Case study: Educate!

by Tuyet Ngo on Thu, 2011-03-31 11:25
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Location: Uganda
Date Founded: 2002

Vision:Educate! envisions an Africa in which all students are prepared to better their communities and develop solutions to the challenges facing their continent. 
Mission: To educate and empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa. 

Background and aims                                                

Eric Glustrom founded Educate! in 2002 after meeting several refugees in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Uganda, of around the same age as him, 17, that did not have the means to pay for their education. Realizing that an education was the only way for these refugees to solve the challenges facing Kyangwali, Eric decided to help. He founded Educate! soon after he returned home. He graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado in 2003 and then from Amherst College in 2007. He now lives and works in both Uganda and the US working to develop both sides of the organization.

Educate!’s goal is to empower students to develop creative solutions to the challenges facing their country. Hundreds of high school student across Uganda are creating positive change in their community with the skills and experience they got through Educate’s model of education. Today, Educate! is empowering 830 high-school youth at 24 partner high schools across Uganda, and developing a model of education that can be applied universally.

The Innovation                                                                                                 

Educate! has created a model of education that unlocks the potential of the next generation to solve the greatest problems facing in their communities. The curriculum is focused on the skills and experience students need to find solutions to poverty, violence, disease, and environmental degradation. The teachers are mentors and build up powerful relationships that give youth confidence to lead change. The classroom is the community itself where the Educate! students start initiatives that solve the greatest challenges facing their communities. 

Educate! is collaborating with the National Curriculum Development Center and the UN’s
International Labour Organisation to write the social entrepreneurship module in  the new national A level entrepreneurship curriculum. The new  curriculum will be piloted in 2011 and rolled out to over 100,000 students taking entrepreneurship in 2012 and 2013. The social entrepreneurship curriculum will include a practical component in which students  start a business or community initiative.

Key Ingredients

  1. An innovative leadership curriculum designed with the help of  worldwide partner organizations.
  2. A student led social enterprise that effectively and sustainably addresses a community need.

Example of success

Lillian Aerofounded the Namugongo Good Samaritan Project, which has trained 36 HIV/AIDS affected widows to make jewellery and organized a cooperative so they have access to markets for their product. She has changed the lives of these  women who now have a source of income. The women  are likely to go on to positively impact others, demonstrating exponential empowerment at its best . Lillian’s inspiration and encouragement came largely from the Educate! curriculum and her experience with her Educate! mentor.

Philip Kulubya – Educate! scholar who mobilized his school to raise money and food worth over $2,350 to support a literacy center for vulnerable youth in a nearby slum.

George William Bakka – Educate! scholar who started a microfinance organization called Angel Financial Investments. George William raised capital to start the organization, and now gives out loans to other students who are starting businesses. George believes that access to capital, and therefore the opportunity to lift oneself out of poverty, should be available to even the poorest of the poor.

Scholars in Hoima, Uganda, with the help of their Mentor, Solomon Kayiwa, lobbied the local government to donate 20,000 tree seedlings. The Scholars mobilized the community to plant the 20,000 tree seedlings to defend against deforestation.

Daniel Okurut, Educate! scholar, started a social enterprise that manufactures and sells energy efficient stoves to reduce the use of firewood and charcoal, thus curbing deforestation. Daniel learned to make the stoves by reading a book in his local library.


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