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AREAi named Theirworld Education Innovation award winner

...receives £50,000 to promote foundational learning

Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi), a Nigerian non-profit focused on foundational skills development for disadvantaged children, has recently been named as one of the five winners of the Theirworld Education Innovation Awards 2021.

Each of the organisations, including the Abuja-headquartered charity, will receive £50,000 scale-ready grants and mentoring to help them make an even bigger impact as they deliver education to vulnerable children.

The organisations were selected after rounds of an application screening before they were earmarked to receive necessary scale-up funding and mentoring support towards reaching more beneficiaries and maximising impact.

Speaking after the media pronouncement, Gideon Seun Olanrewaju, chief executive director of AREAi and a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld, said: “We decided to start our initiative, the FastTrack innovation, as a response to the urgent need for Nigeria’s upcoming generations to acquire the foundational and functional skills, particularly literacy and numeracy, which they require to strive in a constantly evolving world.

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“We developed a technology-enabled and self-assisted accelerated foundational skills development program that leverages on evidence-based approaches and our attention is focused on the most marginalized learners in rural communities and refugee camps.

He said when he heard the announcement, he was extremely happy because, finally, Theirworld is adding the last element needed to have a complete youth engagement strategy.

“It is really, really empowering for every member of our team who has played or continues to play a critical role in the process of designing this intervention.

“We did not only want to feel good about this intervention but actually do good – so we are leveraging the tools of economics and math to understand what works in boosting foundational skills outcomes. Winning this grant is a validation,” he added.

Olajide Charles Falajiki, the community engagement manager of the AREAi team, explained “This funding award is really crucial for the growth of FastTrack is a high-impact intervention because we have seen the potential and through the support of Theirworld, we will be working across two states in Nigeria over the next 12 months to scale the reach and amplify the impact to enable over 2500 out-of-school children to learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic in the most exciting and rewarding way possible.”

Founded in 2014, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) is a for-purpose grassroots initiative that works with and in under-resourced schools and marginalized communities, leveraging technology, innovation, and collaboration to close learning gaps, tackle digital inequity, and ensure skills development for poor and vulnerable children and youth from low-income families.

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