For me, Mechai Viravaidya is an inspiration, showing what business savvy, creativity, and a great sense of humor can accomplish.
-Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The current methodology of education widely prevalent in Southeast Asia is archaic and does not encourage students to use their imagination and creativity. With the cooperation of the private sector, the School-Based Integrated Rural Development program (or School-BIRD) endeavors to change schools from a place where children simply come and go into a lifelong center for purposes the community deems appropriate. This development model will be a focal point of progress for community and economic development, where people improve their practical knowledge by using the school as a lifelong learning center for the entire community. This will guarantee that within three years, no family that has children at the school will be in poverty.