Dear team, congratulations for your great effort and the work you do! I admire and respect your passion for this challenge and for solving it. Thank you. My knowledge and ability to judge as to whether and how the 'technology' does indeed work is very limited, so I'll just be assuming it does and focus on another area of feedback. I am not sure if this just wasn't mentioned (and u in fact already do this or i may have just missed it in the text above) or maybe you did not include this aspect, yet, but I do believe this product is an ideal fit to not just empower the target group via the product, but to actually empower them to become the producers of it, too. You could set up a train the trainer approach where dozens of people are trained to train others in how to build these rice seeders - the one building them then could either 'sell' them to other farmers, thus creating an additional income or 'rent' them to others and help them to pay them off slowly. (I recommend you to check out the venture "Rikshaw Bank" from India, different context, but a similar idea of empowering the target group both by providing them with a technology as well as training them to actually create it, same goes for "SolarEar" http://solarear.com.br. I think the trick here is how to use the technology in various ways, as such, but also as a tool for additional income generation and for making your target group independent from yourself (business entrepreneurs try to create dependencies so customers stuck with them, social entrepreneurs create independencies so that people can become the engine of their own change). Best of luck!!
Thank you for the great work you do and for your effort! The idea and approach you describe sounds very feasible, fairly easy to scale and affordable; all of which are positives. I do wonder though if you've done some work around measuring & evaluation already as to if and how this approach does indeed benefit the children and increase their language abilities in tangible ways - in the above proposal it says you're planning an evaluation for a bit later, which makes me wonder if it may be a good to idea to first pilot a smaller project, evaluate it really well and only then move into the scaling phase. Also I did very much like your reference to "fostering partnerships with existing organisation" in Haiti, which in my eyes is absolutely critical. Trying to scale this by yourself will take much longer, if even successful in the first place - I'd much rather look at this as something that should be super easy to integrate and incorporate into existing approaches, institutions or infrastructure. Also, concerning the monetisation and funding of the approach I do also think it's fair enough to start with grant contributions from Foundations (you'll probably need the time to prove your case and not for profit investors and donors can help you with that), however it seems there may in fact be some great ways to monetise the app and the overall approach, e.g. by partnering with other educational institutions, educational material publishers, education ministries and such that would most likely benefit hugely from being exposed to your target group. As for the LATAM expansion the first initial thought that comes to my mind is that you should probably 'license' your app and maybe even allow for 'white label solutions' that you can provide other NGOS and partners across the continent. You may also, in the interest of the highest impact possible, think of your venture and the work you do in terms of an open source project and maybe just offer it for free to partners/institutions across LATAM; and finance your work via government or foundation grants, but actually keep your own Organization very small & lean.
Dear Play in a Box team, the psycho-social needs of refugee children is a hugely important topic and our global society will face challenges for decades to come if we do not pay close attention to the psychological needs of children displaced by war and crisis. So, thank you for your effort! I also do think you've put in a great deal of work into designing the box and the games - I'm sure it's fun to play indeed and can provide children with a few hours of fun, connection to others and a sense of community. What I feel is lacking though and what would be my area of focus is the need to embed this a lot more into existing systems, structures and processes at the refugee camps and/or the environment of your target group. The box itself won't be enough, there' also be the need for psycho-social counselling (maybe even therapy) and very close guidance of the children as they recover from trauma - my spontaneous inspiration is to integrate this into existing efforts of UN agencies and such and provide your product/service to other entities instead of creating a program/project of it's own. You'll probably face difficulties becoming an expert in all areas from the box to the counselling to the ongoing support of the children. Why not position yourself as a product/service design thinking platform that produces and co-creates products like the box in partnership with existing entities that can then distribute, embed your product and/or run your activities? Thanks again for the work you do. Best wishes