Opportunity For All
Founded by Al O'Connor, Kjell Spangberg and Leo Joseph
We build schools in places where most people we know have never been...
What are we? We're not a charity and we're not an NGO.
So why do we build these schools in faraway, remote places and how do we do that?
It's simple. What we ARE is group of friends with a passion for travel, the outdoors and education. We like to get off the beaten path, and we've trekked in some of the most remote parts of the globe. We've been amazed at the beauty around the world and aghast at the lack of opportunities available to children in many of the spots we've visited.
We've all been lucky in life and have enjoyed some small amount of success as entrepreneurs. But we know that while some of our success can be attributed to our own efforts and hard work, much of what we have been able to accomplish in our own lives was made possible by the opportunities that have been available to us. Simply put – we were lucky to be born into good families who lived in the right place. Our parents valued education, and we had access to education. We had opportunities that were not available to all.
Much of the world exists in poverty. Things we take for granted simply do not exist in their world. The cycle of poverty can trap families for generations.
As avid trekkers, we have seen it in our many travels around the globe. One of us, raised in third world poverty, grew up with it.
We have decided to help a cause that we think can have a profound impact on breaking the cycle of poverty around the world -- education.
The mission of Opportunity For All is to help break the cycle of poverty through education.
There are many ways to tackle the education problem and there are many good people and organizations around the world that work on making things better every day. On our treks, we've seen the abysmal state of schools in some places and the complete absence of schools in others. We think we can do something about that. So we've decided to build schools.
We're thinking big – we each hope to fund 100 schools over the next 10 years and have challenged our partners to match each school we give through their own fundraising efforts. That's 600 schools. We hope others will get involved and help that number grow. The number of 1,000 schools does not seem out of reach.
We're not going at this alone – our families, spouses and partners support what we are doing 100%. Actually, they offer more than support – they are all heavily involved. That's important. We're a team.
We are focused on what we do best – we figure out how to provide the funding to meet our objectives. We partner with organizations that know how to operate in the places we want to work and have the teams in place to get the schools built. We look for lean organizations that are effectively run and well managed. We believe that people place no value on things that are simply given to them, and so we work only with organizations that require the villages where they build schools to make a major contribution to each school as well. We've partnered with some of the best non-profits in the world and are working with them daily to achieve our goals.
Al, Kjell & Leo