We want to send teachers to and fund a girls' school in Zambia without adequate resources, to promote girls education in developing nations.
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We do not currently have a website or social media platform for our venture.
Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Idea (hoping to get started in the future)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We will help to solve the economic and cultural barriers that prohibit many young girls from receiving an education in developing nations. Education creates opportunities, but these young girls are needed at home to help with chores or raising siblings, or do not have the money to pay for school. There is not enough funding or government support for schools with missions to further girls' education, leading to lower attendance and literacy rates.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We are planning to solve this problem with a program to send college students, learning to become educators, to teach at Daughter's Vision, an under-staffed and under-funded school for girls in a low-income, rural neighborhood in Zambia, during winter and summer breaks. Daughter's Vision is run by a woman named Gladys, who is the only teacher, and provides free classes to girls ages five to twelve. The girls can only get a couple of classes a week, so having these new teachers would provide consistent days of classes. The college students would teach science and health, math, and English to the girls. They would be sent overseas after a possible partnership with an established organization or the study abroad office of a university in the D.C. area. They would also go through an application process and several bimonthly meetings pre-trip to discuss the curriculum they will teach and culture shock. The college students would also work on writing an educational grant for Daughter's Vision to have enough funding to hire full-time teachers from Zambia. If this program successfully works with Daughter's Vision, we hope to extend it to many other schools and countries.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
In summer 2018, I was fortunate enough to travel to Zambia with ten other high school students from D.C. with the organization LearnServe. While there, we spent three days teaching at Daughter's Vision, a small girls' school run by an incredible woman named Gladys. Throughout the trip, I was inspired by the different people I met and the students that I traveled with, and the effort that they put in to help others. Gladys runs a school almost entirely out of her own pocket, providing an essential service to the young girls in her community: education. While teaching math at her school, I saw the potential within the young girls, and the empowerment that education gave them. One girl, named Patricia, excelled in her class, learning new skills very quickly. After I left Daughter's Vision, I felt as though my purpose was still not fulfilled, and I wanted to do more for girls like Patricia.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
If a college student decides to spend their break abroad, teaching, making a difference, and gaining new experiences, then they will help to improve a community. Once they apply, they join the group to be sent overseas and create lesson plans for what they will teach. They then take those lessons plans to Daughter's Vision in Zambia, and teach them, to about 40 young girls. These lessons will give the girls more knowledge and skills in math, science, health, and languages. For the community, literacy rates will improve, and STD's or teen pregnancy will be less common, as many do not have adequate sex education. This will hopefully make a difference in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia. For the girls, if they attend these consistent classes, they will have a better education and be able to climb higher. A young girl will be able to support herself without a husband or father.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
There are already established organizations and programs that send teachers abroad to schools in need. Something unique about our venture is that we will be sending college students abroad. College students have long breaks during both the summer and winter. Sending college students also allows us to partner with the study abroad office at a university. This will help us reach out to our pool of applicants, and also highlight the importance of the experience for the college students. It will give them experience in their prospective field of education, and experience abroad in another culture.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
I will know whether my project is making a difference or not by communicating with my beneficiary. The woman who runs the school that we will be working with first, Gladys, knows the girls at the school best and will be able to track their progress. If the girls feel that they have gained valuable and useful skills, and feel empowered, then we have made a difference in the lives of the girls. There are also literacy exams that the girls can take, to see if their language skills are improving or not.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Our next steps for our project are to partner with an established organization. We are currently in the process of setting up a meeting with the Dean of Howard University, to present our idea and see if they are interested. I have recently joined the Incubator Program at LearnServe, which helps teenagers create achievable goals and turn their ventures into plans of action. This program will help me learn how to connect with my beneficiary and find funding for my project. In the upcoming year with the program, I hope to have formed a partnership, and start looking for the first group of college students to send abroad.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
How did you hear about this challenge?