In a rural community in Eastern Uganda, twins Shadia and Shakira somehow find the time to run their own businesses, serve as the Secretary and Treasurer of their Student Business Club, and excel in their courses at Nakalama Secondary School.
It’s no secret: Girls around the world face unique and greater barriers to success after school as entrepreneurs, in the workforce, and as leaders in their communities.
Last International Women’s Day, we shared the ways we’ve been working to build an expertise in gender, describing how we embarked on a research opportunity to maintain and build up gender justice as a priority across our organization as we scale. Over the past year, we focused on taking what we learned one step further, implementing a comprehensive gender justice strategy across our all of our key stakeholders: students, teachers, government officials, and staff members.
While significant progress has been made for girls’ education around the world, our partner and friend Dana Schmidt of Echidna Giving notes in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that efforts to unlock the full promise of young women through quality education continue to fall short. It’s not enough to focus on educating girls, we need to improve how we focus on them. In order to do so, we must critically examine conventional wisdom about education for girls and abandon common approaches that have failed to produce real progress.
Currently, 90% of African youth are projected to work in the informal sector. While previously many advocated to transition youth from informal contexts to formal jobs, Making Cents International’s recent Global Youth Economic Opportunities (GYEO) Summit revealed a shift in thinking that closely aligns with our belief in creating a grassroots movement of young leaders and entrepreneurs to drive sustainable development.
Educate!’s Executive Director Boris Bulayev and Rwanda Country Director Donnalee Donaldson recently presented Educate!’s experience as part of a webinar hosted by Making Cents International and the Youth Employment Funders Group (YEFG).
Juliet, an Educate! Youth Leader, is one of the people at the heart of Educate!’s partnership with the Rwandan government. She, along with ten other Youth Leaders, is helping to fulfill Educate!’s vision of integrating our model into national education systems.
One of our biggest questions of 2017 was: Have we maintained our impact as we’ve scaled the Educate! Experience across Uganda? Thanks to a new external evaluation, the results are in.
Standing in front of his new shop, Francis is glowing. He has just achieved two of his life goals in quick succession. He was accepted to Kyambogo University to study social sciences—a dream he’s had since childhood. Then, as a top Educate! graduate, Francis was recruited to become a Mentor, a role that lets him support 120 other youth to achieve their own dreams.
Breaking New Ground: Four Key Lessons from Launching Education Innovations in Post-Conflict Environments
Educate!'s article "Breaking New Ground: Four Key Lessons from Launching Education Innovations in Post-Conflict Environments" was published in the journal Childhood Education: Innovations.
Educate!’s work in Rwanda is one of 19 innovative projects profiled in a new publication by Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE). The report highlights Educate!’s model in Rwanda for supporting young entrepreneurs to generate socially responsible business ideas that factor in their community’s needs and opportunities. As a high-potential project, Educate!’s experience and proven impact can be used to influence the design of second generation projects.
The YouthConnekt Africa Summit is Rwanda's largest youth and entrepreneurship conference. Donnalee Donaldson, Educate!’s Rwanda Country Director, joined government officials, stakeholders and policy-makers at the event as a moderator for the panel, Youth Driving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In a recent IAB meeting, Mentors shared with Educate!’s leadership team that it would be valuable for them to observe and learn from each other’s businesses. Our programs team wasted no time incorporating this innovative idea into the Mentor’s professional development program. Project Days have spurred innovation and group problem-solving; it’s been a powerful learning opportunity for the Mentors.
With over 10 countries in Africa actively engaged in education reforms, it’s clear that there is an international movement calling for a transformation of traditional education. This movement emphasizes the need to move away from lecture and rote memorization and toward practical, student-centered, and skills-based education methods that lead to better educational and life outcomes for youth.
Agnes is a Dean of Students in the eastern district of Bugesera in Rwanda and it is her job to ensure that the teachers in her school are providing the best instruction possible to their students. Yet it was only just recently that she learned how Skills Labs can really help her teachers shine.
African youth are bursting with untapped potential. The innovative, sustainable social enterprises launched by Educate!’s Student Business Clubs showcase what happens when you couple potential with skills training. You get stories about accidental soy milk and orphanages:
Can you imagine an episode of Shark Tank where all the competitors are Ugandan youth with innovative social enterprises? If you can, then you’re picturing Educate!’s annual National Student Business Club Competition.
National Competition brings together the top Student Business Clubs from Educate! partner schools across Uganda to showcase their products and compete for awards in categories like sustainability, financial management, and innovation.
Follow Grace on her journey from secondary school to employment.