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InnoKido is a traveling STEAM education program in Turkey which uses digital technologies for refugee children and especially girls.

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What problem does your innovation solve?

500.000 children in the refugee community in Turkey are estimated to be out of formal and informal education systems. InnoKido, as a mobile platform, will provide informal STEAM education to refugee children wherever they are. The program will also accept disadvantaged Turkish children to help with integration through mixed workshops. InnoKido aims to focus on the needs of girls and to improve their access to technology and science education with tailored workshops including coding trainings.

Explain your innovation.

InnoKido is a traveling program aiming to help children discover science and technology, acquire 21st century skills and play in an environment of creativity and collaboration. InnoKido’s mobility provides flexibility and access to children in remote areas. Since 2015, our team has been traveling in Turkey with 3 shipping containers for another project named InnoCampus, an entrepreneurship and prototyping program for the youth. We organized 8 programs in 5 cities so far. The mobile program has been very effective in reaching the youth in remote areas. We also organized a refugee entrepreneurship program in Gaziantep where teams from the refugee and local communities trained together to bring their business ideas to life. InnoCampus continues to travel throughout Turkey to cities with large refugee populations as part of the refugee entrepreneurship program. InnoCampus containers with its FabLab is a suitable hub for the InnoKido team to fabricate the components needed for the children’s trainings. What we need is a mini truck carrying the educational kits for the children. InnoKido team will set out from the containers every day to visit schools and community centers where they will carry out trainings for refugee and local disadvantaged children. The education of girls and the integration of refugee and local children through mixed trainings are two priorities for InnoKido. Our train-the-trainers program aims to create a network of teachers we work closely with.

Who benefits?

InnoKido aims to offer its educational content and method for both refugee and local children of age 6 to 12 in Turkey. In Turkey, 90% of Syrian refugees live outside the camps and have limited access to education. InnoKido will provide informal STEAM education to refugee children who otherwise have no or limited access to education. InnoKido will reach out to refugee girls with a customized approach and tailored workshops taking into consideration the low enrollment rate of girls. Another target group will be the socio-economically disadvantaged and marginalized children regardless of their refugee status. Each workshop aims to reach an average of 25 children of which at least 60% will be girls in order to support their education with tailored events like “Girls Coding Hackathon”, “Girls Technology Career Days” and “Digital Literacy Trainings”.

How is your innovation unique?

Travelling from city to city we reach children with no access to to proper education and digital technologies. Our educational content uses technology and gamification as a tool to teach STEAM education which we have been testing in workshops. We will organize train-the-trainers sessions where we will share the details of these workshops and donate kits so that local trainers can continue working with the children in their community. InnoKido also has some experience in the field with mixed groups of refugee and local children. Our advantage is we already have a mobile fablab and an established parallel program with a team which will travel to the same cities and will support InnoKido. There are very limited STEAM education programs for refugee children currently available. What sets InnoKido apart is that it has the potential to create a network across the country thanks to its mobile nature and also to help with integration of the refugee community.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

For the train-the-trainers sessions, we need teachers who already have some background in teaching STEAM education. It is not easy to find the right candidates. We organized mixed workshops with local and refugee children in the past with the help of the municipality. We will need the help of local authorities for mixed workshops as local and refugee children do not always come together, be it a school or a temporary education center. The project needs to be financially sustainable in the long run. For this, we are also considering offering trainings professionally to those who can afford them and thereby create income to fund InnoKido to remain nonprofit and reach those who do not have access to this kind of STEAM education.

Tell us more about you.

InnoKido is a nonprofit project by Innomate which is a social enterprise. We also have an NGO based in Istanbul. InnoCampus is another project developed by Innomate which is a collaborative nonprofit project providing an innovation and entrepreneurship experience to youth. It is being funded by sponsors and is free-of-charge to the participants. The team consists of 6 full-time members with expertise on children education, technology, and entrepreneurship.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

We have identified refugee children outside of the camps in Turkey as our target group. 3 main reasons are: 1. In Turkey, 90% of the refugees live outside the camps and mostly in urban areas. 2. School enrollment rate outside of camps is only 25% whereas it’s 90%in the camps. 3. Working within the camps is very difficult due to strict government control. InnoKido can be rolled out as a model in the future to other countries with children who do not have access to an education system.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

InnoKido will travel to cities where the refugee population is high. The cities of Sanliurfa and Hatay are to be our first 2 stops. The official number of Syrian refugees in Sanliurfa and Hatay are 420,532 and 384,024 respectively. The highest number of temporary education centers are also located in Hatay, so most of the refugee children (approximately 52.000) are registered to temporary education centers.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

For the past two years, we cooperated with municipalities and universities in the cities we went to with InnoCampus project: Adana, Izmir, Canakkale, Istanbul and Gaziantep. We also collaborated with maker spaces, science centers, K12 schools, Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of National Education, and International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM has been the main sponsor of InnoCampus project for the last 6 months.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

Our team organized technology trainings to 294 children aged 6 to 12 in Canakkale, Istanbul and Gaziantep. In Gaziantep, we designed and implemented workshops for 213 refugee children. The workshops in Gaziantep were organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Gaziantep and Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of National Education. These workshops were carried out with both local and refugee children. We are used to being mobile and on the field in different parts of Turkey.

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Organization Location

InnoKido is a project by Innomate founded in Istanbul, Turkey. We travel to cities in Turkey with high refugee populations.


How has your Idea changed based on feedback?

We prepared a survey to collect feedback on social integration, potential problems, areas of improvement, how to support formal education and getting long-lasting impact. As a result of the feedback, we decided to use more games, drawing and drama to overcome language barriers at the beginning of workshops. Also, we are considering exhibiting the results of workshops to create more awareness in the community. The rest of our learnings are provided in the visuals above.

Who will implement this Idea?

The team will have a project coordinator and three trainers consisting of a science communicator, a designer/engineer who is also a native Arabic speaker, and a pedagog. Currently, we already have the project coordinator and trainer/science communicator working on this project. We plan to recruit the rest of the team around October 2017. The InnoCampus team which will support this project logistically and content-wise has 6 full-time members: Program Director, Project Coordinator, Communications Manager, Fablab manager, Fablab expert, and Finance Manager. Everyone is located in Turkey.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

(1) The biggest challenge for refugee children based on the feedback we received is language. Many refugee children hesitate to go public schools because of the language barrier. If they do, they may feel alienated due to the lack of communication. (2) Given the huge number of refugee children at school age in Turkey, the investment in the educational infrastructure will not provide fast results and some of the children are not getting a proper formal education. There are not sufficient teachers who speak both Arabic and Turkish.

How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?

Innomate is an established company in Turkey and works as a social enterprise. Its first project InnoCampus is nonprofit. Innomate funds InnoCampus' operations with the help of project partners, volunteers, and its for-profit business. Our approach with InnoKido will be very similar. InnoKido will eventually be a social enterprise with workshops, content, and physical products whose customers will be private schools and affluent parents. The revenue generated this way will help finance the nonprofit operations targeting refugee and local disadvantaged children.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?

We aim to provide STEAM education directly and through teachers in our train-the-trainer program to 100,000 children (min. 60,000 girls) in Turkey who have no/limited formal education, support the social integration of refugee children, and build a model to integrate practical, hands-on STEAM content into the current formal education system. We need to work closely with educational authorities and convince them of the viability of our work to not get slowed down by bureaucratic obstacles.

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?

We currently use surveys with children to measure the effectiveness of our workshops and with teachers to see how our content supports formal education. We will organize competitions to see how mixed teams with local and refugee children work together. We plan to launch an online platform to share content, continue our communication with teachers and follow how they implement their learning in their classrooms.

What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

The first year is the pilot phase during which time we will visit 3 cities to organize workshops for children and carry out our train-the-trainers sessions. The online platform will also be launched during this first year. The second year of the program, we will expand our team, increase the number of our STEAM vehicles, and start providing workshops to private schools. The third year, we will open a STEAM hub in Istanbul and our professional services will fully finance our nonprofit workshops.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $100,000 and $500,000 USD

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?

  • Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?

  • Between 1 and 2 years

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support
  • Understanding User and/or Community
  • Communications / Marketing / Graphic Design


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