Education

Provide Skills & Psychosocial Education to Kids From Low Income Groups

by We Can Academy

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THE PROBLEM


Every child has their own innate abilities, but often they need someone to show them and teach them how to hone these abilities. Unequal distribution of resources means that high quality education is out of reach of the kids who really need it. These resources include tangible ones like training to hone their ability and develop their confidence. But also intangibles ones like exposure to varied perspectives or encouragement to develop growth mindset.

These deficits within low income communities in turn impact society in very substantive ways: the youth unemployment rate in 2018 is 10.9% compared to 3.4% for the general population. The causes cited are a lack of “soft skills” and the information and social networks required to secure employment, especially for youths from low income areas. Being unemployed for long periods while young, would have negative long term consequences on future income and employment prospects–all of which would impact the quality of life for this cohort for decades to come.

38% of children fall within the B40 group of households. In Kuala Lumpur alone, this means just under 50,000 primary school students are within this group that lack opportunities to hone their capacities.

THE SOLUTION


We Can Academy takes a "whole of child" approach to develop psychosocial and essential skills necessary for children to thrive. We bring a community of professionals from diverse industries to introduce their work to the students. Professionals like software engineers, economists, journalists etc teach students real life skills from their industries through highly interactive lessons. I work with these professionals to identify learning objectives and lesson plans that translate their experience and knowledge into material appropriate for kids at an upper primary school level. 

By the end of the program, children in the same cohort will be exposed to 16 different industries, giving them a diverse perspective on future careers. They also get exposure beyond what is provided by their social circles when they interact with a broad range of professionals who also act as role models for the students. Role models have been shown to be highly impactful in the exploration of and identification with a variety of career paths for youths.

Students are given the opportunity to build up their confidence through a scaffolded learning where they are allowed to explore, make mistakes, try again. They will learn to see challenges not as limitations but as an opportunity to learn and overcome.

By targeting students aged 10-12 years old, the intervention also reaches students at a time when they are curious and are developing their sense of confidence and self. Students learn to take on challenges not as limitations but as opportunities to learn and expand their capacities. Theories of childhood development show that positive reinforcement at this age will have an impact on the children for decades to come.

THE IMPACT


By equipping students from low income communities with life skills, confidence and network to pursue and secure work that are meaningful to them, it creates the space for these students to have better life outcomes, close the school-to-work gap among our youths, and enable them to carve a place in society where they can contribute in accordance with their interests and their capacities.

By targeting students aged 10-12 years old, the intervention also reaches students at a time when they are curious and are developing their sense of confidence and self. Students learn to take on challenges not as limitations but as opportunities to learn and expand their capacities. Theories of childhood development show that positive reinforcement at this age will have an impact on the children for decades to come.

Studies also show that role models provide important information to enable students to successfully pursue career options. The professionals in this program become role models for the students hence closing the social capital gap that is a major factor in youth unemployment.

The program has been running for over 20 years in Amsterdam and it has been shown that students who complete the program have higher confidence, better future perspectives and better connectedness to society.

Goal Breakdown

Goal 1 - Salary for 1 Teacher. Amount Needed: MYR40,000.00

Goal 2 - Transportation for students. Amount Needed: MYR4,000.00

Goal 3 - Food for students. Amount Needed: MYR4,000.00

Goal 4 - Material for class. Amount Needed: MYR2,000.00

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About the Organization/Project behind this Campaign

We Can Academy


Exposure matters. We bring professionals to introduce their industries to the kids who need it most. 

The Gap

Studies have shown that high-achieving children from poor families have lower odds of success than low achieving children from affluent families. Opportunities available for children are limited by the social connections of their parents

What we do

We want to bridge the gap by bringing a community of professionals to introduce students to wide ranging subjects and skills to provide truly holistic learning. Professionals from diverse industries like film, law, technology etc introduce kids from low income neighbourhoods to these diverse topics. This gives them broad based exposure outside of formal schooling to build confidence and skills to navigate life and flourish.

Running for 3 years and introducing over 15 industries per cohort, it is the most comprehensive supplementary program available, focused on a holistic education. It reaches kids when they are developmentally curious and helps equip them with psychosocial skills listed by WHO as necessary for healthy development and to prepare young people to adapt to changing social circumstances. We equip kids 10-13 years old with these skills.

The program is modelled after the IMC Weekend School, which was designed by a clinical psychologist. It has been running for more than 20 years and has shown students in their program having better professional prospects, more confident in developing their capacities and better connected to society. 

We bring quality education that cuts through inequality

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Closing on: 2020-11-30