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TeachUSConnect - A platform connecting education specialists with non-English speaking migrant parents

We are keen to create a framework that supports parents seeking asylum to understand the education system in their host country for kids

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

The idea helps to solve the issue of displaced children not being properly guided with their development by their parents once reaching host countries as parents lack knowledge of the new education systems. Often language barriers and lack of access to the right help and resources means that there ends up being a slight neglect in migrant children's development within UK education systems. The main group affected by this issue are displaced people from refugees to asylum seekers from non-English speaking countries around the world like D.R Congo, Rwanda and Syria. Many of these groups come from war-torn countries where they would have most likely already been displaced due to fleeing concentrated areas of conflict and insecurity in their Country of origin. The result of such would be the lack of access to education for themselves and their children - made even worse by entering into a new life where they don't speak the language and more importantly do not understand the British education system. As a result, parents are then unable to effectively guide their children during their education as they are themselves unaware of how to do so - many children of non-English speaking asylum seekers end up being their parents' interpreters. A bridge should be created between education institutions in the UK and child development initiatives to facilitate their integration into society. My solution would offer specialist training to education specialists to be able to advise migrant parents on the step by step processes of their child's education in the UK at all stages. This would look like: 1) Step-by-step guided interactive sessions on the integration processes for their children in schools 2) Regular check-ins with a specialist to evaluate the children and parents progress 3)Individually catered plans based on the different children 4)A line of communication between the specialist and the schools to know what plans work best for each individual family/child

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The group of focus are all displaced families with children that have migrated into the UK from a non-English speaking country and for migrant parents who do not have English as their first language. These groups are often left behind when migrating to the UK because of the language barrier that they face on top of the cultural shock they are hit with. These communities would benefit from my idea as it would give them the confidence to achieve their full potential without being limitation.

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)

The main bridge my idea builds is between people on the move and neighbours in the UK are that of an exchange of knowledge. Educational experts are able to facilitate sessions where they share their knowledge of the UK's education system in a way that is easy to understand and follow for parents new to the UK with very little knowledge of the English language or education system for their children. This assures a promising future of educational development for the family unit through support.

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

The idea completely transforms the integration process in the UK for families and helps keep them stable in a time when they are often filled with distress. For parents, it creates a comfortable and joyous atmosphere when they are equipped with the skills to make them confident in supporting their kids educational journey in their host country. Even in my own experience, a parent will have to rely on their children to be the bridge between them and their schools whilst they learn or even as language interpreters - this idea equips them with a level of dignity to be able to be independent in their children's journey in their new home. This idea surpasses the basic needs of shelter and nourishment that displaced families often need by helping create a system that brings them stability by addressing a pressing issue that they face once in their host country and are not given the resources or time to think about when on the move. The hope this gives them is important to their new life.

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

The idea I am proposing will help to alleviate pressure and stress from parents within displaced families. It will facilitate both the development of the children and that of their parents into a life of work and education. As a result, they will have an increased chance of benefiting from opportunities in the UK. In the migrant community in the UK, there is an increased level of violence and crime among young people from migrant and displaced backgrounds, often as a result of the instability they have faced and the lack of direction offered by parents because they receive very little support in their development. The regular check-in sessions and the constant contact between the specialist educational facilitator and the parents will help us monitor their evolution on the programme. More importantly, it will allow us to effectively adapt the programme to suit the family's needs and that of their children. Overall, it will ensure a community less prone to violence and is happier.

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

I am from the community of focus for my idea and understand the hardships and challenges faced when arriving and wanting to navigate the UK's educational system. Having been through the exact same trials when I arrived in the UK from DR Congo as an asylum seeker with my 5 year old daughter not knowing how to speak a word of English and seeing others like me going through the same thing. The idea is extremely important to the community as it would contribute to improving their lives as everyone has the right to a chance at new beginnings as often they are not displaced by choice or out of their own fault. The idea allows autonomy in their development and future in British society. More importantly, my idea will allow them to better feel like a part of the community in the UK and connect with their neighbours in the easiest way because of the importance the UK places on education. This is a bridge often missing between migrants and the UK - Brexit is testament to this.

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

The community I intend to serve are migrants from non-English speaking Countries. It was reported by the Home Office that there are 770,000 people in England alone that are unable to speak English well and this hinders their educational prospects and makes them prone to racist abuse. The community that I am targeting with this initiative currently make up nearly 8% of the UK population accord to the Office for National Statistics. Reports have found that many of them are parents arriving with their children. Most migrants from non-English speaking countries are concentrated in London especially and my aim would be to launch this project in London first as a starting point then opening other centres around the UK - starting with the cities that are most in need of educational guidance for non-English speaking displaced people aiding in their social cohesion. (Image taken from Migration Watch UK)

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

The access to a multicultural perspective is something that this community possesses, the ability to empathise because of the hardships they have been through when being displaced. Creating a space for them to exchange ideas and help their family's development will give birth to a whole new ideas platform and an exchange of knowledge that they can share and pass onto other members of their community in need of guidance. My idea will be successful because of the domino effect of such an initiative, many through word of mouth and collaboration with schools will have access to the platform and be able to easily subscribe to it. The premise of the project is one that is simple but extremely effective because of the transferring of knowledge to help the community. The resilience of the community of focus is something that will make the project sustainable as they have shown this throughout their journey and will continue to do so to ensure their children's development.

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

Partners I would be keen to work with in the future would be local schools, Barnardo's Children Charity, the UK government and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help in implementing this initiative and helping to promote it as the go-to platform of guidance for help as a non-English speaking migrant in the UK with children.

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

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name


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

My organisation fits into this project as a displaced person myself. I am an asylum seeker that escaped conflict areas in DR Congo in 2001 with my daughter who was 5 years old at the time. I struggled with understanding the education system in the UK and how to get my daughter to learn in the most effective way because I did not speak a word of English. I was often embarrassed to ask teachers for help because of my lack of knowledge. Luckily, I was helped a lot by Barnardo's children charity with other aspects of my child's development and wish I was better guided on how to navigate the British school system. Luckily, my daughter is now doing extremely well even though we suffered that drastic displacement - I would like to help others facing similar issues. In the above dynamics of the community section, I have included a case study written based on us for Barnardo's looking at the struggles we faced when migrating to the country,'Children and families in the asylum process'

Website URL:


Type of submitter

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

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



Join the conversation:

Photo of lucien kilonda

Hello Nabalamire,
I am so happy that you entered this challenge. As an immigrant myself, I can completely relate to the benefit or the impact your idea can have. I remember my parents feeling quite lost when they were trying to guide me for my education. I would love to connect and talk so more about your idea.

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