The global learning crisis

When it comes to global learning, we are losing ground. The latest figures from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that 617 million children and adolescents lack proficiency in reading and math. The figure includes 387 million children of primary school age (56%) and 230 million adolescents of lower secondary school age (61%). What’s most alarming about the figures is that two-thirds of these children who are not learning are in school!

The economic impact of the learning crisis is twofold, explains the World Economic Forum (WEF). Lack of proficiency in basic skills threatens the ability of individuals to rise from poverty by improving their opportunities for better jobs. The WEF points out that “each additional year of schooling can improve an individual’s job prospects and raise their income by 10-20%, if they gain the required skillsets.”

Also, the jobs of the future with their dependence on technical competency require a workforce that has strong math and reading ability, in addition to being able to problem solve and think creatively to adapt to a rapid pace of change. The UIS figures indicate that on a global level on every continent, children will not be prepared to take on the challenging jobs that will help them thrive individually and advance the communities and countries in which they live.

Technology can make a difference

While technology is not the only solution to resolving the learning crisis (teachers, as well as proven educational policies, re also essential), it is making a difference in classrooms across the globe. Technology through online teaching materials, interactive content, tutorials and practice work sessions can accommodate the individual learning needs and challenges of students. Digital simulations and models help students understand concepts that they otherwise might not comprehend through traditional learning. By enabling students to learn the way “they learn best,” technology also is helping teachers better manage their classrooms. They don’t have to spend disproportionate amounts of time with the students who struggle at the expense of other students.

Lack of access to technology in the developing world

However, in classrooms across the developing world, there is a critical shortage of technology to help students learn as well as acquire the computer skills they will need for the jobs of the future. Providing computer technology is one of the primary areas where Ann Foundation is helping to address the educational shortcoming in schools in developing countries.

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In April 2015, Ann Foundation donated computers and laptops to the Khadijatul Kubra Girls Mission (KKGM), which is home to 540 destitute girls in Kolkata. In February of this year, Ann Foundation donated 10 more new computers and helped furnish a computer lab which was named after the CEO of the Ann Foundation.

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The girls have been enthusiastic and industrious using computers. Contact us to learn more about our work providing disadvantaged children with computer technology to advance learning.

Ten International Charities You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

With Mackenzie Tuttle (Bezos)’s recent pledge to donate half of her $35 billion to charity, many eyes are pointed towards the many billionaires that have taken up a similar pledge. With the millions of charity organizations and non-profit organizations available, it is difficult to stand out as an organization when vying for even a small portion of that fortune or to gain attention from any potential donors. Here are a few non-profit and charity organizations all around the world that may have slipped by your radar.

#1

Ann Foundation | Georgia, USA

If you love stories of female empowerment and welcome home stories, Ann Foundation is a non-profit organization for you. The Ann Foundation is a non-profit entity that helps children and young adults get the education that they deserve. With its founder, Ann Moideen, originally hailing from India, Ann Foundation’s inaugural missions began in the rural towns of India, providing educational assistance to eager children.  After solidifying its impact in India, the organization has been able to offer assistance in other countries in Africa, providing education and support for the orphaned. Recently, Ann Foundation provided computers for the Khadijatul Kubra Girls Mission, giving girls access to learning through IT technology. Talk about girl power!

#2

Liberty in North Korea | California, USA

With tensions and dialogue increasing between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, there is a lot of conversation lately surrounding the current state of North Korea, its politics and its people. Many North Korean defectors are opening up about the challenges that they faced in North Korea and subsequently the need for a movement like Liberty in North Korea became apparent.  Liberty in North Korea, or LiNK, as commonly known, is an organization whose mission is to rescue North Korean defectors and even go as far as to assist in assimilation to their new culture.

#3

Tamar Rescue Foundation | Lagos, Nigeria

Based in Nigeria, this foundation has dedicated itself to helping victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. They offer to counsel to these victims and teach them ways of empowerment rather than self-destruction in dealing with the trauma that they endured. TRF also addresses the physical health issues of rape and sexual violence, mainly HIV/AIDS. They believe that “To curb these diseases, we need to check the rate of increase of sexual abuse and rape. Just as destructive as the diseases are, so do the emotional and psychological trauma of rape and sexual abuse.”

#4

Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People | Leeds, England

You may or may not know about the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind people depending on your location on the globe.  If you are living in its residing city of London, you most likely have come across the name. There is a chance that your parents and even their parents have also encountered this charity organization since it was inducted in 1866. Leeds, as its name infers, assists those on the spectrum of deafness and blindness to lead a more comfortable daily life. They provide lessons in British Sign Language (BSL) as well as merchandise suitable for those with auditory and optical shortcomings.

#5

Liam’s Foundation | Lashibi, Ghana

Although Ghana can boast of cutting its poverty rate down over 50 percent over the last decade or so, there are still millions of Ghanaians well under the poverty line. Liam’s Foundation’s goal is to reduce this epidemic almost to eradication. This organization has realized the connection between disabilities and poverty in Ghana and is actively working to provide housing, health checks, among other efforts to improve the rural communities of Ghana.

#6

Kids International Ministries | Kansas, USA & Cainta Rizal, Philippines

Located in Cainta Rizal, Philippines, Kids International Ministries (KidsIM) believes that there is a difference between poverty and extreme poverty. They have redefined the definition of poverty from “a lack of money” to “a belief… a mindset that [one] is defined by the environment,… family [and] circumstances”. Their outlook on extreme poverty is that it is “a cycle repeated in each generation”. KidsIM is a charity organization that seeks to interrupt that cycle for children and families and redirect the vision of these individuals. They also help underprivileged women, especially single mothers, to have successful prenatal, birthing and postnatal experiences. You can also be active in KidsIM by assisting in their sports or feeding ministries.

#7

The Terry Fox Foundation | British Columbia, Canada

If you have come across the movie, ‘The Terry Fox Story’ or heard the song “Runner” by Ian Thomas, you may be aware of a man by the name of Terry Fox, who despite becoming an amputee due to cancer, ran over 3,300 miles and was a well-rounded athlete. Unfortunately, he died of the disease at the young age of 22. However, many may not know that there is a foundation in his name dedicated to cancer research and providing treatment for the most challenging cases of cancer. This charity organization continues to invest in the ever-improving research in cancer treatments, inspired by Terry’s story and motto: “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

#8

Diema’s Dream Fund | Moscow, Russia

Diema’s Dream Fund started from the founder’s encounter with a paraplegic toddler named Diema, who in the midst of his improvements was cast among hundreds of disabled persons and lost the focused attention that had proved so beneficial to him before.  This organization allows for mentally and physically disabled children to receive the concentrated attention that they require to improve, whatever may be their disabilities. They also attend to disabled orphans, linking professional development specialists with orphanages struggling to provide the appropriate care to their disabled children.

#9

Children’s Bereavement Center | South Miami, Florida

Children’s Bereavement Center (CBC) addresses a problem that has long been present in families of color but has not been sufficiently discussed: mental health. In many black and Hispanic communities, mental health and therapy is still a taboo topic, thought of as unnecessary or weak. This unique charity organization has opened up the discussion by providing group sessions and events for families, especially in the Hispanic community, that have suffered a loss in the family. Their goal is ‘Healthful Grieving’, to help children and adults, alike, to deal with grief and loss in a healthy way.

#10

Angel House | Seoul, South Korea

A recent article revealed that 60 percent of Koreans are distrusting of charities.  Koreans distrust of these charity organizations may explain why Angel House is hidden deep in the rural areas Seoul, an over 30-minute bus ride from any subway station. Even so, this organization provides a home for the disabled and abandoned. As Korea’s disabled and elderly welfare system is still developing, Angel House’s existence is much-needed for those who are unable to be employed or who have been abandoned by families to get better care.