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Expansive Impact: Community Empowerment through Bridge Building

Community investment in a bridge extends far beyond the builders who participate on each Bridges to Prosperity project. Local governments contribute materials and equipment, advocate for new connecting roads and land rights, and commit to providing the local labor that makes construction and long-term maintenance possible. Members of the beneficiary community volunteer their time for critical phases of the construction process. Women support the build by collecting materials, volunteering for construction tasks, feeding and housing local workers and foreign volunteers, and helping to organize and garner community support.

hand of man touching bridge siding in bolivia

The balance of good intentions & sustainable development

Striking a balance between providing necessary resources and creating sustainable, lasting change is contingent on empowering communities at every level to build their own path out of poverty. Bridges to Prosperity invests heavily in training local communities in the skills they’ll need to create and resource this path, and we believe that in doing so, we can transform the challenges inherent in international development into an incredible story of empowerment and strength.

people on bridges in four different images from bolivia

True community investment

At bridge sites across the globe, local governments contribute materials and equipment, advocate for new connecting roads and land rights, and commit to providing the local labor that makes construction and long-term maintenance possible. Local businessmen and women provide supply chains for construction materials, and members of the beneficiary community volunteer their time for critical phases of the construction process.

By investing time and resources in a bridge project, local governments and businesses gain a powerful sense of ownership and possibility, and are poised to invest in more infrastructure projects in the future.

suspended bridge in bolivia with man walking on it

Empowering women changes everything

Research and intuition tell us that empowering women is one of the most effective strategies we have for effecting dramatic change in the developing world, and this is particularly true in Bridges to Prosperity’s partner communities. Beyond those who are hired on as engineers and program staff, women support builders at nearly every B2P bridge site. They provide meals to local workers and foreign volunteers, raise children while their partners participate in the bridge’s construction, and give their time to organize community meetings, garner local support, prepare the bridge site, and collect local materials.

women walking on suspended bridge in tan and red tank tops

Building opportunity for children

A new bridge represents a safe route to school for the children in B2P partner communities. Beyond safe access to education, however, children also gain an expanded vision of what’s possible, for themselves and for their community. They have the opportunity to see their mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers trained in a new trade, and to see their community come together to invest in a project that will create sustainable and lasting impact for the immediate future and for the long term.

A safe route to school doesn’t simply mean not having to wade through a swollen river – it means the possibility of a new future, and a new set of dreams.

combination of 5 images of children in bolivia