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Equip low income parents to continue their child’s early learning at home and manage stress and misinformation around COVID

Provide parents information on COVID, mental health and early learning through automated phone calls, which act as daily behavior nudges

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At Dost we are supporting families with daily audio resources through our phone call program. Families can sign up on our phone number and receive 4 calls (1 min long each) every week with the following information:

  • 2 weeks of COVID resources around prevention and credible information recommending positive behavior management techniques to adopt healthy behaviors. 
  • 5 weeks of content addressing family stress and children's stress, and providing practices to maintain good mental health
  • 15 weeks of early learning content with play-based activities and tips that helps parents use household objects to continue their child’s learning at home while schools are closed

Our program can be accessed without internet or smartphones, which enables us to reach the most vulnerable communities.

What is the need are you focusing on?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created stress and panic worldwide. Speaking with 250+ families in these weeks of the COVID 19 crisis, we understand that parents are very worried about their family’s health and their children’s ability to adopt healthy practices. With school closures and kids being at home, there is also a heightened need to continue learning at home.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Sharing an actual pivot your organization has already made

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

Dost provides early childhood learning content to low income families in India. This content is delivered via podcasts over phone calls ("Phonecasts"). We've been running our audio program for 3 years and have reached over 52,000 families. Currently we've added an additional COVID focus to our content and have built a 7 week module which focusses on creating awareness around COVID and building mental resilience at home to deal with the crisis. Through our calls, parents will be able to keep their children safe and healthy, help them manage emotional distress, and continue their learning at home through play.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

Our program is immensely scalable and is seeing interest from various organisations in India. Our program can potentially reach millions of families in India who are in a nation wide lockdown and have little to no access to reliable information regarding to COVID, mental health and education. We're getting in touch with state governments to propel our program's expansion to multiple Hindi speaking geographies in India. We expect collaborations to reach fruition in the months of May and June.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Dost Education

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Dost’s program supports parents of any literacy level to create a safe learning environment for their child and get them school ready. We rely on simple accessible technology already in the hands of the parents to nudge and motivate them. Through an automated phone call service and community based workshops, we build awareness about the importance of early years, build confidence in parents and give them actionable recommendations they can adopt right at home. We are backed by YCombinator, Mulago, Fast Forward and MIT Solve.

What is your profession?

I lead Partnerships and Program at Dost Education

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Southern Asia

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Education
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 2-5 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Nonprofit/NGO

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Civil Society Groups
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

We'd like to get connected to education departments of State governments and big foundations running nation wide education programs.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

None as of now

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