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What do displaced and vulnerable children need to thrive in today’s highly digital world?

Thaki

Lebanon
We collect gently used laptops from corporations and institutions, wipe and load them with an operating system, software and a wealth of interactive educational content. We offer an offline solution for many of our beneficiaries who live in areas with poor or no internet connectivity. In addition, we have created a suite of teacher-targeted instructional videos (in Arabic).
Introduction

Unlocking every child's potential

Rudayna Abdo, Thaki Founder
“Education is a human right. We believe digital literacy is, too.”

Rudayna Abdo, Thaki Founder

Our work targets Arab refugees in the Middle East, with ambitions to eventually achieve global impact. The toll of armed conflict on a society is enormous, acutely impacting the children displaced by it. In addition to the physical, psychological and economic damages wrought on everybody, conflict and displacement rob children of their future by disrupting, and often ending, their opportunities for education – thereby indefinitely locking up a child’s future potential.

Refugees spilling over the borders of neighboring countries can quickly overwhelm the host’s ability to absorb the children into their domestic school systems, and international aid organizations put most of their resources toward food, shelter and safety before education. Moreover, and at a global scale, there are more than 68.5 million refugees, 52% of whom are children. This has created a large gap in the education of these children who often fall years behind, or totally lose out on their schooling due to their unfortunate circumstances. These children often take to the streets, work at too young an age, remain idle, join gangs or fall prey to extremist groups and other dangerous fates. This intense vulnerability makes them susceptible to harming themselves and their societies.

With our unique model, already reaching over 40 organizations and thousands of children, we are able to connect and leverage our business and education partners to provide high quality content and help bridge the gap for these children. Thaki is empowering refugee and vulnerable children through education with a unique model that satisfies all stakeholders. We help children become digital citizens by providing them with access to computers loaded with software tools to enhance digital literacy, deliver educational content, and support personal enrichment. We distribute the computers to organizations and education centers that work with vulnerable children as well as providing laptops to university students who need a computer to support their learning. On the private business side, by donating their devices, corporations are able to outsource the challenge of retiring / recycling old devices to fresh use while simultaneously satisfying CSR requirements and growing their humanitarian footprint.

Consequently, our unique asset-light model incurs minimal costs without heavy implications such as product manufacturing. Moreover, we address fundamental stakeholder needs such as access to education and environmental sustainability, which does not require heavy sales or marketing budgets.

In addition, we act as an educational bridge between the latest in ed-tech solutions and some of the most vulnerable communities in the Middle East -- offering an offline solution to address the poor internet connectivity situation. Other benefits include a versatile and user friendly “plug and play” system and cyclicality of donors as they continue retiring old devices. Finally, the Thaki model is scalable and transferable to any place in the world where children and families have limited educational opportunities.

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Innovation Overview
1 - 18
Age Group
5 000
Children/Users
2
Countries
2015
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
125
Views
Tips for implementation
Thaki’s mission can be supported by corporations, educators and anyone who wants to give back to society. For example, donating your gently used laptops can empower children with digital learning tools; your technical and creative skills can propel our platform and increase our outreach.
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See this innovation in action

LS- EP071 — LIBERTY
From refugee to benefactor, a mother in Abu Dhabi brings much-sought education to Syrian children

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