Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Explain your idea in details:
When taking measures to address the problem of providing a fair quality education (SDG 4), a special attention should be paid to refugee children and children living in conflict zones. Unfortunately, despite all the processes of the virtualization of education and the fact that some of them have an opportunity to attend schools in neighboring countries or in refugee camps, millions of them still remain isolated from the rest of the world. WAFU is a hybrid educational app/site where refugee children can try to overcome this isolation by asking international students questions on subjects/topics they are interested in. WAFU supports 2 languages (Arabic and English) and has a simple user interface: a child opens it, chooses an option I want to know and creates an account by filling in name, age, nationality, areas of interests. In the accounts there is a button Ask a question by clicking which they enter their questions and choose the subject of it. Then question is sent to the Box of questions. As for students, they choose I want to share and pass the same procedure as children while signing in. In their accounts they see all questions and choose one (or more) to answer. They can also activate an option Random selection, which means that the programme chooses itself a question from the box to answer. Innovative approach lies in the fact that WAFU doesnt work like a game; children know it is not just a robot which automatically perform tasks, but real human beings who interact with them. Moreover, a childs question couldnt go unanswered (if students dont pick it for some time, there is a responsibility of administrators to answer it). Finally, the simplicity of the programme makes it easy to use it on any device and without high-quality Internet.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
WAFU has an impact on SDG 4.7 (Education for sustainable development and global citizenship). It promotes the importance of diversity and its strength in education. Moreover, it aims to give children broad knowledge and the opportunity to integrate in the global processes. The main goal is to involve as many refugee children as possible in a positive international communication in the frameworks of school studying to learn something new not just from their teachers, friends, but from the diverse group of young people. WAFU also aims to help them feel more connected to people from other regions, countries, continents and to the world outside of their current place of life/study in general. WAFU also focused on the other half of the users, namely students. That is why one of the main goals is to attract young people's attention to these children, so that they share with others an important idea: these children are not just refugees, but, first and foremost, children who are eager to learn and ask the world "How, why, when, etc." Furthermore, the app/website seeks to show them that it is easy to help. If you want to help, just answer the question! There are several measures of evaluating success: 1) the interest of children in the app, which is in the statics that shows how a child's activity on WAFU changes over a certain period of time; 2) the balance between positive/negative feedbacks from children who have a scale of evaluation on different points in their accounts; 3) the amount of students joining and using this app on a regular basis; 4) 4th one is about a teachers online discussion group as a part of the app, where teachers of children using WAFU can share what their pupils think about it in a real life.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
This project works as a nonprofit. The whole range of the options is free for its users; they dont need to pay for signing and using WAFU. Moreover, since one of the main values of WAFU is an active involvement of young people in this project not only as users, but as developers and promoters of the movement, the initial team of the project is a group of 4 students who maintain the site/app. WAFU is also based on the principle that one of the greatest gifts you can give these children is your time and it is not always about donating money, that is why is organized to operate with minimal expenses and maximum positive impact. The main financial expenditure are related to the development of the site/application itself. A goal of the project is to have its own the website and the app. However, the site is a primary goal. The expected expenditure is about 3700. This amount is planned to be collected through fundraising. In the future, if the project shows its effectiveness, and gets recognition among potential project partners, it is expected that the development and creation of the application can be funded by one of them. As the project is an additional online resource for learning, it aims to cooperate with organizations which provide refugee children with education, especially those specialized on virtual and non-formal methods of education.
My name is Hanna and I am 18. I am a student of Minsk State Linguistic University doing my BA degree in Intercultural communication. I have become interested in worldwide childrens education issues last year when I was doing my research on Gender inequality in education in West African countries. I started visiting different websites of organizations that support the education of children all around the world, and found that most of these websites offered the only option how you could help these children: the button "Donate". I dont think that this is something wrong about that way of helping, but I also believe that not having money for donation shouldn't be an issue for people if they want to help. I was trying to find the way I could support this global movement of educating children in an alternative way, when in this February I was accepted to Digital Grassroots Ambassador Program, an online training program on Internet related issues. And during the program I got into issues of equal access both to education and the Internet, and the way young people can use the Internet as a strong engine of promoting global education and at the same time help refugee children to become more educated as one of the most vulnerable part of the society. That is how I came to the idea of WAFU. This project is my belief that there are different ways of helping these children to learn and develop together along with the rest of the world.