1. Who we are
  2. History


Build Africa was founded in 1978 as part of International Christian Relief, and has nearly four decades’ experience of helping communities escape poverty.

After becoming fully independent we directed our work away from aid relief and towards long-term development through community empowerment. Following the decision to work exclusively in rural Africa, we then changed our name to Build Africa to reflect our focus on sustainable development.

Key milestones

  • 1978: International Christian Relief founded to help Vietnamese refugees in Thailand. The organisation joined a worldwide network of charities working together to implement a variety of education, sanitation and environment projects
  • 1996: After a name change to International Care and Relief the organisation becomes independent, establishing new partner organisations in Kenya and Uganda
  • 2004: The Build a School programme is founded, supporting 11 schools and benefitting 4,400 children in the first year
  • 2006: The Build a Farm three year pilot scheme is set up. Based in the Masindi District of Uganda, the project sees a significant improvement in farming skills, crop yield size and farmers’ access to profitable markets
  • 2007: Our organisation becomes Build Africa
  • 2009: We introduce our Build an Income programme, establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations in two districts of Uganda to tackle the financial needs of the rural poor.  A total of 33,845 children and family members benefit
  • 2012: Build Africa wins the Charity Times Award for Best International Charity. The award is given to a charity which has consistently delivered outstanding service to its beneficiaries, promoted its cause effectively, been clear in its goals and strategy and demonstrated excellence throughout its work
  • 2012: Build Africa supports 50,000 pupils in 103 schools, and 50,000 people through education and livelihoods projects
  • 2014: We embark on a programme to improve girls' education in Kwale, Kenya. This also marks a new way of working - partnering with local organisations to achieve a greater impact
  • 2014: Build Africa reaches 150,000 people. We launch a new strategy to improve the lives of 1 million beneficiaries by 2018 with sustainable education and livelihoods projects