Meraki Foundation recognised as Early Ed pioneer in efforts to solve literacy crisis in India

by Jason Roberts

April 09

The Meraki Foundation, an Indian organisation that focuses on creating parent engagement programs that enable low income families to support the development and learning outcomes of their young children, has won the Education category of the World Changing Ideas 2019 Awards hosted by business publication, Fast Company.

 

The World Changing Ideas Awards are now in their third year and are designed to celebrate businesses, not for profits and policies that are poised to help shift society to a more sustainable and equitable future.

 

The Meraki Foundation specifically aims to address the challenges that low income families face in meeting their children’s development needs in light of poor literacy amongst their parents and competing pressures to earn money to support their families via menial long working hour jobs.

 

Inspired by research from Harvard’s University’s Center on the Developing Child that suggests the relationship between a child and their parents is the biggest indicator of their development, the organisation has created a solution that focuses on providing low income families with support to build responsive parent-child relationships, developing core life skills in children and stress reduction strategies for caregivers.

 

At the heart of Meraki’s work lies the recognition that a stable and supportive home environment is essential for the healthy life and development of a child.

 

Their program is delivered through a layered intervention comprised of engaging content, face to face training and a customised APP.  

 

Meraki pairs each family with margdarshaqs, a word that loosely translates to “one who shows the way.” These guides usually come from the communities they work in and were at one point recipients of one of Meraki’s programs.

 

To enrol in the program each family pays a $1 per month, although this cost will likely go down as Meraki grows.

 

Using the layered intervention formula the guides work with parents to develop a specialised curriculum that they can practice with their kids. Activities are specialised based on the age of the child, but also the parent’s literacy abilities.

 

For more information on the Meraki Foundation please click here.

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