Rory Rogan had no ideawhen he was fiddling around making a backpack to use on a hike, that he would end up creating a movement with BePacks. While in college at the United States Merchant Marines Academy, Rory started making a prototype of his dream backpack. While working on the pack he had an ‘aha’ moment. Rogan was familiar with The African Education Program (AEP) and realized that incorporating their non-profit into his bag company is where this dream was heading. Before traveling to Africa in 2012 Rory’s family had suggested he meet Mario Savarit, one of the Chairpersons of the African Education program. Prior to leaving, Rory met Mario and fell in love with the work the organization was doing in Zambia and wanted to learn more about how he could help.
Children in Sub-Saharan Africa have to pay for their own school (about $175 a year including food and uniform). Roughly 22 million teenagers cannot afford to continue their education so the AEP is there to help, as is Be Packs. $10 from every bag goes directly to sponsoring a child’s education in Zambia. Every 20 bags sold provides a child with one year of education, one meal and a uniform.
What makes Be Packs so unique is that in every pack, you will find a hand written patch of hope from a child in Zambia. The bags are made entirely start to finish in the USA, specifically in New York City where the company began. All of the materials used for the bags from the zipper to the straps to the actual fabric is sourced from within the US. Each Hope Patch begins as a simple 4×4 piece of fabric sourced here in the US.
After the blank patches are collected into groups they are shipped to their friends at the African Education Program in Zambia. There, full time volunteers distribute the blank patches to the children at the center where they handwrite every inspiring Hope Patch. After the kids write out their message of hope, the finished patches are then driven to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, where they are sent back to our production facility in New York City. Finally, they are sewn into the packs where they take their place as the heart & soul of every bag. Just waiting to inspire you to be the change.
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