What is the problem?
Refugee girls are 2.5x less likely to attend school than boys. Numerous obstacles stand in the way between a girl and her right to education. If a girl is abused, pressured to feel shameful of puberty, or encouraged to leave school, it is unlikely that they will realize their full potential. Unfortunately, teachers are often unequipped to help girls going through these issues. Furthermore, organizations are kept out of the loop. Without a clear means of communication and collaboration between students, teachers, and educators, girl students outcomes look dire.
Why did we choose to solve this?
We recognize that we are inadequately educated to directly address the needs of refugee women. However, we can still contribute by helping educators and organizations reach their full potential. From our perspective, addressing the systemic factors that prevent women from completing school was the most helpful contribution we could make.
What is the goal?
We strive to improve communication and collaboration between students, educators, and organizations. By tightening feedback loops, organizations will have greater macro and micro insights, teachers will have improved educational resources, and students will have better outcomes. We hope to achieve the following:
- By introducing a tool for organizations to survey school aged refugee girls, organizations like UNICEF will be able to allocate resources to specific people who need them the most.
- Since we encourage educators to communicate to one another, we hope that communities of teachers will spring up in refugee camps. This will create sustainable infrastructure for education departments and develop individual teacher's materials/skills.
- Because students are monitored more closely on loop, the extra accountability should push them to attend school more. In the case that there is an extenuating circumstance for not attending school, teachers could get involved to resolve the issue so the student/child can resume her education.
How will we accomplish this?
We have created feedback and analytics platform between students, educators, and organizations. Organizations can survey students via SMS, in line with existent technological constraints. Our service will analyze this survey data, and help assist NGO's with management and policy decision making.
Teachers will feel the strongest impact of our solution. We have build a CRM tailored specifically to the needs of the teachers, allowing them to manage and check in with students, collaborate with other teachers facing similar challenges, and utilize resources that can help them become better teachers and mentors.
Why is this better than existing solutions?
Current solutions for gathering this data include manually canvasing refugee camps, which suffers from limited reach and frequency of surveying. It also results in delayed responses to emergency situations. This level and frequency of data has never been made available to organizations and educators within refugee camps.
Educators also currently lack ways to connect with other educators who can provide assistance with improving their style to solve
What are next steps?
Now that we've built an extensible platform, the possibilities are endless in how teachers and organizations can use these tools to improve refugee girls' education and their lives:
- Girls could use the direct line of communication to get specific products (feminine hygiene care products, for example) delivered directly to them in case it is too unsafe for them to obtain these alone.
- After organizations aggregate a large amount of data about refugee camps, it would allow them to better predict how to allocate resources to each refugee camp. When a disaster strikes, organizations could anticipate the problems (and hence solutions) of the newly-displaced refugees and address them during the crucial “First Response Window” (as described by the Education Cannot Wait Fund).