Build Change Announces Commitment to Training Vocational Teachers in Indonesia with Support from Caterpillar Foundation 


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September 21, 2011
For Immediate Release:

Press Contact:

Kathleen Jeanty

Director of Communications

Build Change

P: (509) 3702-3349



Build Change Announces Commitment to Training Vocational Teachers in Indonesia

at 2011 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting


With Support from the Caterpillar Foundation, 

Build change to Impact 1,500 Teachers and Students


New York, NY.--(9/21/2011) -- In its continued effort to increase the number of earthquake-resistant houses in earthquake-prone developing countries, non-profit social enterprise Build Change announced its commitment to training vocational teachers in earthquake-resistant construction techniques in Indonesia. The commitment, with ongoing, generous support from the Caterpillar Foundation, was announced at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York City on September 20, 2011 and will benefit 1,500 teachers and students.  


Based on expanding its program of earthquake-resistant design and construction training to technical high-school teachers in Indonesia, Build Change will work with teachers and educational institutions to ensure Build Change training courses are incorporated as a regular part of the school curriculum, including streamlining the course and providing reusable materials and models.


"Indonesia is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, experiencing at least one deadly earthquake per year since the late 1990's," says Dr. Elizabeth Hausler, Build Change founder and CEO. "Yet earthquake-resistant design and construction is not currently a component of vocational training programs at technical high schools."


While Indonesia's technical high schools are a popular choice for students wishing to work in the construction or drafting sector, practical exercises on safe construction techniques, such as masonry and steel reinforcement detailing, are not a part of the education. Given that tech high school students often come from less advantaged backgrounds, this omission in their training just adds to the difficulties they face in breaking into the job market upon graduation.


"That is why we have committed to working with technical high schools that lack curricula on earthquake-resistant construction," continues Dr. Hausler. "Over the next year, with the Caterpillar Foundation's continued generosity, we will mentor and guide at least 150 instructors to teach the course on their own, and mentor these instructors through the training of at least 1,350 students in safe building."


The training program includes a combination of classroom seminars, practical exercises, and demonstrations on how to read a drawing, estimate quantities, choose good quality materials, design and build safe timber or confined masonry houses, as well as select and oversee a qualified builder. Materials have been developed by Build Change's team of Indonesian and American engineers and construction professionals with over 7 years of on-the-ground experience in designing earthquake-resistant houses in Indonesia and training people to build them.      


With Caterpillar Foundation's support last year through a grant from Give2Asia, Build Change was able to successfully train over 1,900 technical high school students and teachers in Indonesia on earthquake-resistant design and construction techniques. The highly trained and skilled Build Change team of Indonesian construction professionals is equipped with training resources, models, and seminars already developed and vetted in Indonesia. In past projects, their training programs led to measurable increase in knowledge of safe construction techniques.


"This investment in Build Change aligns with the Caterpillar Foundation's focus on sustainable humanity," said Jim Baumgartner, the Caterpillar Director of Corporate Public Affairs. "Build Change's teacher training initiative is creating a sustainable pipeline of builders who will not inherit the unsafe building techniques of the prior generation. With the help of Build Change, the next time a disaster strikes, lives will be saved. Caterpillar is proud to be a part of this innovative program."


To fund this initiative, Build Change is looking to raise a minimum of $170,000 over the next year to expand the number of teachers reached and begin to develop an internship program.  Build Change is pleased to be partnering again with the Caterpillar Foundation and looks forward to future collaborations with other members of the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce to improve the safety of homes in Indonesia.




Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.


This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit




The Caterpillar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed nearly $500 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. More information is available at



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Build Change is a 501(c)3 non-profit social enterprise incorporated in the State of California on September 2, 2004.  Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Through our site on  Universal Giving.  Use your credit card or Paypal account.  Note that a service fee is charged by Paypal. 


Send your check, payable to Build Change, c/o:
Build Change
1416 Larimer St.
Suite 301
Denver, CO 80202



Founded in 2004, Build Change is an international non-profit social enterprise that designs earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries and trains builders, homeowners, engineers, and government officials to build them.  


The organization works in partnership with the public and private sector to leave in place lasting change in construction practice after earthquakes.


Since its founding, Build Change has improved the design of over 18,000 houses and trained over 12,000 people in the fundamentals of earthquake-resistant construction for single-family homes, including builders, technical high school students and teachers in Indonesia, China and Haiti.  


Today, over 70,000 people worldwide are living in safer houses because of Build Change's work.  


To learn more, visit