impact story

Speed School Enabling 113,000 Children To Get A Second Chance At Education


Worldwide there are 125 million children who miss out on basic education. Often excluded due to conflict, poverty, or discrimination, these children are at risk of being forgotten or ignored as they are assumed to be uneducable.

Speed School aims to change communities and global mindsets so that it becomes unacceptable for any child to be denied an education. Luminos programs provide tangible evidence that every child can learn, and work to deliver rich education in the poorest corners of the world.

Since 2011, Luminos Fund's Speed School initiative has worked in partnership with Ethiopian NGOs to enable 113,000 children to get a second chance at education. Over 90% of the children who start their program transition successfully to their local village school. Graduates of the Speed School program complete primary school at twice the rate of their peers.

We reached out to Caitlin Baron, CEO of The Luminos Fund to hear about their experience being in all the HundrED Global Collections as well as our Community!

What does it mean for the Luminos Fund’s Speed School initiative to be recognised as a leading education innovator in the HundrED 2018, 2019 and 2020 Global Collection?

The Luminos Fund is deeply honored that HundrED has recognized our Speed School initiative as part of the 2020 Global Collection – and that this is the third consecutive year we’ve been awarded! The Speed School initiative is an accelerated learning program for out-of-school children, also known as Second Chance. We’ve worked in partnership with Ethiopian NGOs to enable more than 113,000 children in Ethiopia to get a second chance at education. Over 90% of the children who start the program transition successfully to their local village school, and external evaluations show that graduates of our program complete primary school at twice the rate of their peers. In 2016, the program expanded to Liberia where it reaches thousands of more children every year. 

This HundrED recognition is so affirming of our work to ensure children everywhere get a chance to experience joyful learning, especially those denied an education by poverty, conflict, and discrimination. Our entire team across Ethiopia, Lebanon, Liberia, and the U.S. is humbled and delighted.

What is your biggest takeaway from being part of the HundrED Community?

Our biggest takeaway is that we’re glad to be part of this innovative global community working diligently to address these urgent issues! We hear a lot in the news about the global learning crisis and learning poverty, and it is true that very significant obstacles remain. At Luminos, we are both clear-eyed about the challenges and optimistic about the collaborative, pioneering work that is happening to help children around the globe receive rich educations. HundrED is doing good work to shine a spotlight on this.

How has the HundrED Summit and global recognition helped progress the impact of Speed School? 

These HundrED awards have brought increased visibility, credibility, and recognition to the Luminos Fund’s work. We've reached nearly 40,000 additional children since the first recognition in the HundrED 2018 Global Collection. It is a wonderful recognition for our team and our supporters of the significance of their work.

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So, what is next for Speed School?

We’ll keep expanding and iterating! The Luminos Fund enhances our curriculum on an ongoing basis to deliver even richer learning to our students and, thanks to the generous support of our funders, is expanding to reach even more children in Ethiopia, Lebanon, and Liberia. We plan to expand to a fourth country soon. In parallel, we are excited to continue refining our trainings and workshops for teachers to ensure they are well-equipped to facilitate classrooms effectively and joyfully, and to strengthen our collaborations fostering government adoption of our model.

What would you say to innovators who are looking to connect with HundrED? Why should they be part of the global community for change?

We would say “go for it!” HundrED is a supportive, welcoming, and of course innovative community of international leaders. For Luminos, it has been great to be a part of it.  

To know more about Speed School, check out their innovation pageShare your own education innovations by creating a page now!