How many children are refugees?
According to 2016 UN Refugee Agency report, there are over 50 million children who are refugees or immigrants all over the world! To make matters worse, these children make up more than 50% of refugees globally. When children are refugees, their right to education becomes unfulfilled; refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than the global average.
“The gap widens as these children become older”, states the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency). “At the higher education level, fewer than one per cent of refugees attend university, compared to 34 per cent at global level.”
Providing continuous education for people under 24, in the refugee community, is a big priority. Unfortunately, there usually isn’t enough support to accomplish this goal. However, this is changing with MIT’s Solve Co-Lab challenge which aims to solve “the world’s most pressing challenges through open innovation and partnership.” The Refugee Challenge calls out innovators to create a solution to this crisis.
BarakaBits snatched a chance to talk to the founders of edSeed, which is one of the proposed solution projects for the Refugee Challenge.
What is edSeed? It’s an application that attempts to build a global community of donors. The donations will directly pay student tuition and endorse the students in need. Here’s what they had to say:
- Who are you? We are a global team made up of developers, marketers, a team for on-board universities. We train students, students who are testing the app, and supporters among the education and startup communities. We welcome collaborators who want to see this grow as a community and movement to fund education for others, as a means to achieve peace and prosperity for all
- Which geographic locations will edSeed support? We are starting with outreach programs among students in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, and donors who care for these regions. We will expand as we get more support to develop features and onboarding programs elsewhere. Our aim is to go global and offer crowdfunded education for all those who need it, as educated youth are an asset for the entire world.
- How can we help? Please vote for edSeed on the MIT SOLVE CoLab website . Your votes will help us gain access to the MIT community of design and technical resource, who can help us continue developing the app to scale to as many students in need as possible. Voting requires you to login to the site using your Facebook account, and if you don’t have one, then register on the MIT SOLVE site and then click the button “VOTE FOR SOLUTION”. Please vote by March 2nd!
- Why invest in edSeed? We believe education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. It is a basic human right and the only way to economic prosperity and self-reliance. Unfortunately, only 1% of refugees attend university, because of lack of funding. We want to change that by offering a platform that anyone who believes in education and cares about refugees can go to donate as little as $10 or as much as $100,000.
- What makes edSeed stand out for other platforms? edSeed has simplified the crowdfunding campaign creation process. All we request is for students to answer a set of questions, and then we connect with the desired University for training and on-boarding between both University admins and students. We are building a community comprised of students, universities, donors, and education advocates. The stronger this community is, the more we will be able to support education through funding, mentoring, policy lobbying and more.
- Who do you aspire to be like? We hope to be the Kiva of education.
- What if you want to support but you cannot donate? You can endorse students! View profiles and select the ones that speak to you. Then, share your endorsement on your social networks. Someone you know maybe compelled to sign up to edSeed and pay for the student’s education.
- Is edSeed sustainable? We plan to be. We are reaching out to donor organizations who want help reach wider audiences and receive funding in our early stages. We plan on making a small percentage on transaction fees that can help us scale our offering and become sustainable within 3 years.
This initiative is quite creative in it’s approach to crowdfund via social media. Help us fill the age- education gap for refugees and go vote for edSeed! Help refugees smile with their diplomas 🙂