Solution Overview

Semi-Finalist 2022: WoW- Wheels of Wisdom | Grow Your Reader

Moving library on the go for the children of rural community of Bangladesh

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About the Pitch

Submitted By: Grow your reader Foundation

Name of the Solution: Wow – Wheels of Wisdom

The Pitch in One Sentence:

Mobile libraries and internet hotspots help to keep the light of learning alive for lower-income community children in Bangladesh

Partner Organizations for the Project: Funded by Global Youth Mobilization, which is supported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Foundation.

The Pitch:

The Project on Social Media:

Summary of the Pitch

Mobile library and internet hotspot help to keep the light of learning alive for lower-income community children in Bangladesh

What specific problem is this initiative trying to solve? 

 Access to books alongside regular curriculum and internet hotspots for 25000 underprivileged children in 5 cities

Details of the Pitched solution

The initiation of WoW began on the very first phase of the nation-wise lockdown in Bangladesh. The privileged students had storybooks, access to the internet, and all the material to use their time correctly. But what about the underprivileged? The children of daily wage earners? GYRF decided that with the initiation of the WoW project, we could give such children the facility to a privileged setting to access educational content. Meanwhile, there were further hurdles when the government switched to online. Having Wi-Fi or a 24/7 internet connection was not feasible. The children were worried about the next meal of the day; they did not have the opportunity or the privilege to think about their education. That is when GYRF bought the WoW to their doorstep. As the name represents the Wheel of Wisdom, that is what happened when our van went to the underserved community on its wheel and filled with wisdom. WoW was the light of education in their life when they were stuck in the dark tunnel of despair and hardship imposed by the pandemic. WoW ensured that they were not deprived of education by providing a hotspot and lending books to the students. The sheer happiness and rejoice were apparent on the face of students upon the arrival of WoW. Some even stated that WoW helped them from irrational thoughts like drug abuse, procrastination, and depression. Though WoW’s primary goal was to take education to the students, it also flourished in improving the standard of life by adding value and instilling hope throughout the community. Objective and Scope: 1. As the schools remained closed during the pandemic, so we decided to take the school to the students of underserved communities: That is when “Wheels of Wisdom” – (which is a moving library to facilitate the underprivileged children with books and internet at their convenient location) reached to them in Dhaka, Jashore and Mymensingh. 2. Children can collect books conveniently and borrow hotspots from the wheels: To ensure this, WoW has trained librarians who regularly buy internet packages and keep the hotspot on. 3. Through WoW, we also make sure that children correctly utilize their time on education and related videos and not on unnecessary purposes: One child can use a hotspot for a maximum of 1 hour in a single day. And our librarians monitor every children’s watch history what they are consuming. 4. Besides, children can also learn about digital learning and associated skills from the WoW project: Because the public schools could not give them access to Google classroom or Zoom. So, this is an approach to reducing the digital divide in the quality of education. These children connect their devices to the internet, join in our online classes, watch our educational videos from our YouTube channel, and read books from our online library. 5. Students can also choose books physically: WoW is a moving library with shelves of books so that the children can borrow them under proper regulation and registration from the librarian. 6. Our main objective is to protect the learning rights of the underprivileged children and build their interest to go back to school post-pandemic: Many children go to their workplace and then come to our van to read books. They need tools for self-learning, and we are trying to provide that. WoW is a constant reminder for them that the school will reopen shortly and be optimistic in the dark time of the pandemic. 7. Alternative option to access books aside from regular curriculum: Reading plays a crucial role in children’s overall development. It is a highly immersive experience that allows them to use their imagination and curiosity and makes their minds come alive. However, the Bangladeshi community has not yet established an entirely reader-friendly environment. For a start, many Bangladeshi schools have a minimal number of fictional stories in their curriculum. Indwelling on or stressing over school pressures, children often do not find the time to pick up books outside of the classrooms. In addition, most bookstores in Dhaka are decorative stationery shops that mainly sell textbooks and a handful of mainstream fiction books. More importantly, the underprivileged children in our community rarely find any opportunity to develop reading habits. Our project will help them to find easy access.

Impact and Beneficiaries of the Pitched Solution

We are backed by Global Youth Mobilization (GYM), funded by the Big 6 Organization, World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Foundation. Our WoW project runs in 3 different divisions: Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Jashore. The wheels cover nine areas. Till now, 8,500 children borrowed 7,400 books and 34,000 hours of internet access. Planet Classroom has invited us to talk about our “WoW-Wheels of Wisdom” project. Major global organizations, including UNESCO, OECD, and NIE SINGAPORE, join Creative Visions and Planet Classroom Network to inspire youth-created arts and media and STEM-based innovations. We are one of three winners of the Electric Information For Libraries (EIFL) 15th Library Innovation Award supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Programme for the public libraries contributing to education recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. We have been invited by WSIS Forum 2022 to present our project. We have been selected for the seed funding to scale our project by GYM.

What city, village and upazilas are this solution impacting?

 Mymensingh (Porabari Village), Jashore (Jahanpur village), Dhaka (Gawair)

Which division will this solution be impacting?

  •  Dhaka
  • Mymensingh
  • Khulna

What kind of support do you need to take your idea forward?

CSR Funds, Corporate Partnerships, Mentoring

how much funds do you need to get started?

BDT 5,00,000 – 10,00,000

About Grow Your Reader Foundation

Grow your Reader Foundation is a non-profit organization. We work to develop the education quality of Bangladesh and make sure that more children are getting the chance to be enlightened by proper education. We genuinely believe that our work is very significant because, in our country, the condition of access to proper education is not that developed. So many children are being deprived of adequate education. For that, we are providing teacher training facilities and installing numerous library stations at different corners of Bangladesh, including the online library. We are also developing different curricula for enhancing reading skills, social-emotional learning (SEL), sustainable living, child food and nutrition to ensure quality education. We teach children on online platforms as well so that even when their schools are closed due to any unavoidable circumstances, their learning process still isn’t stopping or getting obstructed. Grow your Reader Foundation was founded on 14th May 2016 and registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms as a non-profit organization.

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