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MIKTA Education in Emergencies Challenge Themes and Inspiration Part I

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Designing for educational success for girls in emergency settings 

We embarked on this Challenge because we believe that it is critical to identify and support innovative approaches tackling the complexities of education in emergency situations. This week we are focusing on creative Ideas to specifically support girls' education in emergency settings, and how making that education accessible is more than just having books, pencils and the internet. 

1. It’s about creating content that doesn’t just meet the bare minimum but helps girls thrive. 

We’ve seen some exciting Ideas that focus not only on meeting basic needs, but also the emotional and intellectual needs of girls. 

It’s challenging to learn if your learning materials are in a language that you don’t speak. Girls (and all children) in emergency settings often lack access to appropriate educational materials in their native language. Project Earnie created cloud-based software that enables the creation and delivery of culturally relevant, interactive, multi-lingual content.

Learning is most successful in safe supportive environments. For example, Heshima Kenya is the first and only organization in Kenya devoted to protecting and empowering urban, unaccompanied refugee girls through holistic education programming and housing. 

Going beyond learning and into leading. We’ve seen some great ideas helping girls to view themselves as leaders and change-makers in their own communities– like Women LEAD Nepal. They provide young women with skills, support and opportunities to become leaders.

2. It’s making content that's relevant and exciting to girls, and addresses the specific challenges they face in emergency and crisis situations. 

Storytelling can be a tool for locally-relevant education and tackling social stigma. Auratraaj, a Pakistan-based content creation platform, is producing animated content to educate girls about nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, gender inequality, and empowerment. 

Another example of powerful storytelling comes from, Tibeb Girls Program, an Ethiopia-based TV animation series starring adolescent superheroines, which targets out-of-school & marginalized girls to improve their learning and re-enrollment.

Finally, it’s about changing who’s telling the story, empowering girls to share their stories and helping communities to listen. #MeWeSyria is activating youth to discover, reclaim, and unleash healing through storytelling and creating their own media to share.

3. Education and empowering girls is a community-wide activity

We saw some great ideas that focus on training and supporting mothers and families while also educating girls. For example, PFCF aims to use the power of creative expression to educate and empower women, youth, and communities facing violence and instability.

Another example of this is from the business space is Dot and Line Centres. They are bringing education to moms and kids, and supporting the entire family system through informal learning opportunities.

We saw some great ideas leveraging community to support girls in their education journey, like Room to Read. Their thesis states: “Girls who develop foundational life skills coupled with positive support from families, communities, and mentors will be more likely to stay in school, graduate, and improve their life outcomes.”

These are just a few of the stories we learned from and are excited about in the Challenge thus far. Thanks for joining us on this important journey and stay tuned next week as we continue to share insights and themes from the community. In the meantime please share your thoughts and insights on the platform by supporting some of these amazing ideas! 

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Education in Emergencies Challenge , OpenIDEO + Education


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