On the cutting edge: 5 new innovators joining CEI's database

August 04, 2016Tess Bissell
 

Each day, educators and students are adding to a growing diversity of innovative solutions to persistent barriers in education. As innovators continue to apply fresh approaches, the CEI Program Database is similarly expanding to identify and gain insights from these exciting new models. We have recently added five new innovators to our database, and are excited to learn more about the strategies they are using to better respond to the education challenges their specific communities face.

The Khud Initiative in Lahore, Pakistan employs sustainable educational technology to stimulate creative thinking and independent learning in marginalized schools and communities. Currently, Pakistan has 25 million children out of school, and will soon require an estimated 1.25 million new teachers. Reports have also raised concerns about the quality of teaching offered to children who are in school. Khud has reinvented the traditional rote learning model through new edtech initiatives and “agile learning”. The organization provides laptops and Internet service to under-resourced schools, and crafts new projects and curricula for students. The program has expanded to serve three schools in Lahore, and hopes to increase the scope of their geographical reach and of services offered.

Dreams from the Slums reaches out to the most vulnerable children living in remote and desolate community slums across Africa. The goal is to re-enroll out of school children in formal schooling, and to provide educational support, mentorship, and empowerment across Africa to make the dreams of poor children come true. The program launched in Nigeria, but has since expanded to reach a total of ten countries. Activities provided by the organization include free weekend literacy classes, medical outreach, a nutrition program, and a peer mentorship program. Through this holistic approach, Dreams from the Slums changes not just educational outcomes, but the vulnerable children’s lives.

In Tanzania, the Woman Emancipation and Development Agency (WOMEDA) addresses the socioeconomic educational gap through a program designed to engage multiple stakeholders - parents and guardians, teachers, volunteers, and government leaders. In the program’s first year, WOMEDA identified the 812 most vulnerable children in Kyerwa District and offered them access to education through provision of scholastic materials, engaging children in ECD through literacy and numeracy programs, and helping parents and guardians generate income. In the future, the program hopes to scale up to reach the 1800 most vulnerable households in the region.

Chinansi Foundation aims to alleviate human suffering and social injustice in rural Malawi by providing hope for social and economic development. With support from the Firelight Foundation, Chinansi runs the Mwanawanga ECD project and has built two Community Based Care Centers (CBCCs). For children 3- 5 years old, the program takes an integrated approach to ECD programming by addressing issues of livelihood and child protection. For instance, Chinansi Foundation engages parents in agricultural activities to provide the CBCC with food and other necessary materials to maintain the center. Chinansi’s CBCCs play a truly integral role in rural communities: over 90% of the children served are from families that cannot afford to pay for ECD services at private institutions, which are mostly based in urban areas, and live in communities that frequently suffer from natural disasters.

The Tusaidiane Mwaloni Kirumba is a community-run ECD program, also implemented by the Firelight Foundation, that works to improve the lives of young children in Mwanza, Tanzania. The program has established two ECD day care centers in Kirumba Ward, which provide quality care and early learning for children under 5 years old. The centers provide quality care and early learning as well as food and nutrition so as to improve the health of the children in the family and household. The organization also empowers women from poor income households by forming women’s micro-finance groups and providing training on income generating activities. By engaging stakeholders at all levels, Tusaidiane Mwaloni Kirumba approaches the challenges of ECD from multiple angles. 

Around the world, and increasingly across development sectors, CEI helps its Programs Database users stay on the cutting edge of education innovation. We want to hear from you: what organizations would you like to see profiled in our database? What programs are shifting the education landscape on the ground in your region? Let us know at cei@r4d.org, or tweet @CEInnovations.

Photo Credit: Ami Vitale/Anseye Pou Ayiti; Khud Initiative; Dreams from the Slums; Anna Groth-Shive/The Sabre Trust; Chinansi Foundation; Tusaidiane Mwaloni Kirumba

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