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LEMA -Literacy Education and Math Lab-

LEMAs are learning spaces that take place at homes, parks, shelters, other public spaces; led by community members as Learning Coaches.

Photo of Catalina González
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

The Literacy Education and Math Lab -LEMA-, are learning spaces that can take place at homes, parks, shelters, and other agreed upon spaces in the community. LEMA uses play as a catalyst for learning. Using the learning games we have carefully designed, structured and tested across three decades of work, in a variety of social contexts and with diverse populations; children, youth and adults are able to develop literacy and basic math skills, fundamental tools to continue learning. The LEMAs are led by Learning Coaches. These are mothers, community leaders, youth and/or teachers, that are trained in our methodology; enabling community members to take direct action on education issues, promoting community participation and ownership. At the end of the process, participants are encouraged to write their own stories of survival, "Lessons for future generations". These stories are complied and published. The revenue of the sales of these books will be distributed among the protagonists and authors of these book. These books can also be sent to community libraries and schools, providing others with high quality and relevant reading materials.

WHO BENEFITS?

Children, youth, adults, women, community members, teachers. So far we have developed programs in 10 countries. More specifically, we have worked with communities of returnees in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua between 1997 and 2000; internal displaced communities in Colombia since 1982, including El Salado on 2012; Haitian children in DR in 2013 and Liberian Refugees in the US in 2010.

PROTOTYPE

1. Partner with local organization providing services to refugees 2. Provide training and materials to Learning Coaches 3. Start program to attend children, youth and/or adults

FEEDBACK

We have been working for over 30 years developing our model. Every experience is different and has particular conditions, our idea is flexible enough to accommodate community needs and challenges. All feedback is used to adapt our model to the conditions of the community we are working with. We pay special attention to the community and beneficiaries feedback. Most of it is used to select learning spaces and schedules, as in most cases they are decided by the learners. We seek collaboration rather than imposition.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

Need> Partnerships. Economic Resources for training and materials. Share> Experience, materials and proven literacy methodology.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

We are an independent organization. The methodology was developed by Javier González Quintero, Ashoka Fellow and Schwab Social Entrepreneur. On 2014, LEMA was named pioneer at the "Play to Learn: Reimagine Learning Challenge", organized by the LEGO Foundation and Ashoka.

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.

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Photo of Mirette Bahgat Eskaros
Team

This looks like a very interesting model Cataline. Have you tried this in Arab countries context before, and can it contextualized to serve different languages such as Arabic? I'm highly interested to try this out in Egypt.

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Photo of Amir H. Mazrouei
Team

Hi Catalina and Mirette,
I have the same question.
We are based in North of Iraq and we are working closely with the refugees and community leaders.
Would your product serve Arabic, as Mirette said or other languages such as Kurdish?

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Photo of Catalina González
Team

We haven't... yet.

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