Sign up for our new Global Leadership Certificate courses!

BRICK x BRICK

Building a sustainable future through education and empowerment

BRICK x BRICK

Circle K International is thrilled to announce a new project, in partnership with UNICEF USA, that we’re calling Brick x Brick. We’ll be building a sustainable future through education and empowerment for families in the African nation of Côte d’Ivoire. Through this project, you can be proud to know we will:

  • Contribute to a cleaner planet.
  • Alleviate poverty for families.
  • Provides safe spaces for children to learn and play.

UNICEF has partnered with a Colombian, family-run social enterprise, Conceptos Plasticos, to create a women-led recycling market that will convert Côte d’Ivoire’s plastic waste into safe and durable low-cost building materials.

The money you raise will help women create recycling networks to collect plastic waste that will be manufactured into bricks. These bricks will be used to build classrooms for some of the 1.6 million children – mostly girls – who are currently out of school in Côte d’Ivoire. It doesn’t stop there. Through your support, teachers will be trained, be provided with school supplies and have access to improved hygiene and infection prevention and control.

CKI is excited to welcome K-Kids as partners in raising money and awareness for this cause!

Thanks to you, children will grow up healthier and better educated. We hope your club will join in this exciting project.

Videos

Artboard 1
Artboard 1

Resources

Children at the playground of their school, made out of recycled plastic bricks, in Youpougon, a suburban of Abidjan, in the South of Côte d’Ivoire.

Children at the playground of their school, made out of recycled plastic bricks, in Youpougon, a suburban of Abidjan, in the South of Côte d’Ivoire. For every child, education. Photo credit: UNICEF

Frequently Asked Questions

What will Brick x Brick do?

The money you raise will help support UNICEF to stimulate a recycling economy in Côte d’Ivoire by and for women. The plastic waste they collect will be manufactured into bricks at a Conceptos Plasticos factory in Africa. These bricks will be used to build classrooms for some of the 1.6 million children – mostly girls – who are currently out of school. It doesn’t stop there. You will also help UNICEF train teachers, provide school supplies, and support improved hygiene and infection prevention and control. All of this will have immediate and transformative impact on the lives of children and women in Côte d’Ivoire.

Why this project?

As the WASH project neared its conclusion, the Circle K International Board of Trustees reviewed ideas for our next partnership with UNICEF USA. The Brick x Brick project correlates with three of our existing service initiatives – childhood development, environmental justice and alleviating food insecurity and homelessness – making it a perfect fit.

  • Childhood development: Safe, comfortable spaces for children to learn and play are crucial for their development. Studies show that one year out of school can impact a child’s future earnings by as much as 10 percent. However, in Côte d’Ivoire, 1.6 million children are currently out of school and most of them are girls. In many existing classrooms, over 90 children are taught by a single teacher who does not have the appropriate training.
  • Environmental justice: In Côte d’Ivoire, the capital city of Abidjan produces 288 tons of plastic waste each day, 90 percent of which is found polluting low-income communities. Only 5 percent of plastic waste is recycled in Côte d’Ivoire, mostly informally by women and for very low prices. Plastic and other garbage contributes to poor health conditions, especially for young children.
  • Food insecurity and homelessness: In Côte d’Ivoire, 46 percent of the families live in poverty and most of them are headed by mothers and women. Women, especially mothers, will have greater access to income and employment through self-organized recycling networks that oversee an entire green supply chain of plastic waste collection and processing prior to final sale to the Plastic Brick factory. More than 3,500 women will be empowered in the informal recycling sector to own the full supply chain of recycled plastic, cutting out the middlemen who often take a large percentage of earnings. This will help lift entire families out of poverty.
What can you tell me about Côte d’Ivoire?

Located on the southern coast of West Africa between Liberia and Ghana, also referred to as the Ivory Coast, Cote d’Ivoire achieved independence from France in 1960. The country suffered more than a decade of civil conflict that ended in 2011. During this time, many children — especially girls — didn’t have access to education. As of 2015, only 53% of men and 33% of women were literate, contributing to Côte d’Ivoire’s high rates of unskilled labor, adolescent pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. Pollution and improper waste management also contribute to poor health conditions such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia, especially among young children.

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans and is a significant producer of coffee and palm oil, but its dependence on agricultural exports leaves it vulnerable to price fluctuations and climate conditions. Its forests — once the largest in West Africa — have been heavily logged, and the country’s water sources are polluted from sewage and industrial and mining waste. We encourage your club to learn more about Cote d’Ivoire, UNICEF and Conceptos Plasticos through the following articles:

How can my club help?

We’re counting on you to spread awareness and raise money! We’ll be rolling out resources, but we want your ideas, too!

Here are some examples of the impact your gift could provide:

  • U$5 could provide 25 bars of soap to support improved hygiene and infection prevention and control.
  • US$10.80 could provide three students a UNICEF backpack to organize and carry their school supplies.
  • US$24 could provide five plastic bricks for school construction as part of the Conceptos Plasticos project.
  • US$110 could support the construction of a latrine stall at a school.
  • US$48,000 could support the cost of building one classroom from plastic bricks as part of the Conceptos Plasticos project, as well as help provide textbooks, latrines, teacher training and much more.
What is UNICEF?

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

What is UNICEF USA?

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. UNICEF USA’s mission is to relentlessly pursue an equitable world for every child.

Give to Brick x Brick