Financing Educational Projects in Third World Countries – Part IV

8 04 2009

Redefining Education
Education is in need of redefining for the sake of these educational projects. More than just education or even distance education is needed in order to fully understand the scope of what this type of program will need to look like and teach. E-learning models both synchronous and asynchronous certainly have positive aspects that could help to propel a myriad of different types of programming and educational models that would have promise, but would they be effective in the third world? The question here is a simple yet profound one, how do we educate learners in the third world when they are starving or homeless, parentless, or both? How can we reach those in the squatter’s camps who have no technology whatsoever and what will it take to make a real breakthrough that is lasting? It would seem that the ee-learning model provides the most significant platform for an attempt to educate in a real world sense that will impact the culture as well as the minds of those who are learning (Eskow & Trevitte, 2007, p. 1). The Rafiki Foundation located out of Central Florida is among those groups who have tried to understand the nature of the cultural issues that Africa is facing and currently is making it their goal to construct villages where learners can live, eat and learn in an environment that is nurturing and also teaches real world skills that can help to impact the local economy (Rafiki Foundation, 2007). Skills like basket weaving, jewelry making, and others that provide a source of income and can be repeatable. It is in this model of education that they are realizing an impact that is returning to the villages outside of Rafiki (which means “friend). However, their issue is still one of funding and so the model is working on the ground, but they must continue to get support in order to keep the villages populated and teachers and students fed.
The ee-learning model is the key to understanding the impact of education in these communities. The learners need to learn those lessons that will allow them to be literate and to function in society. Math, reading, writing, and comprehension skills are vital for their survival not to mention health and well-being lessons especially around the subject of AIDS. However without the experiential component of learning key trades like farming, agriculture, technological skills, or some other form of sustaining skill, the lessons that they are learning will not amount to any sizeable impact. This is where the creative financing piece really comes into view.


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