In 2022, with support from the LEGO Foundation, Global Fund for Children launched the Partnership to Educate All Kids (PEAK) initiative to support community-based organizations that are helping children who have experienced pandemic-related education disruptions access and thrive in learning environments that prepare them for future success.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities and had a profound impact on children’s learning. The effects of the pandemic were particularly devastating in low- and middle-income countries in Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, where the PEAK initiative is focused. Illiteracy rates in these regions are significantly higher than before the pandemic, with upwards of three-quarters of children unable to read at the age when they would usually finish primary school.
To identify partners for the initiative, GFC researched more than 350 organizations, visited 145, and selected 66 across 10 countries – Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, and Zambia – as PEAK partners. The selected organizations are helping children to readjust to in-person learning, curb learning loss, and acquire skills that will enable them to become creative lifelong learners in a post-pandemic world.
We provide PEAK partners with core flexible funding, capacity development, and opportunities for regional cross-partner networking and collaboration. PEAK partners carry out diverse work in their communities, and they use GFC funding for a wide range of activities to help children reengage in learning and play.
In Brazil’s northeastern region, for example, PEAK partner Instituto Mãe Lalu employs traditional children’s songs and circle dances to boost learning and pass on ancestral knowledge.
Young Visionary Leaders Ghana is engaging children in debate competitions and school clubs to develop their public speaking and advocacy skills and foster a love of learning.
Some PEAK partners in South Asia are motivating children to learn through sports. In India, Pro Sport Development uses a variety of sports as a tool for the holistic development of children and youth, particularly those from marginalized communities. In rural Nepal, Atoot builds girls’ confidence, leadership skills, and teamwork through soccer.
As the PEAK initiative turns one year old, we reflect on what we have learned through implementing this alternative model for primary-education-related programming:
In the second year of the initiative, GFC will be disbursing almost $1 million in primary grants to PEAK partners, along with ongoing organizational development support. To expand and deepen networks, we are planning three regional convenings and will also offer collaboration grants for learning exchanges, joint activities, or other creative collaborations between PEAK partners across regions.
GFC and the PEAK partners are diving into this second year of the initiative with energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to learn while doing – or better put, while playing.
Header photo: Pupils from St. Joseph’s High School at Jokalandi in Bhubaneswar, India warming up before a session. © Pro Sport Development.
Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.
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