Obtaining a quality education is the foundation of improving children’s lives. All children should have the right to a good quality education, which helps them to use and develop their talents and abilities. They should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level they can.
In 2017, 54 social ventures in our portfolio worked to provide high quality education to children, contributing to a wide range of SDG targets, such as 4.2 Access to quality early childhood development, 4.4 Relevant ICT skills for employment and 4.5 Parity in education. Here are two examples:
Carolyne Ekyarisiima, Tanzania (SDG target 4.4 and 4.5)
There is a big gender gap in tech, with only 21% of executives in Tanzania being female. In tech workplaces, women note that they face several barriers which prevent them from achieving their goals. The top three are, having a lack of mentors (48%), a lack of female role models in tech (42%) and episodes of gender bias (39%). To bridge this gap, Carolyne Ekyarisiima, in Tanzania, runs Apps & Girls, which brings ICT to young women through workshops, competitions, camps, coding clubs and more, to give them the kick-start they need to discover that, with the right skills, they can do anything they set their minds to.
Louis Ngabonziza, Rwanda (SDG target 4.5)
In Rwanda, children with hearing impairments are marginalized, in formal education and in society in general. This results in illiteracy and stigmatization in their communities. These children are more likely to remain excluded from the society they live in, since education is closely linked to factors like social security, good jobs and health. In 2014 24 862 children with disabilities in preschool, primary and lower secondary school were reported, which is 0.5% of the population under 17. This suggests that there are many children with disabilities that are not involved in the educational system. Louis is working to change this by providing hearing impaired children and youth with formal education, training about and the us of technology and vocational skills. Thus building a generation of confident, self-sufficient young Rwandans.
children and youth were provided with high quality educational content, through interventions carried out by our social ventures in 2017.
of the social ventures gained useful connections to people and/or opportunities through Reach for Change in 2017.
Connection to funding helped Ordblindetræning scale their impact, to support 6 708 Danish children suffering from dyslexia
Up to 84,000 Danish children are struggling to learn to read and write, which often makes it difficult for them to move on to higher education. Social entrepreneurs Mikael Højbjerg and Thomas Mose, and their organization Ordblindetræning, work to give children with dyslexia equal opportunities so they can realize their potential, They do this by offering reading and writing classes based on study books and compensatory IT software. In addition to the classes, Ordblindetræning offers training for the children’s parents, so they can continue supporting their children at home. Parents can also choose to work with one of Ordblindetræning’s volunteers, to help with providing regular guidance and encouragement.
In the beginning of 2017, Ordblindetræning felt ready to speed up the scaling of their impact. Mikael thinks back: “During 2015 and 2016 we did a lot of product development. At the launch of our improved program in 2017, the Ministry of Education referred to our methodology as one of the most effective ways to teach reading and writing to children with dyslexia.”
The Ministry’s enthusiastic acknowledgement of the effectiveness of Ordblindetræning’s solution made Reach for Change keen to support their expansion. “The Danish Reach for Change team has a great network of valuable connections”, Mikael says. “One of their contacts is the Egmont Foundation, which invests in improving the lives of children and youth. Reach for Change introduced us to them and gave us their seal of approval, which provided us with a credibility that we could not have had on our own. In Q2, Egmont decided to partner with us, and I am convinced that this was one of the reasons why the Ole Kirk’s Foundation, another important funder, also chose to partner with us, shortly after.”
In addition to connecting Ordblindetræning to opportunities for funding, Mikael highlights that Reach for Change also provided strategy development support: “Reach for Change set us up with consultants from Qvartz who have supported us with pro bono advice, especially regarding our business model. It is really important and helpful to get their external viewpoint, in order to challenge and validate the beliefs that Thomas and I have. Reach for Change has given us a sounding board, for matters big and small, throughout our time in the incubator.
In 2017, Ordblindetræning almost doubled their revenues, from 280 000 to 500 000 USD. They also grew their staff from 2 to 12 and increased their number of children supported, from 2,952 to 6,708.
The impact evaluation performed by the Ministry of Education, on 30 children in 4-5th grade, shows that after 30 hours of support from Ordblindetræning during one week, the children significantly increased the number of words they could read correctly per minute from Elbro Word Lists - on average from 27 to 32 words. One of the many children who were positively impacted by Ordblindetræning’s work is Emma.
“Reach for Change introduced us to the Egmont Foundation and gave us their seal of approval, which provided us with a credibility that we could not have had on our own."
Ordblindetræning helped Emma to read and spell, increasing her confidence
Emma is in the 4th grade. With severe dyslexia she finds school challenging, particularly to read and spell unknown words. In addition, she struggles with low self-esteem due to the many defeats experienced in school. In 2017, Emma’s parents came in contact with us at Ordblindetræning through an advert on Facebook, and asked to enroll Emma in the training program. After a two day reading and spelling training based on our study material “Fonologik”, Emma can now take herself through words sound by sound and syllable by syllable, and has a much easier time to read and spell unknown words. In addition, our speech-to-text software allows Emma to more easily participate in writing activities relevant to her age. This has resulted in that she has a much greater confidence in her school work. Three months after Emma completed our course, we received an email from her stating that she had continued writing on the story she started developing with Thomas as part of the training, and that she had started to read more books. She says in the email, “I feel that I have learned so much during my time with you”
I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.