DAKAR, Senegal, Jan. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- TrustAfrica is the proud recipient of a $1.5 million grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support a project entitled "The Learning Innovation Fund." The project will provide small grants and technical assistance to local organizations in four countries to improve literacy and numeracy skills for children during their first four years of primary school.
TrustAfrica, a public foundation, strives to secure the conditions for democratic participation, equitable development and African philanthropy throughout the continent. As part of the organization's strategy to promote equitable development, the project will encourage local organizations to pilot, improve and adapt new early learning methods through innovative approaches, such as peer-learning processes, adaptation of ICTs, use of creative and artistic modalities, promotion of reading culture through mobile libraries, mentoring systems and others.
The targeted countries include Senegal and Mali in West Africa and Uganda and Kenya in East Africa. These four countries provide an opportunity to pilot the project in both English and French thus offering a comparative learning opportunity. Additionally, the governments in these countries have demonstrated interest in development policy reform, opening the door to possibilities for future policy advocacy and the potential for scaling up proven innovations.
The primary goal of the Fund is to foster innovative learning approaches and environments for early learners who are currently not well served by existing education systems. Targeting children ages 5 - 11 years-old, the Fund will specifically seek to:
- Significantly improve the literacy and numeracy competencies among early learners through cutting-edge innovations that are successfully piloted in different geographic locations and contexts;
- Identify the enabling factors and feasibility probability for taking early-learning innovations to scale within the focus countries through outreach;
- Strengthen the effectiveness of organizations that produce the early-learning innovations, through technical assistance provision, and peer-learning opportunities; and
- Promote dissemination of the innovation results among relevant policy stakeholders.
TrustAfrica is a public foundation that seeks to secure conditions for democratic participation and equitable development across the African continent. Led by Africans, TrustAfrica organizes meetings, catalyzes ideas, grants and provides technical assistance to organizations working to advance these goals.