Supporting education & community development projects in Namibia & Bolivia.

School supplies provided to over 4000 children every year at the beginning of the year…and we’re just getting started.

kids tsimane.jpg

How we work

commitment to success in schools through academic resources

We work directly with education reserachers in our program areas. Using their findings, we work with local community leaders and educators to implement programs that have been shown to be successful in those same popluations. Recent academic collaborations in Bolivia and northern Nambia showed that the enforcement of academic skills, through consistency, rigor, and practice is necessary for childhood success. Additionally, findings suggested that if children in both regions had consistent access to school supplies, they were more likely to practice numbers and letters, and allow for creative exploration with paper and pencils. The cost of one pencil shouldn’t prohibit a child from gaining the skills they want and need to succeed in school, and so our first and foundational program provides school supplies to over 4,000 children in the study regions at the beginning of every school year. We plan to maintain sustained efforts, so that all children included in the program can expect new school supplies at the beginning of each academic year.

Previous support for schools came from donations and individual funds. In 2018 One Pencil Project established 501(c)(3) and since has begun vigorously fundraising.

commitment to COMMUNITIES through clean water & Community development

One Pencil began a collaboration with University of New Mexico’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in 2009. The goal was to find an organization who used sustainable practices in their work and aimed to create local community ownership of development projects. As of 2018, two fully functioning wells have been installed in the Tsimane territory of Bolivia. These wells are dug and maintained through community support. Community members are trained on how to maintain and repair the well, and all parts can be purchased at low costs in San Borja (a neighboring market town). You can learn more about UNM-EWB HERE:

Moving forward, One Pencil hopes to begin supporting UNM-EWB’s efforts financially. One Pencil also aims to begin working on repairing wells in Namibian communities that have fallen into disrepair.

commitment to policy and people

Data will continually be collected on the efforts of One Pencil and the outcome of each program. Those data will be provided to community members and leaders for their own purposes. The data will also be used to answer questions about the efficacy of intervention programs and formal schooling on childhood achievement.


“Communities are the most effective agents for lasting, positive change.”

Engineers without borders  |  national chapter


Clean water in Bolivia through EWB-UNM


Engineers without borders at the university of new mexico

Engineers Without Borders UNM just completed their third trip, successfully installing their second well in Tacuaral del Matto. One Pencil Project and The Tsimane Health and Life History Project collaborate with EWB-UNM with on-the-ground support and assistance. We hope to help fund their efforts moving forward.


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