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Talking Stickers: Creating an Educational & Linguistic Bridge for Haitian Immigrants to Improve Economic & Cultural Opportunities in Chile

Using customized digital ‘Talking Stickers’ to help Haitian children & families prosper educationally, linguistically & culturally in Chile.

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional insights gathered from Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Draw & Describe Idea User Ideal user is Haitian student aged 4 to 9-like the child in the above picture. Secondary beneficiaries are other children of the same age, from the other 18 nationalities who study at Chile’s most multi-cultural school, Liceo Miguel De Cervares School. Pictures on this page were taken on July 3, 2018. The school is keen to use TS to promote inter-cultural understanding between its culturally diverse student body.

Why does the target community define this problem as urgent and/or a priority? How is the idea leveraging and empowering community assets to help create an environment for success? (1000 characters)

The immigration experts I spoke with note Chile has never had a major immigrant population that does not speak Spanish. Government is concerned with how to help Haitians learn Spanish & better understand Chile so they can have better opportunities. To address challenges it’s critical to foster partnerships with orgs working with Haitians. In this stage, my focus has been working with these orgs to better understand how TS can be used to help Haitians. I am better understanding how to bring TS to as many people as possible, by leveraging the power & expertise of community assets. I have met with & gained support/insights from Fundación Soñadores, Fundación Limit-less & Fundación Fré. I have been introduced to Chile’s school that has the greatest % of immigrants. Here, with their teachers & psychologist, I tested TS to understand how we can use TS as a bridge to create cultural understanding between Haitian children and the 18 other nationalities attending this school.

How does the idea fit within the larger ecosystem that surrounds it? Urgent needs are usually a symptom of a larger issue that rests within multiple interrelated symptoms - share what you know about the context surrounding the problem you are aiming to solve. (500 characters)

I see 3 key drivers to the surge of Haitian immigrants in Chile: 1. Recent change in US immigration policy greatly limiting Haitian immigration; 2. Chile’s formerly lax immigration policies combined with its robust economy/job market make it attractive; 3. Haiti has extreme poverty. 59% live below national poverty line (US $2.41/day), another 24% live in extreme poverty < $1.23/day. The October 2016, Hurricane Matthew impacts to Haiti only added to Haiti’s challenges (World Bank 2018).

How does the idea affect or change the fundamental nature of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it (as described above) in a new and/or far-reaching way? (500 characters)

TS's short term benefits are kids/parents will have an effective tool to bring them together & learn Spanish-impact in weeks. Over school year, TS will show benefits to children by increasing their exposure to high quality vocabulary from parents/educators to greatly improve academic performance, social integration-supporting Peace & Prosperity. TS enables educators to create custom content to create low-cost, high impact innovative education. Jpal is confirmed implementation/valuation partner.

What will be different within the target community as a result of implementing the idea? What is the scope and scale of that difference? How long will it take to see that difference and how will it be sustained beyond BridgeBuilder support? (500 characters)

By working with partners we max the people we reach & minimize costs. Our pilot school has 1,600, 80% immigrants (1,280), we can reach ~1/5=320. In the 2 foundations we plan to pilot TS we could reach 250 children/month/foundation-500 children/month + parents = ~1,200/month, more funds=we reach children. TS leading to improved Spanish occurs in weeks, improved academic performance verifiable in <1 school year. Once benefits verified, ~$2–$5/month/child fee will make TS financially sustainable.

How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

I always planned to leverage relationships with foundations working with Haitians. However, I had also planned to try and do some informal TS testing with Haitian children. I approached Haitians in the street and tried to inquire if they might be interested in TS. I soon realized that many Haitian’s had too great of a language gap to work with, without the support of someone who speaks Creole & Spanish. This motivated me to speak with [ ]. They told me they can connect me with women who are ex-teachers form Haiti. If funded we will hire ex-teachers to lead our TS projects. Also, the school I tested TS at has Chile's >% of immigrants, ~1280 of 1600 are immigrants. School is excited to both help Haitian children, but also to test how TS can be used to bridge understanding across the 19 nationalities-especially helping Haitian/Latino integration. Jpal has confirmed they will be implementation/validation partner for validating impact on our beneficiaries.

What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (You can attach a timeline or GANTT chart in place of a written plan, if desired.) (1000 characters)

*Identify & refine beneficiaries in Chile-currently doing, finish by Oct. *Make partnerships with foundations supporting beneficiaries. Now developing relations with Foundations: Soñadores, Fré & Limitless. Soñadores plans to introduce us to Servicio Jesuita []. One of Chile's largest foundations focused on helping immigrants-a key benefit they offer is Spanish classes. *Find Haitian's who are ex-teachers to implement TS programs in school & foundations. Start in Oct–Nov. *Market TS programs at foundations/school(s) start Oct-if funded. *Jpal just confirmed they will lead implementation/validation of this TS project. Official start in October-9 to 30 months depending on project size/funding. *Promote project to media to showcase TS impact-during program implementation. *Seek corporate (Claro interested)/gov sponsorship to reduce costs/support project long-term to create entrepreneurial opportunity for beneficiary population to promote TS to immigrants.

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (Feel free to share an organizational chart or visual description of your team). (500 characters)

TS provides its app/services LMDC school offers TS to students Fundación Soñadores (FS), plans to introduce us to Servico Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM) SJM sees ~250 immigrants/day Jpal is confirmed implementation/validation partner. Fundación Fré (FF) focus is Haitians. FF has said they will help connect us with Haitian women who are ex-teachers who can deliver TS. With funds, 1 Haitian teacher between LMDC & if FF approves @ FF. Also, 1 teacher @ SJM IF they approve

What aspects of the idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (500 characters)

-Subsidize TS costs ~$2 to $5/month/child-depending on quantity -Startup costs, training, customer service -Pay wages for Haitian teachers to do TS at 1 school & 2 Foundations interested & POTENTIALLY at Jesuit Foundation [ ] -Buy tablets for TS programs (~150 tablets) & 100 basic smartphones for for single mothers/marginalized TS users. -Expert advisors from foundations/academia -Funds for confirmed Implementation/validation partner-Jpal

In preparation for our Expert Feedback Phase: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in your project? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea and needs.

1. Our initial proposal is strongly focused on benefiting Haitians. We are still dedicated to keeping the focus on Haitians, however, in our outreach with immigration experts and the school we tested with, we realize there are many other immigrants who could also benefit from TS. Our question is, considering the above, would it be detrimental to our proposal if we considered broadening our beneficiaries to other marginalized immigrants, ages 3 to 8, especially children who likely are at risk of falling behind academically due to unstable/challenging conditions? Note, we would still keep our outreach at foundations strongly focused on Haitians but at Liceo Miguel de Cervares School, with its 80% immigrant population from 19 nations, we see value in using the app to bridge understanding and knowledge between the culturally diverse student body. 2. I have met with Institutional Relations and Sustainability management at Claro Chile and they are potentially interested in supporting our project if project is funded. Claro is a major Latin America TELCO and could be a good partner to scale out Talking Stickers into other regions of Latin America. If Claro becomes officially interested in supporting TS and wanted to test/pilot Talking Stickers with another group of beneficiaries, do you know any Latin American children (outside Chile), aged 3-9 years old who are highly marginalized and in need of early education support to help them succeed in their studies? Does Bridge Builder Challenge have any concerns if Claro provides additional funding, or other forms of support to this Bridge Builder Challenge? If so, we will not involve Claro with this proposal. 3. If we are able to successfully test and validate a TS project with a school + 2 foundations and we reach ~1,500 beneficiaries and it's proven to provide major benefits, how could we get government to support a much larger TS pilot to get TS into schools/other institutions? Insights for scaling out into LATAM?

Final Updates (*Please do not complete until we reach the Improve Phase*): How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

On July 11, 2018 I met with Institutional Relations and Sustainability manager at Claro Chile (a Pan Latin American TELCO). They are interested in learning more about TS and considering how they potentially could support Talking Stickers. A partnership with Claro could help get us significantly reduced prices on tablets and/or refurbished smartphones to share with children in schools and foundations. We will formally explore Claro support if awarded funding. As noted in our Letter of Support, immigrations experts in Chile are developing an app, Migrapp, to help bring together immigrants and those helping immigrants-we are keen to better understand how this app could be used to support/promote TS so we can more efficiently connect Talking Stickers to beneficiaries. After piloting TS with schools and foundations & creating awareness/demand for TS, we are interested in working with social enterprise,, to find stores who could distribute TS to our beneficiaries.

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

Our expert advisor, Matthias Scheffelmeir provided an interesting idea. He suggested that if we work with a large organization, like a Government Ministry or a large NGO, we could think of Talking Stickers more as and open source platform and simply have government pay us a modest fee to enable financial sustainability of Talking Stickers-our projections require US $2 to $5/student/month (cost depends on the scale), for TS to be financially sustainable. These funds could come from grants, government support, user fees, etc, we are very open to identifying innovative financial ideas to enable us to bring Talking Stickers to as many children as possible. Matthias also talked about how we could use TS as a 'white label solution' to help governments or organizations support beneficiaries. This fits well with our long term strategy of having a very large user base so we can minimize the cost of Talking Stickers, so we bring its impact to children who need it the most. To test a white label solution, TS will offer over the counter medication instructions, precautions and dosage information in both Spanish and Haitian Creole-with a focus on medicines most commonly used by low-resource children. Algramo ( one of our strategic partners, recently opened a new branch of operations [] that aims to lower the cost of essential medicines for low-resource families. We would like to test this white label solution with Algramo's Fraccion (who works with 7 pharmaceutical labratories) to bring added value to Fraccion's low cost medicines. By talking to education experts working in low-resource settings, we have identified an additional institution we could use to enable Talking Stickers to reach more low-resource children. In Chile there are daycare like facilities (Jardin Infantils-Infant Gardens), for 1 to 5 year old children. The lowest-income families get free state sponsored childcare. Since these facilities serve tens of thousands of children in Santiago, they could be an effective distribution channel for Talking Stickers to reach low-resource children-so we can help them become better prepared for primary school. If awarded funding, we will pilot Talking Stickers with several Jardin Infantils, in areas with high populations of Haitians. Lastly, just today, August 15, 2018, we have formal confirmation that Jpal [ ], will be our implementation and validation partner for most of the potential ideas proposed in this proposal. We are very excited about this as Jpal has one of their main offices in Santiago de Chile. Most importantly, Jpal is one of the most respected and scientifically rigours evaluation partners in Latin America. We are extremely proud and excited to have Jpal confirmed as an implementation and validation partner.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

We have added more detail to how we would use funding Year 1: Measurement & Evaluation of Talking Stickers among 50 Haitian families-Outcome Impact verification (before scaling for language development, employment, integration into society and general mental health wellness of Haitian immigrants in Chile)-this would be overseen by Jpal. While doing this also set up TS drop in program at Fré Foundation-across the street from our school program. Set up pilot trial of TS at state sponsored daycare centre to test impact and viability of using TS at daycares-an impact opportunity that long-term could reach tens of thousands of low-resource children. Year 2 Business viability, distribution, customer feedback, pricing models–impact 500 Haitian families (10 new families/week) Measurement & Evaluation of Talking Stickers in a larger sample – 250 families As noted above, a major development that greatly strengthens the impact potential and validation of our proposal, is that today, August 15th, Jpal has confirmed they will be an implementation and evaluation partner for most of the ideas presented in our proposal.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

In 2017, 105,000 Haitians, ~1% of Haiti migrated to Chile. Many arrive with a suitcase & a plan to find a job & new life in Chile. A major obstacle is the vast majority speak very little Spanish. Currently, aid orgs believe there are ~134k Haitian's trying to integrate into Chile. Without Spanish, all opportunities are greatly reduced. Our app, Talking Stickers (TS) can teach Spanish to Haitian children & their parents. Also, by age 3, low-resource children lack 30 million words–compared to high resource children. TS is designed to erode this vocabulary gap. TS turns a basic smartphone/tablet into a powerful tool to teach customized language (Haitian/French to Spanish). TS works with ANY language, the target population designs the content to compliment local culture/curriculum. Our app enables teachers, parents or kids to have their voices recorded on customized stickers. We use technology to make learning more interactive, fun & effective. We connect classroom education (teachers), with learning at home (family). Interactive singing, talking, reading & playing make our app fun for Children–this spills over into education for the parents! In our Kenyan & Indian pilots, TS lead to children being exposed to an additional 6,000 words per day & parent/child interactions increased by 42 minutes/day. Over a year, this would erode the vocabulary gap of low/high resource children by ~70%. As an immigrant who has lived in Chile for 5 years, I know Chilean Spanish is challenging & without it, employment & cultural integration is greatly impeded. If funded, we will work with charities helping Haitian's integrate into Chile. Funds would be used to to get an impact verification partner like Jpal. Funds would employee ex-Haitian women teachers to design TS content to have cultural relevance, so they can work as paid entrepreneurs promoting TS to bridge opportunity for them & the new Haitian's integrating into Chile & children waiting to enter the new school year.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Primary beneficiaries are Haitian immigrant children, in Chile, from 2-10 years old. Secondary are the children's family-most who speak very limited Spanish. Any other children, regardless of language/nationality, from low-resource setting are additional beneficiaries. Lastly, the Haitians paid to design/promote TS content will be key beneficiaries. Chile has ~134k Haitian's striving to start a new life in Chile-most arrived in past 6-24 months, from rural Haiti. Since <25% of parents speak advanced Spanish, TS offers a double–dividend, through educating Haitian children, we engage their parents & enable parents to learn Spanish. We will enable Haitian entrepreneurs to promote TS and to also curate culturally customized language content for their fellow Haitians. We will turn the users of TS into the content providers. Enabling knowledge & opportunity to be passed down to ease linguistic & cultural integration, while earning an income by helping fellow Haitians integrate into Chile.

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

Our team has doctorate/master's level backgrounds in neuroscience, business, engineering & international development, we apply science into the technology that we develop & make it turnkey so it can be adapted into any language/culture. We are a for profit social enterprise using technology to improve early childhood vocabulary to elevate children/families out of poverty. Our applied neuroscience research shows robust correlations between limited vocabulary in the first 3–6 years & poor cognitive outcomes/academic performance. TS is a highly scalable/customizable EdTech solution that helps low-resource children/parents, improve their language skills & cognitive development to help them reach their potentials. Many NGO's/gov programs strive to create similar impact to TS but they rely on donations. TS is an ultra low-cost market based solution creating transformative educational impact that will allow local entrepreneurs to promote and profit from TS in a financially sustainable manner.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

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

Talking Stickers is a social enterprise creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem striving to become the world's best technology for low-resource children to increase their vocabulary, regardless of what langue they speak, so disadvantaged children are ready for primary school and a more abundant future. We strive to make turnkey educational opportunity that bridges language & culture to create maximized systemic social impact for the lowest possible cost. Our website:

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

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

The CEO of Talking Stickers (TS) was working on his doctorate in Systems Neuroscience when he realized some neuroscience fundamental to TS. Reinforcement is critical for brain networks especially for learning a new task or language. Diverse experience is important for learning to happen in the brain networks. Exploration through play provides this diverse experience that TS provides children. TS merges technology & neuroscience to help low-resource children maximize their potential.

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

I have insightful perspectives from living in Santiago for 5+ years to date. Over the past 1.5 years, I have noticed a major increase of Haitians in Chile. Near my home there are construction projects that employee Haitians. This allowed me to get to know some of them & hear their stories firsthand. Fundamentally, TS is designed to benefit low-resource 2–10 year olds increase their vocabularies so the have improved academic performance/social development. If children lack vocabulary they can develop anti-social/mental health complications-both erode future PEACE & PROSPERITY–as studies suggest is now occurring in Ethiopia, Palestine & Syria. Many Haitians speak very basic Spanish, to PROSPER & integrate peacefully into Chile & maximize opportunity, they need to speak Spanish. TS is an ideal tool to create huge benefits for Haitian children & even their parents, by teaching them Spanish & helping to integrate them into Chilean society so they can PROSPER in PEACE.

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

We met 2 leading immigrant focused foundations-Soñadores & Limitless. We tested Talking Stickers at Liceo Miguel De Cervares (LMDC), a school with the greatest % of immigrants in Chile-Soñadores introduced us to LMDC. We will request Jpal to work with us to help maximize/quantify the impacts of TS. The above 2 foundations & 2 universities are developing an app, Migrapp, to help immigrants in Chile. See support letter, Migrapp, is likely interested in promoting TS programs that we aim to offer at LMDC + other locations. In India, we are now working with Global TIES for Children ( to help us improve/validate impact of TS-see attached letter "NYU Prepilot". With impact validation, we can enter new markets + build strategic relationships easier to scale faster into other parts of LATAM. Claro Chile is potentially interested in supporting TS pilot-could be lower priced technology or support from their foundation

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

Haitians in Santiago are a fairly homogenous group, most live in a few key parts of the city and they generally stick together=easier to connect with to promote TS. They have a reputation of being very hard workers, striving to fit into Chilean culture. For these reasons, we feel TS is an effective technology that can help improve educational/linguistic opportunities for Haitian children so they can peacefully proposer into Chile, while enabling parents/children to learn Spanish together.

Geographic Focus

Santiago-pop 6.5M–focus 134k Haitians. Spanish content developmet sets up LATAM expansion potential.

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

Project length depends on level of funding. For US $100k, project duration would be ~9 months. For $200k we would implement in ~1.5 years. For $400k+ we would implement project within ~2 years & pilot into a highly marginalized population outside of Chile. We would request input from our expert advisors from the challenge and Jpal to identify children, outside Chile, who greatly need support to help them become better prepared for primary school.

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

  • No
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Team (3)

Brian's profile
Brian Bauer

Role added on team:

"I work with both Talking Stickers and Algramo. Initially, I had not thought that there could be synergies between the two social enterprises, however, I realized that Algramo's 1,700 stores spread across Santiago's low-income neighbourhoods can offer contact points for Talking Stickers to reach areas with high densities of Haitian immigrants who can benefit from Talking Stickers. In turn, Talking Stickers can provide modest income generation opportunity to storekeepers who promote TS."

Brian's profile
Nicole's profile
Nicole null

Role added on team:

"Hi Nicole, I believe this is Nicole from Thread International (TI). If you are not from TI please disregard this message. I spoke with our team and if we are funded, we would like to use part of funds to do a modest pilot for TI so you can try Talking Stickers risk free for your beneficiaries. If this is of interest to TI, I am happy to discuss how this could best work for you and your beneficiaries. Best,"

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Attachments (6)

Support Letter to Talking Stickers-JPAL.PDF

Talking Stickers is honoured that Jpal is willing to be the implementation and evaluation partner for Talking Stickers Bridge Builder proposal. See attached Support Letter from Jpal for additional details.

NYU prepilot.pdf

This is a Pre-Pilot Research Report from NYU's Global TIES for Children that discusses one of our pilots currently occurring in India. The evaluation is being reviewed by Dr Hirokazu Youshikawa who is an advisor for the UN SDG related to early childhood education. We are honoured to have experts like Dr Youshikawa being involved with our Talking Sticker pilot. This document gives insight into our science based impact verification methodologies.

AttolloSE Talking Stickers PPT CC.key

A brief slide deck highlighting key objectives of Talking Stickers (TS) and the applied neuroscience & pedagogy integrated into our app. These slides showcase how TS makes learning fun and brings benefits to children and their parents. It explains how and why this is so important in low-resource bottom of the pyramid (BoP) setting. Most importantly, it explains how and why our technology is able to create an impactful linguistic bridge & learning opportunity spanning across language & culture.


This is a Letter of Support from two of the Foundations that I met who are deeply involved with serving the immigrant community in Chile. The Founder, María Luisa Sotomayor, of Limitless has significant experience working with UNICEF on ICT technology that has reached over 2 million children. As well, José María of Soñadores Fundación has many connections across experts and orgs dedicated to helping immigrants in Chile, we are grateful for the strong support both foundations have provided TS.

June3 References_Partners.docx

There was not space to properly reference the science and reports that backs many of the claims made in our proposal. For this reason, we have included a document that notes some of the key references we researched to validate claims made in the proposal. We also included a brief write up about people and organizations we met in the Bridge Builder challenge who could be potential partners for future collaboration.

Haitian Immigration Chile.jpeg

This figure shows the recent surge of Haitian's entering Chile. These figures validate the need for low-cost solutions, like Talking Stickers (TS), that can be used to help improve linguistic, cultural and economic integration into Chile. TS can reduce integration barriers and provide a sustainable livelihood for the Haitian population in Chile-by allowing Haitians to help Haitians. It integrates the new family to the local education system without the risk of kids being out of school.


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