Now over 15,000 kids have easier access to an education
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti caused over 160,000 deaths, displaced 1.5 million citizens, and destroyed thousands of buildings that still lie where they fell now seven years later. At the time, the scope of the natural disaster was difficult to identify, but Griffith University Law student Chris Eigeland knew he wanted to help.
After learning of the devastating effect the earthquake had on the education system in Haiti, Chris co-founded The Schoolbag – a not-for-profit organisation that provides a year’s worth of school supplies to children who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Using other Griffith University students as volunteers to deliver the project, The Schoolbag has grown to make its way around the world to communities in Haiti, East Timor and most recently, Vietnam. These communities have seen significant rises in primary school engagement.
As a direct result of the program, there are now over 15,000 kids with easier access to an education.
“It’s fantastic to see that the program has grown not only across the world, but into a sustainable solution of students helping other students to learn and grow.”
No longer a part of the initiative, Chris returned to Vietnam recently to see the impact his program continues to make on children’s lives.
“It’s kind of surreal to be honest. It’s really humbling that it’s outlived me and hopefully will continue to run for years to come.”
After leaving The Schoolbag initiative to manage a successful start-up, Chris’ project continues to pave the way for an educated future for children growing up in regional communities.
After spending time talking to 10,000 young Australians in his time as the 2016 Youth Ambassador for the UN, Chris believes that education has the power to change the world.
“If you solve the challenge around equalising access to education around the world, then many, if not all other global challenges will be solved along the way.”