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LANO: Enabling children to build their resilience, free from trauma and violence

Breaking the cycles of poverty and instability trauma by offering hope to refugee children as leaders and parents of tomorrow.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

LANO is an innovative educational off-grid&offline multilingual tablet designed with educational games, learning modules in audio and videos, books, practices, lesson guides and in-built FM-Radio to offer flexible educational opportunities to refugee children as well as a catalyst for further education and information access. WHY? Right now more than 75 million children and young people (aged 3-18) are out of school in 35 crisis-affected countries. And less than 2% of global humanitarian aid goes towards education. Even when children are able to access education in conflict-affected countries there are huge challenges like overcrowded classrooms, lack of teachers and resources, and violence in or on-route to school. Within Uganda alone, out of 1,355,764 refugees being hosted, 61 percent are children aged under 18 and 82 percent are women and children. Worldwide, children are the most affected in conflict-affected regions. Governments and organizations are working to address these issues; however, the problem remains chronically under-addressed due in large part to the priority focus on immediate lifesaving needs. Furthermore, the luck of access to information about current events by majority of children/ caretakers/guardians or parents is also a big problem. HOW? Local facilitators are trained in child-friendly approaches and technical aspects of the learning content and the use of devices to supervise children and help to grade children’s learning progress while solving any small arising technical issues. After children completing a series of exercises, the software automatically unlocks new exercises at a higher level, so children can progressively acquire new skills and competencies. LANO is 99% risk free, cost-efficient, impact-full and scalable to meet the educational and psychological needs of refugee children compared to traditional classroom education in that it allows children to learn effectively at their own pace from anywhere without a teacher.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

LANO targets 6-18 aged out of school refugee children living in Ugandan refugee camps, and safe houses. We aim to provide them with innovative learning opportunities beyond traditional settings. The education curriculum in English, Mathematics and Science shall improve children's language proficiency, executive functions, and coding skills while decreasing their sense of despair and increasing hope through the innovative and effective education content geared at growing children's skills as well as provide access to further learning platform and information via the in-built FM-Radio that comes with the tablet. Furthermore, We include projects designed to improve their psychosocial wellbeing. This approach coupled with our education activities enables children to develop coping skills, build their resilience and recover from the consequences of conflict. Improved psychosocial well-being allows children and young people to better engage in education and increased livelihood chances.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

We deliver innovative and flexible learning opportunities to children with off-grid radio frequency tablets/kindles and basic relevant education content with no need for internet or electricity to enable children access complete education packages all the time from anywhere. In our model, children who cannot read or write, can listen and watch the videos as many times as they like, children can explain mathematical and scientific concepts to facilitators and are able to relate to these presenters, and see them as role models. There are many actors working in the education in emergencies space to address these issues; however, these actors often focus on the needs and priorities of immediate response rather than the development of new approaches and strategies.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

We are a registered for-profit company working to bring innovative means to empower communities and livelihoods to live a more exciting life.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Displaced students often go long periods of time without schooling. When they do re-enter the formal education sector, their educational needs have often completely changed. Even when students have access to schooling, their psychosocial needs–exacerbated by loss of family, home, and safety—often surpass the capacity of educational systems to address them. Thus, as a crisis continues, students often fail to develop the educational outcomes and skills needed to survive and thrive.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Many children in war zones become refugees due to separation from or death of their family. Orphaned children often have limited access to food and clean water and therefore become susceptible to deadly illnesses and face life-long health problems. It is estimated that such diseases account for 60-80% of the deaths of displaced children of war. Those that survive are not considered lucky. In many instances, vulnerable boys are brainwashed into becoming child soldiers, working with the oppressors and regularly engaging in combat. Girls can be exploited into sex trade, forced to offer sexual services, married off to rebel leaders, or even sexually mutilated. Beyond death, injury, exploitation and displacement, children in war zones are often emotionally damaged and suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. They typically lose years of education, and the level of violence that they see can alter their normal development and lead to a skewed sense of reality.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are passionately focusing on the fundamental right of every child's education, particularly those in Uganda refugee camps, who most times are vulnerable to severe social economic evils. These children are mentally and physiologically affected by armed conflicts and end up loosing their opportunity to good quality education and peace therefore we shall approach different key players both public and private sectors including the Ugandan government for partnerships, Ministry of Education and Sports for curriculum design, UNICEF, Save the Children, Child Fund Uganda, Ministry for Disaster Preparedness, Ministry for Internal Affairs, for both technical and financial support. The end results shall be to tackle the complexities of education in refugee areas as catalyst for peace and prosperity of our beneficiaries plus their families.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

We are in touch with the leading technology firms in the country who are willing to support us in the design and development of the devise. The Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of International Affairs, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness including the President have already given us a green light and are willing to side by us in the pilot and implementation phases of this project.

Geographic Focus

In refugee camps of Northern and Western Uganda where over 1million refugee children are hosted.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

It will take us between 18 to 24 months to complete this project and have it run to serve its intended beneficiaries.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of bikash gurung

DEar Joseph Mulabbi , Thanks for sharing your idea. Really liked your idea of LANO. Would love to learn lil about  the content you are trying to deliver through LANO to support beneficiaries Education. challenges you think you are going to face? How are planning to reach out 1 million children? Have you planned of alternative sources of fund for the successful implementation since this project is capital intensive? LANO is a great initiative. Looking forward to learn more.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi

Hello bikash gurung,

All children have a right to education. Education provides children with hope, structure and real opportunities for a better future crucial for children living in (former) conflict zones.
All too often in areas affected by conflict, traditional education cannot happen. Classrooms are unavailable, inaccessible, and can be dangerous. Teachers lack quality training and support. Government education budgets are often insufficient. In the meantime, a generation of children, eager to learn, miss out on education.
Even though traditional education cannot happen, meaningful and impactful education cannot wait. Education builds the capacities of children, parents, teachers and community members to cope with conflict - and to help prevent conflict in the future. Education is vital to breaking cycles of poverty and instability, and empowers future parents and leaders therefore we are working closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda as the major curriculum/content providers for all the modules in the device for our beneficiaries. refugee children learn basic numeracy skills in a fun and effective way. By playing customized games, based on Uganda’s national nursery and primary out of school Math, English and Science curriculum to improve children's language proficiency, executive functions, and coding skills while decreasing their sense of despair and increasing hope through the innovative and effective education content geared at growing children's skills. Children can learn in their own community, even when there are no teachers. Children learn by playing serious educational games on tablet computers. The game itself includes instruction, practice, a learning management system, audio and video, practicing books with lesson guides all in both English and local languages for better understanding by users.
Secondly, we are incorporating an In-built FM-Radio basically for further education, news and information access following the fact that our beneficiaries can also be able to learn about the world around them by listening to educational programs on local radio stations.

Challenges you think you are going to face?;
Financial and Content Development- we shall overcome this barrier by partnering and collaborating with others to bring this to completeness, these shall include the ministry of education and sports, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Save the Children Uganda, Unicef, UNDP and others for financial support and content development. We further plan to involve fundraising campaigns both in Uganda and internationally to solicit funds for project sustainability, implementation and scale.
Digital Development- We have identified credible and experienced Digital Development Firms in Kenya and India who shall be focal in building the platform.

How are planning to reach out 1 million children?
Still through partnerships and collaborations with Uncef, Save the children, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness as well as the refugee home countries for instance South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, Somalia we shall be able to reach 1 million children and beyond. Furthermore, we intend to scale our programs in Syria, Kenya and other emergence education communities by providing this innovative, flexible and effective learning model.

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