AmazonSmile Gives Back

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support RISE International every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to RISE.

To participate, simply go to and choose RISE International NFP as your charity. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5%* of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

If you have questions about AmazonSmile, you can learn more here.

*Sometimes, Amazon will announce higher donation periods and we will communicate this information via social media and email. 

RISE Benefit 2018

Thanks to all who attended the benefit on Saturday, October 20th at the Evanston Art Center. It was a delightful evening, as we celebrated 15 years of building schools! Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers and drinks, took part in a silent auction with crafts from Angola and Zambia, and participated in our first Wine Pull. The journey has been amazing, as is The Ripple Effect created over the years, and our amazing opportunity to give more kids in Angola the chance to go to school!


Partnership = kids in school!

Three schools have been completed, dedicated, and children are in class learning because of your generosity and our co-funding partnership with Educate A Child, and resource partner ExxonMobil. Six additional schools are under construction. Rachel Cole, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator for the project, is again traveling to Angola, 9/30 through 10/17, to collect and track enrollment and attendance data for students at the completed schools.

TEAM RISE Half Marathon

Thank you to our 2018 TEAM RISE Chicago Half Marathon runners, supporters and donors! Because of the commitment and dedication of our TEAM RISE runners, 6300 children in Angola have been given access to education since 2009. Our next TEAM RISE event is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2018. Specific details about cheering on TEAM RISE will be sent via email and general spectator information about the marathon can be found here. 

Annual Benefit – The Ripple Effect

This year’s benefit will be held on Saturday, October 20th at the Evanston Art Center. The evenng will explore the ripple effect education has on children, families and communities in Angola.

Learn more and register here


2018 Brewery Tour

Participants in the Brewery Tour enjoyed a fun day touring Revolution Brewing in Chicago and Temperance Beer Company in Evanston topped off with fabulous Chicago pizza generously donated by Lou Malnati’s. Thanks to all involved for helping give kids in Angola a chance to go to school. This is an annual event, so if you could not attend this year, keep an eye out for announcements next summer.


RISE International joined Educate A Child, a program of Education Above All, and other partners in New York City on April 27-28 to celebrate the achievement of securing commitments to provide education to 10 million out of school children around the world. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, UN SDG advocate and Founder & Chairperson of Education Above All (EAA) Foundation promised in 2012 to reach out to 10 million of the world’s most marginalized children, as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

RISE is an implementing partner with Educate A Child (EAC),  and will construct approximately 25 new schools and enroll 24,000 out of school children (OOSC) by 2020 in the provinces of Benguela, Bié and Luanda. This is made possible through co-funding from EAC, ExxonMobil and RISE donors. Education Above All and RISE have common goals in providing school infrastructure to children who have been impacted by war and its aftermath, poverty, disease and a lack of basic social services.

The NYC event was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, UN Secretary General António Guterres and leaders from the United Nations, UNICEF, NGOs, and global industry, including President of Ghana and model philanthropist Naomi Campbell, to celebrate this important milestone. Executive Director Lynn Cole, Board President Dan Paustian, and Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator Rachel Cole were privileged to participate in both celebratory events and partner meetings.

Speaking on the power of education at the event, United Nations Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres, said: “Our dream of a sustainable future cannot be realized if we do not support children’s dreams to gain an education. When we educate a child we give her more than books, papers, pencils or a calculator. We give her the tools, skills and imagination she needs to shape the world around her and to make her community, and her society, better, more prosperous and more peaceful.”

RISE International’s Executive Director, Lynn Cole, shared: “It was powerful to be part of an event like this, with global leaders, individuals and organizations committed to the goal of giving all children access to education. We are in this crucial phase of fundraising to ensure that 24,000 more OOSC in Angola are able to attend school, and I am incredibly grateful for our generous supporters, invested in being part of this larger vision to give kids in Angola and around the world, the primary education they deserve.”

Volunteer Center Honor

Executive Director, Lynn Cole, was honored by the Volunteer Center at their Annual Volunteer Center Recognition Event on April 19, 2018. The Mission of The Volunteer Center is to promote volunteerism, support nonprofit organizations, and engage people in meaningful volunteer service in the communities they serve. This year’s event was held at the Michigan Shores Club and honorees represented four organizations, RISE International, Grace House Mentors, Go Green Winnetka, and Keystone Alliance.

Barbara Tubekis, Executive Director at the Volunteer Center, spoke about each recipient and the organizational mission, and presented each honoree with a keepsake. Lynn’s family attended the event to celebrate the recognition. Lynn said, “I am grateful to the Volunteer Center and its Board, and for the work you do, and thank you for the opportunity to share our story, and that of the children of Angola. I am honored to be among a group of people committed to impacting the world for good, truly making a difference.”

Interact with Africa

Walk through Africa

Wheeling High School’s Interact with Africa Club once again hosted Walk through Africa, an interactive experience designed to teach other students about the similarities and differences of Wheeling students and Angolan students. The members of the Interact with Africa Club learn about Angola and then design presentations to share with other students during passing periods and lunch in the hallway. Each presentation area has posters displaying statistics about life in the United States and in Angola. The club hopes to both educate and raise funds for RISE schools. Each student who participated in the Walk through Africa received a handout highlighting the areas of the presentation and learned about the various aspects of life in Angola: Food and Water, Education and Home Life. In the Education area, students were shown typical school supplies in Angola (a notepad and pencil) and then a package of a US student’s supplies showing crayons, markers, binders, notepads, pens, pencils, scissors, glue and more. In the Home Life area, students had the chance to carry water jugs and see the chores and responsibilities of a typical Angolan student. And, in the Food and Water section, students learned about malnutrition and the realities of not having clean water. We are grateful to Wheeling High School and all schools that work with us to raise awareness about how education improves health and empowers children. If you want to get your school involved, learn more here!

World Literacy Summit

World Literacy Summit

On their way to Angola, Lynn and Rachel Cole will be attending the World Literacy Summit in Oxford. Delegates will collaborate, share ideas, learn and be united to close the global literacy gap in the 21st century. The Summit provides a platform for debate, discussion, and sharing of knowledge between some of the world’s most ardent literacy and educational leaders, institutions, organizations and pioneers.