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Jhilimili: Fun, easy and accesible chunks of lessons for street children.

Dhaka, BangladeshDhaka, Bangladesh
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Street children cannot access formal public education due to poverty. As they are unable to go to schools, schools must come to them: army of young volunteers will set up open schools for them and provide fun, simple and accessible lessons at any convenient place and time.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if schools could go to millions of street children and lift them off illiteracy so they can make a better living and break from the cycle of poverty?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Street children in Bangladesh are unable to go to public schools due to poverty. Here's why - a) They spend their time selling or begging on the streets to survive. b) Their guardians do not see the importance of education as their primary need is present survival. c) Street children cannot relate to examples in national text books in formal public schools. Result: They remain illiterate and stuck inside the cycle of poverty.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Since street children can't go to school, schools should come to them. Here's how - a) Fun, easy and accessible chunks of lessons for street children. As street children tend to migrate within the city, the lessons will be independent in nature. To ensure memorability, it will be practice oriented. b) Lessons will be delivered by young volunteers at the children's convenience. Lessons will be conveyed through engaging games and relevant examples for the children. c) Volunteers will be flexible as to the time and place of the lessons. It may be at any time of the day, even at night, at any place, even the roadside, or under a tree. The flexibility will ensure that highest number of children are able to attend and reap benefits.


Second stage of Forbes Under 30 Change the World 2015 Competition
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

On a usual day at University of Dhaka, it is a common scene to find Amanullah, a seven year old kid, walking around persuading students to buy his candies. He cannot afford to go to a public school as the USD $6 he earns every day from street selling goes to feed himself and his family of three. A couple of student volunteers sit with Amanullah in the campus on a weekday to spend fun time with him. The kid loves identifying the letter 'A' on a page full of texts, or practically displaying tables of two with his candies. Sometimes, the volunteers and Amanullah just sit under the tree shade and watch a UNICEF cartoon. Getting lessons in such a flexible manner, ensures that kids like Amanullah become literate at the basic level.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

a) The five months Jhilimili has been under operations, it has been able to deliver lessons to at least five street children in University of Dhaka campus, who would otherwise not receive any form of education. b) The five children can now identify English and Bengali alphabets and small words albeit with difficulty, and can write their own names in both languages. They are adept in basic mathematics, including addition, subtraction, multiplication. c) The volunteers have been able to build a bond with the street children and their guardians to a level that now the guardians feel their children do need to be literate to live a better life. d) Jhilimili's activities has fired a spirit of volunteerism among the university students. What started off with only 5 volunteers, now includes around 20 business students from University of Dhaka.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Make schools go to the street children, as they can't come to school: a) We want our idea to spread across the youth population in Bangladesh, who have the vigor and capability to take the challenge of teaching street children of Dhaka. These volunteers can reach at least 10 street children in their area at flexible times and convenient places. b) Spread the chunks of lessons into a 3-month time frame by which time the street children will become literate at the basic level. c) Make the lessons accessible on the website to bring down any set-up costs for the young volunteers.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The solution aims to be as cost-effective as possible in order to ensure financial sustainability. Essentially, cost-effectiveness is ensured by the following means: a) Set up cost is low as lessons are usually provided in public spaces. b) Individuals bearing cost of stationery is feasible as the amount of donation is high compared to the expenses. c) Lessons in downloadable format will be available on the website so as to cut down costs.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Jaago Foundation, a non-for profit with the motto "quality education for all" is an organization with similar objectives. However, Jaago does not specifically cater to the needs of street children as it delivers education through its formal schooling system. But, as mentioned before, formal schooling does not address the problems faced by street children who cannot attend structured schooling due to their current situation. Jhilimili is different from Jaago in the sense that it aims to develop a more flexible, informal education system for street children, to meet their specific needs better.

Founding Story

Around five of us started off with the mission to teach the street children around our university campus. But as we started teaching them, we found that the street children face several problems that cannot be solved through structured lessons from text books, because a) they are irregular and migrate within the city often, b) the national text books is not relevant for the street children in the sense that they cannot relate with the examples and the lessons are inter-dependent. So we set out to develop our own lessons, which will be broken down into chunks and be more fun and relevant for the street children.


The current team composition is as below : a) Strategic Planning - Headed by Atique: He is the visionary of Jhilimili with the entrepreneurial mindset. He makes strategic decisions for Jhilimili; sets up strategic relations with external parties; ensures the organization is moving towards its goals b) Marketing - Headed by Ryan: With a knack for music and graphic designing, he is the creative head behind Jhilimili. He handles social media pages; designs creative materials for Jhilimili, e.g. website design, logo, etc. c) Operations Planning - Headed by Nandita: She is the brainy critically analyzing Jhilimili's operation. She plans and improvises lessons; makes goals for individual kids. d) Operations Execution - Headed by Lamia: She is the get-to-work member of Jhilimili who is always working at the field to teach the kids. She manages volunteers at the field level; ensures lesson delivery. e) Administration - Headed by Anika: She is the organizer and coordinator of the team. She is currently developing website content; her main job is to update data log for students and volunteers.
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