UNICEF/UNI341942/Dejongh

Partner since 2021

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago - Sheridan Road (SHS) and UNICEF USA teamed up to inspire SHS students to learn about the education challenges that face children globally and raise funds to build sustainable classrooms in Côte d'Ivoire. The classrooms are constructed using bricks made from recycled plastic waste through the UNICEF-Conceptos Plásticos program.

Students helping students by building sustainable classrooms made from recycled plastic

In Côte d'Ivoire, schools are chronically over capacity and pollution is a serious environmental issue and a public health hazard (the Abidjan metropolitan area itself produces 288 tons of plastic waste every day). The bricks that make up the school are 100 percent plastic, 40 percent cheaper, 20 percent lighter, fire-resistant, wind-resistant, waterproof, insulated and quicker to assemble than traditional bricks. In addition to this project being environmentally beneficial, it also promotes a women-led recycling market and helps the economy by increasing job opportunities. More importantly, the project gets kids back in school. Dozens of classrooms have been built, hundreds of tons of plastic have been recycled and thousands of children are receiving an education because of these schools.

Funds raised by SHS will support the construction of the buildings, as well as provide desks, chairs, school supplies, teacher trainings, latrines, solar panels, water points, community engagement opportunities and resources to continue and scale the Green School Initiative, which empowers students to become eco-citizens.

Even the smallest of donations can make big impact: 

  • $1.00 can provide five bars of soap to improve hygiene and infection prevention and control

  • $3.60 can provide one student a UNICEF backpack to organize and transport school supplies

  • $4.70 can provide one box of ten pencils and one pack of ten notebooks to a student or to share with several students

  • $4.80 can provide one recycled, plastic brick for school construction as part of the UNICEF-Conceptos Plásticos project

  • $110 can support the construction of one latrine stall at a school

  • $48,000 can support the cost of building one classroom made from recycled plastic bricks as part of the UNICEF-Conceptos Plásticos project, as well as help provide textbooks, latrines, teacher trainings and much more

Donations from fundraisers can be submitted digitally via the Donate form linked here and the button at the top of this page. Checks — with the school name on the memo line — can also be mailed to: UNICEF USA, Attn: Global Cause Partnerships, 125 Maiden Lane, New York , NY 10038

Learn more about how UNICEF and civil society groups work together to create better futures for children.