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Using Digitized 'Talking Stickers' to Create a Language Bridge for Haitian Immigrants to Improve Linguistic, Cultural & Economic Opportunity

We use an app to deliver customized language instruction-Talking Stickers-to ease Haitian's linguistic & cultural integration into Chile.

Photo of Brian Bauer of Attollo's Talking Stickers
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

In 2017, 105k Haitians, ~1% of Haiti, have 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 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 a Kenyan pilot, our app 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, even cultural integration is greatly impeded. I have used TS with my 3 year old who loves to learn with TS.

If funded, we will work with charities helping Haitian's integrate into Chile. Funds would be used to try to have Jpal help us improve/validate social impact. Funds would employee Haitians 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.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Primary beneficiaries are Haitian immigrant children, in Chile, from 3-6 years old. Secondary are the children's family-most who speak very little spanish. Lastly, the Haitians paid to design/promote TS content will be key beneficiaries. Research shows Chile has ~134k Haitian's striving to start a new life in Chile. Most are escaping extreme poverty in 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 aim to work with social impact experts, Jpal, to help ensure impact is maximized/validated. 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 cultural integration and language, while earning an income for 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 allows 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: https://www.attollose.com

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 reach their academic potential.

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

I have unique & 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 living 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 3–6 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 of which erode future PEACE & PROSPERITY–as studies suggest is now occurring in Ethiopia, Palestine & Syria.
Many Haitians speak very basic Spanish, to PROSPER & integrate into Chile & maximize opportunity, they need Spanish. Talking Stickers (TS) is an ideal tool to create huge benefits for Haitian children & even their parents, by teaching them Spanish to help 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 will work with charities in Santiago focused on helping Haitians. We have contacted the former director of Frè Foundation (http://www.somosfre.cl), a charity dedicated to teaching Haitians Spanish, cultural integration & fostering entrepreneurship. We will request Jpal to work with us to help maximize/quantify the impacts of TS. Algramo (also in the BridgeBuilder Challenge) will collaborate with us by connecting us with stores in areas with high densities of Haitians, so they can help us promote TS.

In India, we are now working with Global TIES for Children (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/global-ties/) to help us improve/validate impact of TS. With impact validation, we can enter new markets + build strategic relationships easier to scale faster. We have proposed to Nicole @ Thread International (also in BB Challenge) to bring TS to Haitian children who are working in Haitian landfills. If shortlisted, we will seek TELCO partner-have contacts-to lower cost/simplify smartphone access for TS users.

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

Haitians in Santiago are a 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 all of 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

Focus is Santiago de Chile region, about 6.5 million people-estimated 134,000 Haitians.

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 9-12 months. For $200k we would implement within 1.5 years. For $500k we would implement project within ~2.5 years.

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

  • No
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Team (3)

Brian's profile
Brian Bauer of Algramo

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

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, brian.bauer@attollose.com"

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Attachments (3)

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.

AttolloSE Talking Stickers - April 2018.pdf

A brief slide deck that highlights key objectives of Attollo's Talking Stickers and the applied neuroscience integrated into our application. These slides showcase how Talking Stickers (TS) makes learning fun and brings benefits to both 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 across any language or culture.

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Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Brian Bauer of Attollo's Talking Stickers great to have you in the Challenge, you might find some interesting inspiration and ideas for collaboration from some of the Ideas in the Education in Emergencies Challenge: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/education-emergencies/top-ideas

Photo of Brian Bauer of Attollo&amp;#039;s Talking Stickers
Team

@Ashley Tilman Thank you very much for the suggestion Ashley. I will definitely have a look. Talking Stickers is currently considering a project where the focus is education in emergencies. Your advice is very valuable and helpful, thank you so much. Best, Brian

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