258 million primary and secondary school-aged children live without sufficient access to education.
What is preventing these children from building a brighter future?
Learn about some of the challenging barriers that remote and refugee learners face when trying to access quality education and make progress in their learning:
Lack of textbooks
Lack of teachers
Lack of electricity
Access to literacy
On average, refugee-hosting schools in Uganda see 8 students sharing 1 textbook, meaning some students are missing out.
On average, refugee-hosting schools in Uganda see 85 students relying on 1 teacher, resulting in overstretched teachers not able to provide unique feedback to every student.
90% of schools in Uganda had no access to electricity in 2014. 36% of schools in India had no access to electricity in 2019. Connectivity costs are also high, another barrier for remote or low-income school communities.
Lack of textbook, lack of teachers, and lack of electrcitiy hinder literacy progression. 56% of all children are not able to read proficiently by the time they are of age to complete primary school. Local language speakers face additional challenges when faced with English-language National curricula.
Access to quality education and resources creates positive change.
Education and health.
A child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5 (UNESCO, 2011).
Education and income stability.
If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. (UNESCO, 2013.)
With an improved primary education, learners are more likely to be motivated to continue into secondary school, resulting in greater knowledge and skills acquisition.
Education to support girls.
Education provides girls with safety mechanisms, and lowers the risk of early marriage, early pregnancy, and school drop out. Every additional year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earnings by 10 to 20 percent.
Electricity and attainment.
Low-income students at schools with electricity and lighting are more likely to graduate from primary school.
Sustainable Development Goals
With access to quality education, many of the other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have a greater chance of coming to fruition.
How do we enhance access to quality education?
Discover how we work with our partner communities to tackle the access to education crisis.
Simbi Foundation Think Tank researchers scientifically validate hypotheses and solutions with partner communities. This research informs our solutions and operations.
Our solar-powered solutions provide schools with relevant digital content, literacy-boosting software, lighting, and sufficient resources to lower challenging classroom ratios.
We work with the UN Refugee Agency, the Office of the Ugandan Prime Minister, aid organizations, and local communities to ensure our solutions last.
Hear Headmaster Boniface of Twajiji Primary discussing the BrightBox Macro install at his school!
Learn more about us.
Simbi Foundation is a research-led, non-profit organization that provides education infrastructure for our partner refugee and low-income communities in Uganda and India.
How do you fund your projects?
We at Simbi Foundation use multiple methods for compiling funding for our projects. We host public fundraising events, we conduct other fundraising through Expeditions and the BMO Vancouver Marathon, we gratefully receive donations from our supporters, and we apply to granting opportunities to support our ongoing costs.
Want to find out more? Read our blog post about how an NGO makes money!
How do you choose the communities you partner with?
The process we use to partner with communities varies from community to community. In Refugee Settlements in Uganda, we select partner schools in consultation with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), who identify priority schools most in need of support. These identifications are based wholly on community needs.
For remote communities, we engage in a collaborative conversation with any high-population school that faces challenges related to lack of textbooks, other school resources, and internet and technology access. This time of discussion identifies the necessary administrative and operational systems of the school, the school’s ability to take on Simbi Foundation technology, and the optimal ways in which we can adapt our solutions to best meet the school’s needs and requests.
How much control do partner communities have over the projects implemented?
Our partner school communities have direct control over implemented Simbi Foundation projects. Every one of our programs begins with Simbi Foundation-directed needs assessments, focus groups, community discussions, and feedback and request collection. This data then directly informs our program design, and what we include in our solar-powered Learning Labs.
We also ensure that teachers and other school community leaders receive in-depth training sessions on how to use the Simbi Foundation technology, how to integrate it into their existing teaching goals and learning outcomes, and how to maintain and troubleshoot it. Why? Because it allows the community to have lasting control over the infrastructure without need for constant external direction.