In a recent call for applications for proposals addressing Innovation for Education, the Rwandan Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) defined innovation as:

“…the creation and implementation of new or improved processes, products, or services that result in significant improvements in learning outcomes, cost-efficiency or the quality of education.”

Across all of the work of Survivors Fund (SURF) we strive for innovation. This is particularly true in the field of education, and as such we submitted three concept notes for  the call for applications:

1. A project in partnership with World ORT to develop a new Centre for Vocational Excellence in Kamonyi, with smart classrooms to deliver a more engaging and practical approach to vocational training. The project would target marginalised groups, including genocide survivors, which otherwise are at risk of falling our of basic education.

The Kamonyi Centre, proposed base of the Rwanda Centre for Vocational Excellence

2. A project in partnership with Kanyarwanda, AVEGA Agahozo and Solace Ministries to scale up our innovative holistic model of support for children born of rape developed with Foundation Rwanda. This project will utilise modern technologies such as solar lamps and solar radios to enable extracurricular learning, as well as key workers to track and support the progress of the vulnerable population of children born of rape which otherwise are at risk of falling out of basic education.

3. A project in partnership with AERG to roll out a Youth Entrepreneurship Training Programme to secondary school students, based on the successful pilot programme that AERG and SURF delivered to university students earlier this year. The project incorporates online coaching, and an entrepreneurship helpline to provide the critical support to young people striving to establish new businesses.

These are just three examples of innovation in the current work of SURF. As an organisation we recognise that innovation goes beyond just novel ideas, but addresses effective leadership and monitoring as well. We have demonstrated that through an number of other projects – most notably through a pioneering initiative to import donkeys into Rwanda through funding from the Good Gifts Catalogue, and the livelihood development programme which we developed through funding from Comic Relief, and we are now scaling up with support from the UK Department for International Development.

We look forward to reporting further on the progress of this work through future posts.

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