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Community Education Volunteers

place Uganda

Building Tomorrow mobilizes Community Education Volunteers to deliver foundational learning.

Responding to a deficit of 15 million teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, Building Tomorrow has multiplied communities’ education resources by recruiting and training local leaders as Community Education Volunteers (CEVs). CEVs work to ensure all children have access to education and improve student outcomes by facilitating our community-based Roots to Rise literacy and numeracy camps.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
July 2024
Building Tomorrow hopes to see volunteerism in education mainstreamed to tap huge pools of community resources in the pursuit of literacy and numeracy for all children.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Building Tomorrow is committed to community-powered learning, and CEVs are our conduit to sustainable community engagement. Our mobilization starts with Fellows, recent Ugandan university graduates whom we deploy to underserved rural areas, and it was our first cohort of Fellows in 2015 who identified the need to leverage members within the community as allies in raising support for education.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

CEVs are recruited based on their passion for education, range from retired civil servants to farmers, and are vetted by local authorities. CEVs with an O-Level education are considered Academic CEVs, and are eligible to be trained to deliver Building Tomorrow’s Roots to Rise literacy and numeracy camps. Other CEVs are considered Life Skill CEVs and focus on reaching out-of-school children.

How has it been spreading?

Fellows have recruited >14,000 CEVs, who donated 559,070 hours in 2023 alone. A randomized controlled trial showed CEVs were able to deliver learning gains equivalent to 1.1 Learning-Adjusted Years of Schooling through 160 minutes of individualized instruction, leading us to elevate them further in our model. CEVs now facilitate nearly 2/3 of Roots to Rise, and reached 120,000 learners in 2023.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Building Tomorrow hopes CEVs can gain the traction and reach of Community Health Workers in the health space, and welcomes organizations delivering similar community-powered initiatives or looking to add CEVs to their context to reach out to to join forces and share best practices.

Spread of the innovation

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