World Education: Finalist's Statement
World Education is a nonprofit leader using education to equip people with the skills, resources, confidence, and support they need to improve their own lives and change conditions in their communities. We believe the most important levers for change directly involve people and local organizations in the development of initiatives designed to benefit them. We then equip individuals with the skills, support, and resources that help them move forward. We couple experiential learning techniques that build on an individual's knowledge and context (cultural, linguistic, geographic, and economic) with sound technical skills training, combining skills building with a process that promotes individual and collective ownership. Our work builds lasting partnerships between the private sector, local NGOs, and government agencies in more than 24 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.
World Education takes the time to understand how individuals and communities view their worlds, how they perceive outside change agents, and how communities work (or do not work) to create conditions that enable them to improve individual and collective well-being. Our innovation is rooted in these core components:
Building technical and management skills at the local level: Using an active and dynamic participatory learning approach, we build skills, tools, and resources of people and local organizations to address relevant, immediate issues affecting their everyday lives.
Multi-sector, scientific approaches to longstanding entrenched problems: Because issues of poverty intersect with education, economic development, health, natural resources management, and civil society, we use approaches that intersect multiple sectors.
Replicating and adapting models and materials: While the context in which World Education works differs dramatically around the world, our methodologies and tools are routinely adapted in other regions where we operate.
Partnering with national ministries of health and education to promote sustainability and widespread adoption of best practices: To catalyze broad social change, we link national policy and decision-makers with local efforts whenever possible.
Using small initial investments to seed initiatives we bring to scale: Understanding the leveraging power of private investments, we have a strong track record of using seed capital to test new models that typically attract additional funding.
World Education's core areas of focus:
Girls' and Women's Education
Investment in the education of girls and women is the single most effective way to improve the lives of families and communities. World Education's programs equip women around the world with the knowledge and skills they need to take charge of their own development.
World Education integrates literacy programs with relevant life skills in health, economic development, environmental protection, and civil society development. By integrating relevant, real-life issues and concerns into literacy and basic education programs, World Education equips students with valuable, sometimes life-saving, information as they learn writing, math, and critical thinking.
World Education improves the health and well being of women and families by equipping people with basic education and accurate and straightforward health information, including cancer screening, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Using basic financial management and investment skills, World Education helps women identify and develop small business plans and become active members of independent, self-sustaining savings and credit groups that promote greater economic autonomy.
Many forms of child labor are harmful to the welfare of children and seriously undermine their life options. Using a combination of awareness raising campaigns and educational activities where children learn to read, write, do basic math, and develop critical thinking skills, World Education helps children create alternative futures.
Is it estimated that between 700,000 and 2 million girls and women are trafficked each year. World Education offers rescued girls and women and those most vulnerable to being trafficked educational opportunities to help them develop different life options.
In countries confronting the aftermath of civil conflict and war, World Education helps people and communities eliminate the dangers of land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). We also support education efforts in refugee camps, and collaborate with local governments and NGOs to rebuild social and economic stability.
Using methods based on ecologically sound science, World Education helps farmers grow more food without using harmful pesticides through experiential training and technical support.
Adult Basic Education
World Education creates social, intellectual, and economic opportunities for adults in the US by improving their basic education and English language skills, and by linking them with opportunities for higher education.
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The above information was provided by the profiled organization.