Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Plain Ink runs several activities involving stories that effect change including “The Qessa Academy” in Kabul, a unique school that trains unemployed young people – both boys and girls – to preserve traditional oral heritage. In a country where 8 people out of 10 are illiterate, our students learn how to leverage stories to pass on vital information on topics such as public health, food security and natural disasters mitigation.
Qessa trains up to 20 students per year teaching storytelling, community development and English, placing them with local NGOs and Ministries once courses are over. Our students also regularly perform on radio and television, telling informative stories that teach thousands of people across Afghanistan.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Plain Ink has locally produced and distributed 7,000 comics on public health to slum schools in India, and up to 80% of the pupils stated they changed their habits after reading the comics (interviews have been carried out every year for up to 2 years after distribution).
We also held 121 workshops on intercultural understanding for a total of 2,450 children, and trained 1,000 young people on social entrepreneurship in Italy, 50% of whom opened a startup.
We have directly involved a total of 13,533 children in our educational activities in Afghanistan, India and Italy, using storytelling as a denominator for change.
Plain Ink is currently planning to scale up its activities to reach at least 10,000 children in each country through our storytelling programs, with a view to equip half a million children and youth with the skills to make a difference in the next 10 years.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
In Italy we partner with Giunti – the largest children’s books publisher – to have our stories on intercultural dialogue printed and distributed across the country (4,000 books to date).
In Afghanistan we have been closely working with two radio stations and a tv channel to have stories performed by our students broadcasted across the country, spreading much-needed information while entertaining thousands of people. We are striving to involve other media in our pursuit to create a variety of formats for our stories (including videos and printed press).