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.
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.
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.
Educate!'s Evaluation Director Meghan Mahoney joined a panel hosted by the Society for International Development in Washington, D.C., sharing her insights on secondary education in developing countries and specific strategies for integrating positive youth development in these contexts.
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.
Last year, we launched in over 90 schools across Northern Uganda, the most impoverished region in Uganda. We’ve learned some critical lessons that we'll incorporate into our scaling strategy to maximize efficiency and impact.
Today marks International Women’s Day, when women and men across the globe come together to celebrate women’s achievements and to advocate for continued opportunity.
At Educate!, we believe opportunity is only possible when youth have access to an education that prepares them for life after graduation. This basic right is one that alludes tens of millions youth around the globe and is a particularly significant challenge for girls.
In the small village in Eastern Uganda where George grew up, it costs about $4 per year to attend school. But after his father passed away, George’s family could no longer afford the school fees and he was forced to leave school when he was only 13 years old.
Educate! will be featured in Al Jazeera English’s televised documentary series, Rebel Education, as one of six institutions across that globe that is breaking the mold and creating a radically new vision for 21st century education. Our episode is airing on the 23rd of January.
Educate! partnered with Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) and the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sport (MoES) to host our 2nd Annual Global Conference. The theme of this year’s event was “Experience the Reform: Skills Based Education for Sustainable Development”.
We're proud to announce that Educate! has been recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.
Our new commitment affirms our intention to continue scaling our proven experienced-based education model to 550 schools and more than 190,000 students in Uganda by the end of 2018, while also preparing to expand to an additional African country in 2019. This new Commitment aligns with our Vision for 2024 to impact one million youth annually across Sub-Saharan Africa, empowering them with the skills they need to solve poverty for themselves and their communities.
We're honored to share that Educate! was cited by Bill Gates in his speech for the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in South Africa.
In his moving speech Mr. Gates said: "A good education is the best lever we have for giving every young person a chance to make the most of their lives. In Africa, as in the U.S., we need new thinking and new educational tools to make sure that a high-quality education is available to every single child. In Uganda, young innovators at an NGO called Educate! are helping high schools prepare young people for the workplace by teaching students how to start their own business."
Recently released as a continuation of the Millions Learning project, the new Millions Learning case studiesprovide an in-depth look at 12 of the programs and policies explored in the report. Educate!'s case study highlights the most important lessons learned from the Brookings Institution's exploration of our organization. Specifically, Educate! is noted for our strategy of designing for massive scale from the start, our deep commitment to rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and our high-level partnerships with Ministries of Education to reform entire education systems.
Educate! is featured in a new industry-defining report from the Brookings Center for Universal Education. Millions Learning seeks to understand the crucial factors driving major improvements in educational outcomes around the world, distilling lessons learned from case studies of Educate!, Pratham, Room to Read, Sesame Workshop, and other leading organizations. The Millions Learning project specifically focuses on education innovations that can be implemented efficiently, effectively, and sustainably on a large scale. Out of over 100 potential cases, Educate! was chosen as one of only 14 solutions to become a detailed case study for the Millions Learning report.
Educate! is thrilled to announce a monumental opportunity to reach more youth than ever before. This year we are launching in our second country: Rwanda. Through our education reform efforts, we will impact the education of every secondary student across the nation-- that’s 215,000 youth annually. This expansion is a major milestone toward sustainably impacting youth livelihoods through education systems change.