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Regain Education: The power of education against inequity.

We help victims of forced displacement whose education was interrupted by war or human rights violations to access educational opportunities

Photo of Abel Mucyo
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                                                     WHAT WE DO:

Refugees arrive in the U.S with severe interruptions and gaps in their education and face immense challenges to adapt and thrive in the new school setting compared to their native born peers. Many drop out or just won't even try to access educational opportunities. We help refugees whose education was interrupted by war, violence, persecution or human rights violations to transition and access educational opportunities, setting them up for lifelong success.   

                                            OUR PROGRAM STORY:

We are Regain Education and we are going to empower and inspire refugee youth whose education was interrupted so that they graduate college, thrive and cause lasting positive change in their communities.   

We want to help refugee students whose education was interrupted by forced displacement to graduate high school, enroll in and complete college.

This is a group of young refugees ages 13–23, from grades 9–12 who face immense challenges such as transitioning to a new educational system, race and poverty; barriers that prevent them from fulfilling their true potential.

They will choose our services because we don't just get them into the doors of school but see them through the school system to college graduation so that they achieve the dream of a life built on education and opportunity.  

People will find out about us via our community ambassadors, community outreach  events, word-of mouth referrals from partners & participants and digital/ online platforms. 

They can access our educational, mentorship and cross-cultural communication program for teachers at our community center, partner high schools, colleges and remotely via online platforms.  

When they use our services they will feel welcome and a sense of belonging in their new communities; supported and empowered to thrive and attain a future they’ve always dreamed of.   

They’ll tell others about:

  • Assistance with college applications, financial aid , scholarships for continued education and training 
  • Internships, work-based apprenticeships; English language learning support. 
  • Mentorship from mentors who share similar backgrounds
  •  Academic support & professional connections they received which helped them overcome barriers, succeed academically and find jobs.  
  • Teachers will tell other educators about our cross-cultural training that empowered them to relate and work better with their refugee students


We will get paid/raise revenue through grants from foundations, corporate partnerships, individual donations, fundraising events and internal social ventures. 

Our team is well-positioned to deliver this experience because we excel at understanding  the needs, motivations and struggles of refugee communities because of our lived experience and extensive professional experience  working in the refugee social impact space and the strong networks/relationships among refugee communities we serve. 

Our next steps are:

January -June 2020

  • Host 4 community design workshops - 1 for parents  1 for refugee youth; 1 for educators; 1 for communities where refugees live). 
  • Hire lead staff person 
  • Design a program to serve the first 30 young refugees in North Chicago in  collaboration with community and schools such as Sullivan High and RefugeeOne.  

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

More than 670,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States in the past decade. At least one-third of these are children, older students and young adults whose education was interrupted by forced displacement, war and persecution. They arrive in the U.S. with hopes and dreams of a future anchored by education, opportunity and stability. But they confront immense challenges related to transitioning to a new educational system, race and socioeconomic status — barriers that can prevent fulfilling their true potential. These students often have little understanding of inequality in the United State. As newcomers, they are unaware of educational opportunities and, ill-equipped to access them. Many, faced with economic and social pressures, drop out. As a result, entire communities are left behind, excluded from fully participating in the economy and society. This results in significant loss of human potential and robs communities of a vibrant source of new talent. We see education as the key that enables people to exercise their other rights, such as the right to life & health, allowing them to attain a decent standard of living and offer their very best to our communities. We are part of those communities and we are now reaching out to these individuals to help them regain the dream of getting an education and fulfilling their potential.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Our target beneficiaries are refugees and asylum seekers who have lived in the U.S not more than 7 years. We will begin our work with refugees in northern Chicago, communities that have historically welcomed big numbers of refugees and other newcomers from countries such as Burma, Bhutan, Somali, and South Sudan, among others. As we build our capacity to match the demand for educational assistance, we intend to creatively expand our services to other people on the move in major welcoming cities.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Most newly arrived refugees have escaped extreme conflict and persecution and young refugees have big educational gaps along with other losses they have endured. Education is the best ticket to a better standard of living for them and their families. Our idea acts as a 2 way bridge between these youth and educators; newcomers and native-born Americans. In acquiring education, refugee youth will be able to build a better future for their families and contribute to America’s vibrancy and progress.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Newcomers arrive with hopes and enthusiasm for an American dream built on education but current political realities and declining resources are leaving refugee and immigrant families feeling more vulnerable than ever before. Refugee students and young adults, with interrupted education, face steep challenges in accessing educational opportunities. Many are ill-equipped to thrive in high school and others who enroll in college end up dropping out because of economic and social pressures. They lack access to mentors with backgrounds and experiences similar to theirs who can help them to navigate challenges of racism, poverty and inequity and inspire them to complete college. Many end up feeling stymied with no realistic chance to continue their education or to acquire a job that offers a decent standard of living. We see a world where everyone irrespective of where they live or come from has a fair shot at acquiring a decent education.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Schools and neighbors who receive people on the move in the community struggle to provide the support needed for these students to thrive. For example, we have heard from newcomers that they find the college application process, including writing personal statements particularly difficult and there is insufficient support both in and out-of-school. Add this to other realities of life such as economic disadvantage which newcomers are likely to face. Our program provides a support system built on lived experience. We support educational access through college & career planning, inspiring newcomer students to attend college, assistance with college application processes, sponsorships for trainings, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships and English language support etc. We intend to weave a consistent feedback loop into our programming that allows newcomer communities and neighbors to participate in the design and evaluation of our work.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

The inspiration is both personal and professional. As a child, I grew up in a refugee camp and saw how educational loss can ruin an entire generation. The refugee community is my community, it's a part of my life, where I come from and why I’m inspired to make a difference. Professionally, in my years with Upwardly Global, I worked with hundreds of refugees and asylees helping them to find professional jobs. I also worked in Community outreach which broadened my understanding of the issues, roles of different service providers and needs within the refugee space. Both of these jobs helped me to develop skills as a connector and bridge builder. A large part of the successful outcomes we helped facilitate came from creating, building and sustaining relationships. I believe that if we work together, with partners and initiatives like the BridgeBuilder Challenge, we can defeat the injustice of war and displacement and create a society of shared opportunity for all.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

We exist to end the injustice of educational loss in refugee and immigrant communities. To show the dynamics in these communities, we have used the above infochart to succinctly illustrate the dynamics at community level and how they trickle down to the individual level to negatively impact the lives of young people in refugee and immigrant communities. We also added a video taken during our community research for more context about the community and challenges young people forced to leave home are facing after resettlement in their new communities.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

We are embedded in the communities we serve and put these communities at the center of our work. We collaborate with community leaders and families to identify individuals with the greatest need and help them regain the dream of getting an education. We continue to expand our network of partnerships with education service providers including high schools, community colleges and online training providers like Coursera, to make education accessible to refugees with interrupted education. We are developing a cross cultural communication program to equip teachers and educators with the knowledge and skills they need to sufficiently support refugee students to thrive. We also rely on a network of neighbors who volunteer their time to support newcomers in the community to transition and achieve their educational goals. There are not many organizations focussing particularly on this work so we are having to learn and iterate as we go.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

We are partnering with community agencies for participant outreach and to co-deliver programs. These include public libraries, high schools, community colleges & online training programs. We are already in touch with ESL social workers who run an after-school program at Sullivan High, a local school with a student base that is 45% foreign born. Our goal is always to reach our target audience where they are. We have set up a working relationship with RefugeeOne, a leading refugee resettlement agency. They will cross-refer and co-locate services with us. While their youth program provides some educational assistance it doesn’t cater for young adults. Our program includes both youth and young adults whose education was interrupted or halted by forced displacement. Other stakeholders will also include peer mentors from well-established refugee communities and volunteer community ambassadors who will build bridges and neighborhood connections for newcomers.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Regain Education

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

My life has inspired me to work to end the injustice of educational loss for young refugees and help them to build lives of dignity. I spent my early childhood in a refugee camp in Uganda. My first experience of education was unpleasant. There was only one classroom for the entire school. Hundreds of kids were crammed into a single room, all different ages, with a single female teacher whose voice barely carried past the first couple of rows. These were smart, vibrant kids who could have become doctors, teachers, engineers and community leaders. Unfortunately many did not go beyond this class - a generation robbed of a future. I was very lucky and enabled to succeed because of the sacrifices neighbors made on my behalf. But the conditions that rob millions of refugee children of the chance to get an education have not gone away. They are being left far behind. I’m inspired to use my experience to cause positive change for young refugees across the U.S and the world over.

Website URL:

www.regaineducation.org

Type of submitter

  • We are not yet a registered organization but plan to register in future

Organization Headquarters: Country

United States

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Chicago, IL

In preparation for expert feedback: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in these categories? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea. (600 characters)

1. Volunteers are key bridgebuilders between people on the move and host communities. How might we create a system of recruitment, retention & management of our volunteers? 2. Besides face-to-face community outreach in refugee & immigrant communities, how might we best utilize partnerships and digital platforms to scale our reach and impact? 3. Attaining sustainable funding streams with foundations & corporations are key to our long-term sustainability. How might we build a process for funder cultivation and retention backed by a clear value proposition which speaks to our key audience

Did you use the resources offered during the Improve Phase (mentorship, expert feedback, community research)? (2000 characters)

We used all of the available resources included in the Improve Phase Tool-kit:

1. Utilized Community Research Guide to interview and synthesize what we learned from the people with whom we spoke.  These included refugees and their families;  educational institutions and community based organizations and volunteers. The main takeaways  were that: 

  • Refugees have varying educational and support needs depending on the age they are when they arrive in the U.S. and the level of educational disruption they have endured. 

  • Interviews with teachers validated the need for a cross-cultural communications program for high school and college educators. 

  • Refugee and immigrant-serving organizations are currently struggling to keep their doors open because of government funding cutbacks and a hostile political climate. This flagged for us the need to secure diversified funding from donors, corporations and foundations as well as government.

2. Met with mentor (Pavel) for  almost 2-hour video call to get feedback on the idea. He advised that the implementation plan needs to be fleshed out and that the website should include a link to a detailed form for volunteering (in progress).

3. Participated in the Kickoff webinar to learn more about next steps in the improve phase 

4. Utilized user experience map to elaborate and detail our program users’ experience

5. Utilized the Venture MadLib to clarify our program story and service offerings 

6. Solicited expert advice and incorporated this into program design 

7. We also prototyped a mentorship and career guidance session with a group of 5 refugee youth

8. Utilized Gantt chart for our key activities and timelines. 

In what ways would potential BridgeBuilder funds allow you to pursue your idea that other funding opportunities have not? (1000 characters)

BridgeBuilder funds would provide start up capital to engage the community, design and implement our project and hire staff. If necessary, we will also seek further funding from multiple sources over the 3 year project. To attract this support, we need to show sustained impact. BridgeBuilder seed funding enables us to create this impact.  

Today, refugee communities are greatly disturbed and traumatized by the political environment. Firstly, we need to overcome mistrust and fear and ground the work in the community. We will do this by engaging broad community participation. We will utilize human-centered design to conduct 4 community workshops where youth, parents, educators and neighbors will co-design and refine the program. Drawing from these workshops, we will launch the  community ambassadors pilot, recruit peer refugee mentors and start our Equity in Education programs with a group of 30 refugees and 100 educators  in North Chicago. 

What aspects or proportion of the overall idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (1000 characters)

Funds will support the community design workshops, launch of our Equity in Education programs for refugees and educators,  recruitment and training of peer mentors and community ambassadors and  organizational staffing (see attached key steps and project budget).

Refugee educational services  will provide career planning and  college support. This will include help with college applications, financial aid  and scholarships and with English language learning. Peer Mentors will work with students to build their social capital, overcome economic barriers and navigate issues of racism and inequity. 

Skilled multicultural facilitators will run workshops for  educators to familiarize them with the challenges facing refugees from diverse cultural/ethnic/racial backgrounds and ways to provide effective support. Community ambassadors will build bridges between refugees and local communities.

What are the key steps or activities for your idea for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (1000 characters)

Please see attached Gantt chart and program budget. You can increase their size by clicking arrow at top right. 

What will community-level impact look like over the timeframe of your idea? How will you determine whether or not you have achieved that impact? And what outstanding questions do you still have? (1000 characters)

Impact: We will create major shifts in academic attainment and social belonging. Using a human-centered design approach, we will also work to change the mindsets and cross-cultural communication skills of educators by equipping them with resources to effectively work with refugee students.

Measurement:  We will measure how the program contributes to academic success and social belonging. Metrics may include  graduation rates, college enrollment and degree attainment as well as survey responses about social acceptance and belonging. We will also survey educators about changes in mindset/behaviors when tutoring refugee students.

QUESTION: In research, we have learnt that there is no “one size fits all” approach to the communities we serve. How can we best capture and utilize lessons learned to tailor our services and create a roadmap to expand  our work to 3 more geographies by 2025. 

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (1000 characters)

We envisage an initial team with 3 part time staff members supplemented by advisory board support 

Staffing:

Executive Director: Abel Mucyo: Providing strategic leadership, team management and program oversight with additional responsibilities for fundraising and partnership development. 

A part-time community ambassador & refugee services program manager to launch and deliver services to 180 refugees from 2020-2022 and to work with peer mentors

A part-time educators program manager to launch program and work with 500 educators from 2020-2022.  

Advisory board Volunteer Support

Fundraising and Development: Anne Kirwan

Volunteer Program Design & corporate engagement: Bijan Yaminafshar

Design Lead: Gianni Sappathy

Marketing & Communications: Elise Parker

Lastly, how did you apply new learnings to your idea? (1000 characters)

Expert feedback and advice on attracting and retaining volunteers was included in our 3 year detailed growth plan. Also will refine programs based on impact/data and explore model learnings and expansion potential. 

Mentor advised that we create a clear implementation plan and add a volunteering form link to website. We have developed a 3 year timeline that details program planning and growth, budget and staffing.

Outreach to community members or stakeholders: Carried out a workshop with refugee youth, consulted with teachers, ethnic organizations and refugee-serving agencies. Used advisory board and professional network for thought partnership. (See New Learnings Chart).

View more

Team (4)

Abel's profile
Madeline's profile
Madeline Holland

Role added on team:

"I like the your idea of building sustainable livelihoods for refugee communities and I see areas of potential collaboration between what we around access to education & skills development with your work on access to jobs opportunities."

Sarah's profile
Sarah Story

Role added on team:

"I like the fact that your project meets these people where they are (at least physically). I believe there are real opportunities for co-learning between our both projects."

Chau's profile
Chau Tang Duncan

Role added on team:

"Amazing work on financial inclusion for refugee communities. Interested in discussing potential synergies between your work and ours around livelihoods for people who have been forced to leave home."

48 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Thais Groenen
Team

Hi Abel,

This is an incredible project and the impact that it could have is tremendous and far-reaching. As an immigrant myself, I certainly believe that this proposal could address many of the needs of your audience and could forever change their lives. These educational resources are very well thought-out and you have clearly considered your stakeholders. Given the times which we are in, this proposal is even more important.

While I am not an expert in this field, I think you bring up some very interesting questions in how to grow this project. Regarding your second question, I believe it would be beneficial to partner with organizations focusing on similar causes for refugees. These organizations may have existing stakeholders which could increase awareness of Regain Education and provide you with other opportunities to learn and grow.

I wish you the best of luck with your endeavors.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Thais Groenen Thank you for your comments and suggestions. We will definitel collaborate with several other partners in the field, we believe it's the best way we can make a larger impact. Let us know if you'd like to stay informed about our progress, we are happy to keep you posted!

Photo of Saint Kim
Team

People about changing the world, and you are doing it. This is a great way to give back to the community that guides immigrants.
With the expertise and experience you have shown helping people over the years, this sets all people to step up and build systems to help others.
Making each individual fit into the program helps people with different needs have better help. I know as an immigrant i required specific guidance and would have benefited better if i went through such a system.
With such a program, I would be glad to lobby for help for any support in any way.
Thanks Abel for the thought and working towards this great initiative.

Photo of Hirlim, Antonieta Inojosa, Gonzalez
Team

This is, without a doubt, a great initiative and a wonderful opportunity for all young refugees to access professional education to be able to continue pursuing their dreams and goals within the U.S. These young people have an incredible potential and helping them achieve their professional goals will not only impact their families directly, but it will also impact the community. As an immigrant, I know the different challenges we must face and it makes me so happy that you had this amazing vision to help with this cause. So glad I had you as my mentor at Upwardly Global. Wishing you all the best in this new adventure, you can count on me.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Hirlim, Antonieta Inojosa, Gonzalez Thank you for the support of our initiative. I'm extremely proud of what you have achieved so far, ( the sky is no limit) and can't wait to see you go higher and higher. Working with you was such a pleasure and I believe you'd be a great mentor to the younger people, given your own experience. Best wishes, and will be in touch soon!

Photo of Ifeoma ozodiegwu
Team

Abel, this is well-articulated idea and I commend you and your advisory team for the work you have put in. Ensuring that young refugees gain access to educational opportunity and achieve their potential is no small task and it is admirable that you want to tackle this issue, especially at such an apt time. I really liked the videos, quotes and visuals as it indicated that you included potential program users and community stakeholders in the development of your project proposal. Chicago needs a project like yours and I am confident that you will see great success. More grease to your elbows and all the best!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Ifeoma ozodiegwu Thanks you! Together as a community we all can make an impact on the lives of these youth and young people. We will be calling upon professionals like you in the near future to join our mentor network!

Photo of Nalini Tarakeshwar
Team

This is your expert and here are my responses to your three questions.
Question 1. Volunteers are key bridgebuilders between people on the move and host communities. How might we create a system of recruitment, retention & management of our volunteers?
You are right in that volunteers are an important resource in any program, for a variety of reasons. Research (in health and education sectors) suggests that people like to volunteer towards a cause if (1) they feel a sense of personal connection with the cause; (2) feel like they can make a difference to enhance the life of another person/s; and (3) the opportunity provides them an opportunity to grow, either in terms of a career, social status or economically. You also need to provide volunteers on-going supervision, feedback (to them and from them) and training opportunities. Provide them ample chances to shape the program as well. So you can reflect on how this translates to your situation. While you may not be compensating them financially, you have to enable them to see all the other benefits - for themselves and for others due to their efforts.

Question 2. Besides face-to-face community outreach in refugee & immigrant communities, how might we best utilize partnerships and digital platforms to scale our reach and impact?
In terms of widening your reach, while you are focusing on improving the education opportunities for youth and adults in refugee communities, you could (1) reach out to/parner with organizations providing health and other types of services to refugees; (2) refine your program based on outcomes/ impact data and document what works/ does not work and actively share these lessons via digital platforms; and (3) explore if your model can be applied to other refugee communities within the US.

Question 3. Attaining sustainable funding streams with foundations & corporations are key to our long-term sustainability. How might we build a process for funder cultivation and retention backed by a clear value proposition which speaks to our key audience.
First, you need to be very clear on your theory of change - what is your end goal (employment? educational attainment? income? better mental health?) and how you plan to get there. Related to this, it should be clear that the program is designed to meet the community's need. Second, be very clear on how you are tracking whether your program is making a difference - in the short and long term. Third, be clear on how your approach is sustainable - partnerships, community leadership, leveraging existing services (rather than duplicating) are all key. Fourth, given that you are working on 'education' you should be able to calculate the cost-benefit of having refugee youth and adults complete/ fulfil their education ambitions. This will be make investments attractive to foundations/ corporations.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Nalini Tarakeshwar thank you so much for this feedback. Very insightful points! We are going to go through this as a team and work on any iterations. Will then send you any follow-up questions after the team collectively reviews the feedback. Thank you so much!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Nalini Tarakeshwar Thank you so much for your feedback on our idea. Your suggestions were very helpful and got us to question some of our assumptions even more. One suggestion you mentioned that really stuck out for me which we have included in our growth plan is about refining your program based on outcomes/ impact data and documenting what works/ does not work and actively share these lessons via digital platforms.. I loved this idea! Our team found this super useful but also very practical to do. We will not stop refining and improving! Thank you again so much, we appreciate your time and your contribution to our idea, and looking forward to staying in touch. I'd love to connect directly with you and keep you posted on our progress!

Photo of Leila DeViney
Team

Innovative idea, Abel, and such important work! Kudos!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Leila DeViney Thank you very much! I appreciate you taking time to read and learn more about our work. You already have amazing experience in the space and I will be reaching out for some thought partnership in the near future!

Photo of Lana Radosavljevic
Team

This is fantastic, Abel! Consistent educational opportunity can be such a huge stabilizing force for young refugees, who are dealing with a multitude of obstacles as is. Particularly love that clients/participants will get support through the entire education lifecycle, which can be immensely confusing without proper language skills and cultural context. I think this project has huge potential to breed catalytic change and uplift economies, communities, and individuals. Wishing you the best of luck with this venture!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Lana Radosavljevic Thanks for your contribution. Your organization HelloUSA does an amazing job and I'm looking forward to potential areas of collaboration, let's continue the conversation!

Photo of MT Snyder
Team

Fantastic idea and very important work. I'm specifically impressed by and interested in how you plan to tailor and customize your services rather than use a one size fits all model. Best of luck!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

MT Snyder  Thank you, that's a great question. We are going to use a continuous iterative process, so rather than going into the community with a prescribed solution, we are trusting the community we serve to be the experts at their own needs or problems. As we deliver services, we will be listening, asking questions, looking for patterns and adjusting what we do. Where we don't have answers, we will be honest with our community and work together to find solutions. Talking to people and listening to their needs, stories, has made such a difference, we will continue to do this so that we can tailor solutions to real needs of the community. This is a process we intend to weave into our program. Does this answer your question? Also, i'm curious if you have some suggestions for us? Please feel free to add suggestions on this platform.

Photo of Fahad Alnimah
Team

Brilliant idea, Abel - As a father and an Immigrant I strongly believe in your project and will be happy to support anytime. This project comes with great potential and impact that will affect not only individual families but communities as well. Providing mentors, networking and experts on how to navigate education system will be great tools for communities and will build for better future.
All the best Abel and please let me know if I can support in anyway possible

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Fahad Alnimah Thank you so much, it is people like you that inspire us! I appreciate you taking the time to read our proposal. I will for sure continue the conversation with you, as we move forward. Stay tuned!

Photo of Emmanuel Imah
Team

Brilliant idea, Abel Mucyo - Great potential for multi-generational impact in communities across the country. Wishing you all the best and ... happy to support anytime.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Emmanuel Imah Thanks for your comments. That's exactly the point - uplifting a generation! Will be in touch for more of your insights.

Photo of Mary Lee
Team

Abel Mucyo what a beautiful concept - an idea that could have huge impact. I particularly love the vision to engage the local community, refugees, and educators in design thinking to refine the programming. Best of luck! Let me know how I can help!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Mary Lee Thank you for taking the time to read our submission. Doing interviews with these youth really opened my eyes to how big the need is, way beyond what I thought. I appreciate your kind words and will be in touch for more insights given your wealth of experience in this field.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Team Bremley Lyngdoh Ashley Tillman   I have a question on the budget, how detailed should it get, can we show more cost up front? Is it better to give the year over year detail since we are planning a 3-year time period?

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Dear Abel Mucyo 

Great to see the updates on your submission based on feedback from mentors, the community, experts and your stakeholders. I really like how you summarized your learnings over time. On your question, your attached budget gives a good idea of what maybe needed. I was curious if you could instead attach the costs/budget to specific activities (e.g setting up community design workshops, recruitment, setting up the programs) as opposed to attaching it to people/personnel.
Best

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Isaac Jumba thank you! I hear you, thanks for the suggestion. Let me get to my team and try to make adjustments before the deadline. Also, on some questions, even when my word count was within the required limit, still wouldn't upload. For example the question on key steps, platform wouldn't let me add text, so I've used Gantt chat, but wanted to add some text for context. Also, the last question, had to remove a chunk of the text, even though it was still within the limit.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Isaac Jumba Just wanted to get back to you, and let you know that we have updated the budget. Thanks for your suggestion!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

These are my last 3 sets of important questions for you and your team before the final review stage begins.

Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your mentor on your idea?
1.
2.
3.
Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your user on your idea?
1.
2.
3.
Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your expert on your idea?
1.
2.
3.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Bremley Lyngdoh 
Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your mentor on your idea?
1.The idea provides a strong case for action but implementation needs to be fleshed out
2. Advised that the website should include a link to a detailed form for volunteering
3.Affirmed that he identifies with the value of the program and could see himself being a beneficiary

Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your user on your idea?
1.Refugee students are having to choose between school and supporting their families
2.Refugee young people of different backgrounds and gender have different needs, no "one size for all"
3.Language barriers, and lack of a support system affects esteem and academic achievement

Can you please list 3 bullet points - just one line each - short and sweet of what feedback you got from your expert on your idea?
1.Make volunteers feel a sense of personal connection with the cause
2.Refine your program based on outcomes/ impact data and document what works/ doesn’t work
3.Be very clear on how you are tracking whether your program is making a difference

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

I am happy to see the progress that you have made so far and I hope you are able to use the feedback you have got from your mentor. You should be receiving the answers on the 3 questions that you have sent to the expert by the 7th of October which you can then incorporate into your idea before the final evaluation deadline on the 14th of October.

Please remember to answer all the 5 additional questions on the platform when you have got all the updated information with you from all your consultations with your mentor, expert and users. All the best!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Thanks for the update Bremley Lyngdoh We are busy working on the additional questions and the initial submission.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your kind response and once you have received the valuable feedback from your mentor, please kindly share with us what steps you have taken to test your idea in the field with your users and how they feel about it after your consultation with them. Please post your thoughts here on the comments section next week after you know exactly what the users think of your idea. All the very best!

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Team

Bremley Lyngdoh Team what is a good number of people to interview in the community to get a good amount of feedback or input for the community? If anyone has started their community engagement process, how many people do you intend to talk to?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

That is up to you to decide on how many users you want to test your idea to get their feelings and thoughts about your project captured on video. You can be creative and engage with them.

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Team

Team Bremley Lyngdoh Does anyone have experience working with school-going young people in underserved communities? Typically how many years do you work with this young people to achieve some form of measurable impact? This is a question we are still struggling with and hope to talk to educators about. Looking forward to some thoughts!

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Team

Hello Abel Mucyo, your project ''Regain education'' is awesome, I love this phrase'' we see education as the key that enables people to exercise their rights, such as the right to life & health'', yes, I believe strongly that the education is a right for the human being whatever condition and wherever he/she is. The education is the best weapon against the poverty. Wish you all the best for reaching your goals.

Souad Nanaa

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Team

Souad Nanaa , thank you for your encouraging comments. You are doing great work as with integrating people who have been forced to live home in their communities. Please keep going, hope to continue to hear about all the great things you will do!

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Team

Thank you,
And looking forward to hear your good news!

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Team

Great conversation today with Pavel around clarifying "how" part of what we do and some interesting thoughts on the volunteer program. Looking forward to our next chat!!

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Team

QUESTIONS FOR FEEDBACK Bremley Lyngdoh 

1. Volunteers are key bridgebuilders between people on the move (New Americans) and host communities; and are crucial to the delivery of some of our program services. How might we create a predictable system of recruitment, retention and management of our volunteers?

2. Besides face-to-face community outreach and engagement with refugee & immigrant communities we serve, how might we best utilize partnerships and digital platforms (website, social media, google searches, etc) to scale our reach and impact, so that those who need our help can know about us and benefit from our services?

3. Attaining sustainable funding streams and partnerships with foundations and corporations are key to the long-term sustainability of our work. How might we build a process for funder cultivation and retention backed by a clear value proposition which speaks to our key audiences (the people we serve & the people who fund our work)

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Team

Can you please confirm if you have made contact with your mentor and if you have agreed on a date to have your one hour check in call to discuss about your idea?

Can you please confirm if you have thought of 3 questions for your idea to post on your comments section that you would need an expert to answer by 20th September?

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Team

Bremley Lyngdoh I reached out to Pavel to plan a time to talk. I got a response that he is currently travelling and will not be able to respond quickly. So, I'm still waiting, I believe he will get in touch. If not, I will follow-up with him before end of this week.

As for questions for feedback, yes, we have thought about the questions and will be posting them in the comments section in a moment. Thank you for the follow-up.

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Team

Congratulations on making it to the Improve Phase as part of the 40 Shortlisted Proposals!

Now the real improvement work begins so please prepare yourself to get constructive feedback from the mentors who will comment on your idea and experts who will question about your idea.

They will test the Desirability of your idea - if that is what people desire, they will test the Viability of your idea - if it is financially viable and they will test the Feasibility of your idea - if it is technically and organizationally possible to be executed in the real world.

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Thank you Bremiey,
Really excited about this next phase and the feedback we will be receiving from the mentors. Looking forward to doing some more iterations and improvements during this phase.

Abel,

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Great work so far Abel and now I will play the role of the Bridgebuilder Bee and cross-pollinate your idea with another other that could be mutually beneficial to both of you. Since your idea is helping refugees and other newcomers to the US from countries such as Burma, Bhutan, Somali, Sudan and South Sudan please connect with Chau Tang Duncan and see how you ladies can collaborate with the Migration Lab that she is building to help finance social ventures led by IDPs and Refugees and created a bridge between Europe and Africa which could be extended to the US in your context. See https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/2019-bridgebuilder-challenge/improve/enabling-payments-for-ecosystem-services-via-goodwallet-for-idps-to-restore-land-in-kenya

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Bremley Lyngdoh Thank you for the intro to Chau Tang Duncan this sounds interesting! Chau Tang Duncan I'd like to connect and learn more about your work, definitely happy to discuss any synergies or even sharing ideas. Financial inclusion is key to building decent standard of living in refugee and immigrant communities and would love to hear more and answer any questions you may have on the U.S refugee and immigrant communities.
- Do you provide micro-loans to refugee entrepreneurs?
- I saw that your idea has several services, what wold you say is your flagship product to your target market if you don't mid me asking?
You can also email me if you prefer:abelmucyo@gmail.com

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Hello IDEO team,
Thanks for the resources you have shared and the webinar.Very excited about the improve phase! Just wanted to clarify that I can put our questions for expert feedback here in the comments section of the our idea? Is that right? I think you mentioned this in the webinar but just wanted to be sure this is the case. Thank you!

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Team

Hi, welcome to the Challenge. We wish you success in your good work!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Thank you so much, excited about this challenge and all the amazing ideas!!