced unprecedented growth and development (IFAD report; African Development Bank). Although the lives of Ghanaians have improved greatly, the country still faces many challenges, especially in the education sector.

In Ghana, 18% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school and of those who are in school, 28% will drop out before completing primary school (UNESCO, 2012). Additionally, over 28% of the Ghanaian population is illiterate and out of all the current primary school classrooms, the government estimates that almost a quarter need repairs (World Bank, 2014; USAID, 2009).

PoP works with 142 communities in Ghana to ensure that students overcome these and other barriers to accessing a quality education. Currently, PoP is impacting over 35,000 students in Ghana.


The Volta Region is located in southeastern Ghana, to the west of the Republic of Togo and just east of Lake Volta. In many of our partner communities in the region, PoP couples school builds with literacy programming in order to create sustainable change.

To date, we’ve built 130 schools in the Volta Region and have also provided our teacher training and educational programming to many PoP schools in the region



In Guatemala, where over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line, socioeconomic status is one of the biggest barriers to accessing a quality education (World Bank 2013). The average length of schooling for a Guatemalan child is only four years and 24.1% of the population is illiterate (US Aid 2014; World Bank 2014).

Pencils of Promise works with 190 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. Currently, PoP is impacting over 37,000 students in Guatemala.



In Laos, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, a lack of educational infrastructure is one of the greatest barriers to accessing a quality education (BBC News Asia). 27% of people in Laos are illiterate, with even higher illiteracy rates amongst ethnic minorities (World Bank 2014).

Pencils of Promise works with 113 communities in Laos to ensure that our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. Currently, PoP is impacting over 14,000 students in Laos.


Your Impact On Quality Education


Thanks to your generous support, Pencils of Promise is able to provide quality education to thousands of students. This means these students will not only have access to a safe school structure, but also inspired teachers, literacy materials, PoP’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program, and clean water and private bathrooms.

By investing in Pencils of Promise’s educational programs, you’re helping ensure students have access to everything they need to receive a quality education.

Learn more about the programs you’re supporting:

Teacher Support

We stand behind the rationale that students will perform better if classrooms are led by enthusiastic, inspired and well-trained teachers. To ensure that our students are receiving a high-quality education, we provide our teachers with training and innovative resources, enhancing the delivery of national curriculum and empowering them to lead dynamic and effective lessons.

School Builds

85% of the communities we visit lack basic infrastructure. We believe that a quality learning environment is critical to increasing student attendance, engagement and overall literacy outcomes—so we build schools to ensure that all of our students have access to a safe and healthy place to learn.

Before a PoP School Build

Currently, the primary students of Bukarikope are being taught in makeshift classrooms under a small mud roof, with no formal windows or doors. In addition, a few classes are utilizing church rooms as classrooms. These conditions are posing a hazard to student safety and wellbeing, as well as to engagement and learning.

Your Impact with a New PoP School

Through your support, PoP has partnered with the Bukarikope community to begin building a new three-classroom school. The school will not only provide the appropriate amount of space for all students, but it will provide them with an environment that is conducive to learning. The Bukarikope Basic School broke ground in the first half of 2018 and is progressing well, thanks in large part to the involvement and dedication of the community, which is contributing to the labor and materials required for construction. We’re expecting to complete construction in the summer of 2018, and to inaugurate the school shortly thereafter. The community is enthusiastic knowing that their students will soon have access to a higher quality learning environment!

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs (WASH)
443 million school days are lost each year because of water-and sanitation-related diseases (UNDP). We believe that access to clean water, private bathrooms and good hygiene practices are essential for the growth and development of students. Our WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) program provides safe, clean infrastructure, coupled with knowledge on hygiene behavior to keep kids healthy, happy and in school.

From the start, we’ve believed a PoP school should be more than just a building: it’s the start of a transformative education. It’s a spark that creates a sustainable partnership with communities and unlocks the promise of generations to come. By investing in these programs, you are ensuring PoP students are progressing in their education, and we’ve got the results to prove it. You are joining us as we build hope, joy, community and a brighter future!

Thank you.

Below, meet a PoP student who is benefitting from these programs – a student just like the ones you are helping impact:




Hit Play!

Donal – Student, 2nd grade
Chiul, Cunen

Donal is a 2nd-grade student at a PoP school located in the Chiul, Cunen community in Guatemala. He is a member of his Hygiene Club, which is a group of students nominated by their peers to help lead WASH efforts at their school. Our Programs Manager recently visited his community and immediately saw Donal’s potential. He said, “Donal is such a leader among his classmates. They do what he says. It is fun to see this tiny leader in action!”

Check out this video in which Donal is sharing what he has learned with our Programs Manager. He says: “I learned that I need to help my classmates by telling them to not to drink water from the hand-washing faucet. [Instead] I bring them clean water from the filter to drink.”

PoP’s WASH Program at Chiul, Cunen

Donal is one of many PoP students who are helping implement PoP’s WASH Program in schools across Guatemala. These programs ensure Donal and his classmates have access to safe bathrooms, hand-washing stations and materials, and help them learn healthy behaviors so they don’t miss school due to preventable illnesses. These behaviors include drinking clean water, and learning proper food sanitation, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, and cleaning their classrooms. Check out this video to watch Donal and his students practice these healthy habits.

You’re helping bring PoP’s WASH programs to communities like this one, and helping students like Donal become leaders in their classrooms – thank you!