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World Education, Inc.: Finalist's Statement

Social Capitalists

World Education, Inc.

Finalist's Statement

What do child labor, exploitation of women and girls, HIV/AIDS, food scarcity and poverty have in common? They can all be alleviated through education. Relevant, practical, skills-based education that helps people make informed choices, take more control over their own lives, and improve conditions in their communities.

We are World Education

Rooted in literacy and basic education, World Education drives social change from the bottom up by building the skills and resources of local organizations to catalyze innovation at the grassroots. For more than 50 years, we have been a leader in using evidence-based strategies that link education to health ,economic, social, and environmental programs at the community level. Our priority thematic areas include girls' and women's education, child labor and human trafficking, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, sustainable agriculture, and strengthening the adult basic education system in the United States. Last year, more than 500,000 people in 24 countries around the world took more control over their lives through World Education programs.

Of the nearly 1 billion people who are illiterate around the world, two-thirds are women. Of the 115 million primary school children not in school, approximately three-fifths are girls. Research supports investments in girls and women's education as the single best way to improve the health, educational and economic conditions of families. For these reasons, the majority of World Education's programs directly benefit women and girls. Over the past ten years, $900,000 of private seed capital has leveraged $26,000,000 in additional funding for girls' and women's education programs.

Samples of Our Results:

  • Women's Economic Empowerment and Literacy (WEEL) -Nepal: In an area where it is rare for women to save money and invest their savings, the WEEL project has transformed women's lives. In 1996, the Ford Foundation invested $100,000 in the initiative. By 2004, 16,000 women through 500 savings and credit groups were equipped with literacy and basic math skills, allowing them to manage group savings and credit operations that on average, increased assets by nearly 240% Over nine years, the initial investment leveraged $1.3 million in private and public funding.
  • OPTIONS: Combating Child Trafficking through Education -Cambodia: World Education mobilizes and trains community networks to ensure that 6000 girls removed from or at risk of trafficking are educated in programs that address issues relevant to their daily lives. Last year, the McKnight Foundation invested in our livelihoods strategy to help girls develop realistic, local businesses that could reduce their vulnerability to trafficking.
  • The New School Project - Egypt: The New School Program helped nearly 70 rural communities and more than 1000 parents organize for more and better school buildings and quality primary school education for their daughters, as well as their sons. In 2000, the Ford Foundation invested $50,000 to develop curricula and test the model in three regions in Egypt. By 2004, World Education had helped communities orchestrate the first parent council elections ever, and improved the quality of education for nearly 40,000 primary school age children - including more than 20,000 girls.
  • ABE-to-College Transitions Network -USA: Since 2000, World Education, with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, has helped low income adults go to college by equipping them with college-level math, English, career development, and life and financial management skills. By 2005, more than 1000 adults had entered college through partnerships with 25 local organizations and more than 40 community colleges and in the spring of 2004, World Education launched the National College Transitions Network (NCTN) to lead the nation in developing, sharing, evaluating and disseminating best practices across the field.

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