“Girl’s education has always been close to our hearts”, said team members Kirti Jhunjhunwala, Kamran Khan Niazi, Aurelie Seminovic and Devika Vohra about their motivation. “We are a team with diverse backgrounds and strong ties in developing countries. Having seen first hand the abhorrent condition of education for girls and especially younger girls, we were eager to come up with a solution that had the concrete potential to improve this situation”.
The pandemic posed difficult times for children around the world to continue their education, especially online. The UN estimated that 24 million children may be out of school because of COVID-19, with the impact on girls far worse than on boys, especially in developing countries. Thus Radio Hope’s programming was designed to include special sessions on women’s hygiene, mental health and general welfare. To attract both children and their parents, the classes would be promoted by female celebrities. In addition, a two-tier incentive system would ensure the viewership of both younger girls and their parents.
“Radio Hope is extremely feasible and some form of it has already been implemented in several countries”, explained the team. “Thus, we want to work towards ensuring it gets implemented in countries that need it the most, especially during this pandemic. Future steps in order to mobilise this project requires converting the idea into a policy brief, which can be rolled-out to potential organisations currently working towards improving girls’ education”.
The C4SI challenge typically includes eight teams participating under eight challenge setters (including NGOs/IOs), who develop the “challenge” that the teams need to then solve through a social innovation project.
The team from the Graduate Institute included Kirti Jhunjhunwala, Kamran Khan Niazi, Devika Vohra and Aurelie Semunovic. The team was guided by mentor and Institute alumnus, Karun Gopinath. Samhita S. Ayaluri, an Institute student and President of MentorEd, a student initiative on education at the Institute, and Professor Claire Somerville, Executive Director of the Gender Centre and Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies were co-challenge setters.