Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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B2P Overview

Why footbridges?

In a walking world, footbridges are life-improving catalysts. Rural community members often live in a walking world. When the rivers swell, walks to school, work or visits to a doctor can become life threatening without a bridge to cross.

Read more about why bridges can be more than just a river crossing.

Where does B2P work?

Bridges to Prosperity has built more than 140 footbridges in Africa, Asia and Latin America, providing a half a million people with safe, year-round access.

B2P currently has program staff in the following countries:

Bridge-builders and bridge-building programs, using B2P resources, currently run programs in the following countries:

Learn more about specific Countries and Projects.

Does B2P do other types of projects?

We believe there is efficiency in specialization. By limiting our focus to pedestrian bridges, B2P has become an expert in footbridge design and construction, and aims to be the primary source of rural bridge resources and support.

Read more about What We Do.

How can I join the mailing list?
How does B2P decide where to build a footbridge?

B2P’s in-country staff members forge strong ties with local organizations, who often are already aware of areas that may benefit from a safe river crossing. B2P collaborates with these partners to identify a potential bridge site and then we determine project feasibility by measuring technical challenges, community participation and long term partnership potential with local governments.

Read about some of our Partners.

What does B2P do?

B2P is a non-profit organization that provides resources to rural communities, our corporate partners, and university students to build footbridges in developing communities around the world. These rivers are, at best, perilous to cross and often become completely impassable during the rainy season. Footbridges create improved access to essential needs such as, health care, education, and economic opportunities.

B2P’s programs span cultural and geographical divides, bringing individuals together in the pursuit of inspiration, personal achievement, and global citizenship. Each bridge project becomes a hands-on classroom, teaching local trades people and university students locally viable and replicable technology. Our volunteers work directly with the local community, promoting international exchange and fostering understanding.

Learn more about What We Do.

Our Mission

How does B2P decide where to build and train?

More communities than we can reach alone would benefit from a footbridge. An estimated half a million communities worldwide are in need of improved rural infrastructure including pedestrian bridges. Needs range from those areas where the community is resigned to isolation for four months, typically during the rainy season, and communities with year-round isolation and thus with severely limited access and opportunities.

When new countries are considered, the first factor is a clear need for improved rural infrastructure. A variety of factors are considered in choosing a new region in which to work: costs, the availability of a local NGO partner, the support of local government, community motivation, and a safe work environment.

 

How have bridges impacted communities?

With nearly 100 bridges in 14 countries and counting, B2P has had a measurable impact on the people who benefit from a safe river crossing.

An average footbridge results in a 12% increase in community school enrollment and an 18% increase in people treated in local health care facilities. Economic advancement is also strong: in the two years following a footbridge opening, communities have 24% more women employed, 15% more businesses in surrounding communities and overall, per capita income increases an average of 10-20%2.

Want to learn more behind the numbers? Read Stories from people in their own words and check out our Projects.

What does “rural isolation” mean?

Every day life for people in the rural communities that B2P works is drastically different from our own. Rural isolation means that basic services like health clinics, schools, and markets, are often situated miles from where people live. During rainy seasons, river crossings become perilous or even life threatening, requiring travelers to find another route. Since travel is often by foot, it may take hours to reach necessary services. A two hour walk to school is quite common.

Read some more personal Stories and learn about our Projects.

Who builds the bridges?

B2P footbridges are built in collaboration with community members, professional volunteers, and university students from local and U.S. programs, in cooperation with B2P staff.

Learn more about how we do What We Do.

Design

How long does it take to build a bridge?

Bridges to Prosperity suspended and suspension bridge projects generally take eight weeks to complete, depending on the commitment and availability of the community.  For team-build projects, typically two to three weeks are required for on-site building time.

How long is the longest bridge?

The Chaipara bridge in Peru, which measures 137 meters or 449 feet.

What is B2P’s criteria to design a bridge?

All projects must meet these main criteria:

  • The project must be constructible locally, with local materials and know-how
  • There must be a realistic method of funding the construction of the project after the design is complete.

For technical design criteria and engineering assumptions, visit B2P’s Technical Manuals: 3.1 Suspended Design Manual and 4.1 Suspension Design Manual (coming soon!).

 

What is the average cost of a B2P footbridge?

The average project cost is $25,000, taking into consideration varying topographic and geographic conditions, community contributions and logistical challenges. This low-cost is driven by B2P’s technical innovations.

Read more about how B2P innovates.

What kind of tools are used?

Many of our corporate teams request power tools and generators to maximize their limited time on site. As these are not required to complete the design as specified and are rather a means to quicken the pace of construction, they are not considered “design critical.” Power tools are never mandated in a material list for bridges built without B2P support. For those tools gifted to partner organizations and agencies, the upkeep and maintenance is the responsibility of the recipient.

Travel

Can I stay for longer in-country?

Typically, although B2P will not be responsible for you during personal travel. Ask your Project Leader if this is an option.

Does B2P help fundraise for the trip?

Interns, University Program students, Rotarians and other volunteers can pay for the trip costs out of pocket or they can support raise through organizations, family, faith-based groups and or friends. Since B2P is a non-profit organization, tickets, and trip expenses are tax deductible. Trips typically cost between $1500 and $3000.

How much money should I bring on my trip?

Typically you only need to bring money for souvenirs and a few miscellaneous expenses. The Project Leader can help you determine how much you should bring for a specific trip.

I don’t have the funds to travel abroad. Can I still travel?

Have you considered raising support for a B2P trip? Check out the FirstGiving link to see how easy it can be. You may realize that the hardest part is getting over your own fears about support raising. Giving others the opportunity to partner with you can help share in the B2P adventure with you.

What do I need to pack?

Our Volunteer Packing Guide is a great starting point.

What is the typical trip like?

Read more about traveling with B2P in our Volunteer Guide.

Will I need a visitor’s visa?

Depending on the country you go to, you may need a visa. The Project Leader will tell you this information. If you don’t have a passport then you should start the process now.

Volunteers

Does B2P accept individual volunteers?

B2P generally accepts volunteers who are participating in our Corporate Partners or University Program, and we welcome inquiries from volunteers with specific skill sets that can contribute to our education and bridge programs. The Bridge Corps is the technical volunteer arm of Bridges to Prosperity, and Bridge Corps Members serve both in the field and remotely, traveling the world to provide training and build projects, and working on technical initiatives and checking designs and mentoring university teams.

Learn more about what you can do.

Does B2P have internship opportunities?

B2P offers internships throughout the year, giving interns an opportunity to work on a variety of projects and gain valuable professional experience.  Field positions require a minimum 3-m0nth commitment in the country of application.

Denver-based positions vary but typically require a 6-month commitment. View current Internship openings.

We also welcome inquiries from anyone with an idea of how they could help us fulfill the B2P mission. Contact us at info@bridgestoprosperity.org.

I want to volunteer but I can’t travel. How else can I help?

Thank you for asking – there are many ways you can support B2P. Here are three suggested first steps:

One, make sure to become a member to get regular news updates and alerts about our work, as well as access to sections of the website reserved for B2P Members. Two, spread the word about B2P. We have materials that you can use to introduce B2P to your civic group, neighborhood council, church, temple, school or youth group. Three, please help make our work possible with a tax-deductible donation to B2P – 100% of individual donations go towards our programs and 0% to our overhead costs, which are covered by generous Corporate Partner grants.

Is B2P hiring?

Please see our jobs page for employment and internship opportunities.

Rotarians

Does B2P work with Rotary Clubs?

Since the very first bridge, Rotary Clubs International has been B2P’s longest running and most constant supporter. B2P was founded by a Rotarian, and B2P’s current Executive Director and several board members are active Rotarians.  Read more about opportunities for Rotarians under Get Involved.

How do I get my Rotary Club involved?

Rotary Clubs have supported B2P since the beginning. From sponsoring bridges to raising awareness in the club’s community about B2P and our work, Rotary Clubs have been invaluable to furthering B2P’s vision of eradicating poverty caused by rural isolation.

Learn more about how your Rotary Club can get involved.

How does B2P’s work relate to Rotary International’s mission?

B2P’s mission, to connect isolated rural communities with healthcare, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers, directly aligns with Rotary International’s mission to practice service and integrity and advance understanding, goodwill and peace throughout the world.

Read more about our mission and vision.

University Students

How do chapters apply for design-build projects?

We work with university students and their faculty adviser to identify the most mutually beneficial bridge project for students to work on.

Our University Chapters section explains who is eligible and how to apply.

How do I start a University Chapter?

University Chapters can be started with as few as five engineering students and one faculty adviser.

Find out more about the process for establishing a B2P University Chapter.

Professionals

How do I get my company involved?

Please visit our Corporate Partnerships page and learn more about the benefits of partnering with B2P and how to get your company involved.

Learn more about our current Partners and how they have helped.

What do Corporate Partners provide?

B2P is fortunate to have the backing of many Corporate Partners who support our mission from both technical and financial perspectives. Corporate Partners help us best leverage design and field-support and generously provide the financial assistance that enables our staff to facilitate design and construction. They are major players in helping us to develop design innovations and establish an online repository of pedestrian bridge design resources.

Learn more about how your company can help B2P.

What health insurance is required for travelers?

Yes, B2P requires health insurance that includes Medivac in the unlikely case an emergency medical evacuation is required. The cost per trip varies based on person’s health, age and time abroad, but typically costs less than $100 per person.

What level of liability will my design work have?

Liability to B2P and our volunteers is greatly minimized because the following is true in the countries we work:

  • The legal system does not have the same liability standard as the US court system. Also we provide our design for free and are not licensed in those countries so very little legal liability exist.
  • B2P carries Errors & Omissions Insurance.

Give

Can you send me a receipt?

All online donations will prompt an automatic email receipt for your tax records. Tax-deductible donations given through other means will receive an email or hard copy receipt from our headquarters. If you have not received your receipt or would like a duplicate copy of your receipt, please contact info@bridgestoprosperity.org.

How much of my donation will go to support B2P’s programs?

All of individual donations go to support B2P’s work. Our organization’s administrative costs are paid for by private donors so that 100% of your gift support our work to “Build to: educate, innovate, inspire.”

What is B2P’s EIN and tax status?

B2P is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ID #54-2031102. Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.