Our approach

Practical skills to address real-life problems are central to all our projects.

Our work involves practical adult education and training, with literacy at the heart. By literacy we mean more than just the skills of reading, writing and numeracy; we see literacy as a tool for transformation under a broad definition which embraces IT and other media resources. Participants learn to read ballot papers, fill in forms online, weigh produce or calculate change – depending on what they need most.

“Adult literacy should be functional – participants learn better when topics are based on their experiences, needs and interests.”

Chitra Niraula, who evaluated our work skills project in Nepal

Our projects focus on three particular themes within our overall “Education for Change” program:

  • Health education – by sharing learning about nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and how to prevent life-threatening conditions such as malaria and HIV and AIDS;
  • Citizenship – by building skills and confidence to understand and participate in decision-making processes, including meetings, debates and elections and challenge oppressive gender structures;
  • Economic Empowerment – by teaching the skills to secure sustainable livelihoods, using local resources and opportunities.

Examples of our projects:

  • In Pakistan, our Health Literacy Project for Women enabled women and adolescent girls living in rural villages to learn about life-saving mother and child health
  • In Kenya we are helping whole communities to learn about the harmful effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), so that they can end FGM and gender-based violence
  • In Sierra Leone, during and after the Ebola crisis, we’re equipping female farmers with livelihood skills to help improve the quality and quantity of their harvests
  • We’re helping women refugees in the Dzaleka Refugee camp in Malawi to collaborate in small sustainable businesses, improving their living standards and self-confidence
  • We’re equipping women and girls in Nepal to acquire life-saving knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth and infancy, as well as literacy skills.

Working in partnership

All of our projects are run in partnership with community-based organisations. We combine their local knowledge and our educational expertise.
We strengthen our partners’ ability to serve their community – by training staff or developing educational resources. We also connect like-minded organisations to share learning and perspectives.

Helping marginalised people transform their lives

Certain groups of people in the Global South are more likely to miss out on the power of education. These include people from minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those living in extremely rural or poor areas.

Many of our projects focus on educating women, as two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people are female. Women are more likely to be poor and have little access to their rights. Yet educating women is one of the best ways to improve a family’s health, income and future.

“Providing education for women has a far wider impact than being able to read and write. It empowers them. And when women are empowered, whole families benefit.”

– Georgina Saad from The Economist Group, a Feed the Minds supporter