Help us to continue reaching students with health and education programming during the pandemic.
The world is grappling with the spread of COVID-19, with over 1.3 million confirmed cases around the world. In addition to the direct health effects of the pandemic, education systems and student learning worldwide have been paralyzed. According to UNESCO, 188 countries around the world have shut down schools country-wide and over 1.5 billion learners are out of school. Botswana is no exception: the government has shut down all schools for at least the next 6 months.
We are providing remote services to students through text-message based learning and phone calls to students and families. As we innovate, we plan to rigorously test our interventions in Botswana. Lessons learned will be shared with the governments to inform potential national teacher engagement strategies during the crisis, and during school closure far into the future. We will also be airing a national radio program and provide linkages between direct phone-based support and mass media.
We have 10,000 phone numbers and are making weekly calls to households to minimise learning and health fallouts of the pandemic over the next 2-3 months. If we raise $10,000 more, we can make calls for an extra month, a game-changing extension of this critical service.
Our adolescent school health program in the last few months halved the likelihood girls spend time with older men and reduced risky behaviors with older men by over 80%. During crises and school closures, research shows that learning stagnates and falls. Our education program has provided a large learning boost, reducing innumeracy from 30% to 6% across 4 out of 10 regions in Botswana just before the crisis broke out. We hope both of these early efforts in 2020 help mitigate the health and education effects of the pandemic, and plan to actively engage with our beneficiaries remotely through the coming school-closure period.
Join the movement!