The behind-the-scenes story of how we opened the Bissau campus

We all know it takes three things to start a fire: heat, fuel and oxygen. It also takes three things to turn a dream into reality: faith, a great team, and people like yourself who invest in the vision early on. Just like a fire, if you don’t have all three, you’re left with nothing. […]

5 reasons apprenticeships in Africa don’t prepare youth for real-world work (and how vocational schools can help)

In many parts of Africa, it’s common for young people learn a new job skill through an informal apprenticeship. But these apprenticeships are much different than the apprenticeships offered in places like the United States or Germany, where formal training at a trade school is often paired with the apprenticeship. In Africa, apprentices often end […]

What the 2022 coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau means for its 2 million residents

woman standing in front of her hut in Guinea-Bissau

On Tuesday, February 1, a group of still-unidentified people staged an attack on the main government building in the capital of Guinea-Bissau. According to the country’s president, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, the attackers wanted to kill him and his cabinet. Though the coup was unsuccessful, the 5-hour long gunfight left 11 dead and was a reminder […]

4 Ways to Help Poor People in Poor Countries (And What Not To Do)

”Eat your dinner. There are starving children in Africa!” … so our parents told us when we were kids. Well, we know now that this was just a ploy to get us to eat our squishy, overcooked peas. But even as adults, we can still get guilted into doing things that don’t actually do much […]

How international nonprofits use your donations to help people in poverty

When you click “donate” to buy school supplies for a kid in Africa, to help a woman in India start a business, or to help feed a poor family in rural Guatemala – where does your money go? Nonprofits usually try to give donors a simple message: Donate $50 now to help someone in poverty. […]

Why are there so many countries in the world with “Guinea” in their name?

What’s with all the “Guineas” in the world? “Guinea” shows up in quite a few country names (four, to be exact). And none of them have anything to do with a furry house pet. Origins of the word “Guinea” Though there are many theories on where the word “Guinea” came from, the most popular one […]

What life is like for children in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa)

Kids are kids, no matter where they are in the world. But their lives can look very different depending on where they live. In countries like Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, for example, children like to spend their free time playing soccer – but not in the same way as in the United Sates. In Guinea-Bissau, […]

Day in the life of a WAVS student: How practical skills training helps prepare West Africans for work

WAVS welding students building a bench

Each month, generous members of the One Student community help cover tuition costs for students at WAVS vocational schools in West Africa. Here is what a day in the life of a welding student looks like at West African Vocational Schools. 7:45 a.m. | Arrive at school (by foot or bike) Class starts at 8 […]

How to help people in poverty: Donate to nonprofits that give OPPORTUNITY, not CHARITY.

For a long time, nonprofits have tried to help people in poverty through charity – by giving them things for free. Free meals, free clothes, free electricity-generating soccer balls. Free anything. The reason is simple: unlike businesses, nonprofits are not funded by the people they serve (the homeless don’t pay for shelters, for example). Instead, […]

5 facts about Guinea-Bissau in West Africa: Its people, food, languages, economy – and islands run by women

Streets of Guinea-Bissau

At first glance, the country of Guinea-Bissau doesn’t seem like much more than just a tiny speck on the map. In fact, it may be the most forgotten country in Africa. But take a closer look, and you’ll discover a land bursting with rich cultural heritage, an economy centered around buttery cashews and sweet mangoes, […]