Quality Education

Part 1 of 3: increasing our impact through educational technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges, but in tackling these challenges, we have gained a valuable set of tools that can be used in innovative ways to increase our impact in all locations. One of those tools is educational technology (EduTech) which can, and has, increased access to education for children unable to go to school.

With creative applications of technology, we can increase our reach and positive long-term impact. In this and two following blog posts, I will highlight a few projects in which V2I has leveraged technology to advance education, gender equality, and employment.


Two thirds of the population in the Gambia is under 30. And over half of those are under 15. Due to a host of barriers, many are unable to complete secondary or post-secondary education. In partnership with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association (NSGA), V2I aimed to provide youth with an alternative opportunity to education and income generation; entrepreneurship. 

But how could we deliver a training and mentorship program halfway around the world during a global pandemic?

The innovation

By leveraging tools popularized by the sudden need for long-distance communication, we were able to effectively implement training and mentorship for 18 Gambian youth, led by 14 skilled volunteers from 6 of V2I’s corporate partners. 

Through NSGA’s head office in the Gambia, we ran the program over the course of 8 weeks. Youth were engaged in 8 sessions, focused around entrepreneurship and business, and all seemed to be going great – but we wanted to make sure we weren’t missing anything.


The impact

Our expert volunteers found this program to be a valuable and interesting learning experience, and several commented on how good it felt to be able to make an impact during the relatively stagnant period of 2020-2021. 

Some volunteers commented on things they learned from Gambian youth, and the benefits they received from participating in the program:

“I enjoyed getting to know the students and their passions and interests. It was fascinating to learn of what people on the other side of the world view as their most pressing issues/concerns, and how different those issues/concerns can be from my own.”
Anonymous Volunteer

What did our participants think of the program?

From our post-program evaluation, we learned that 100% of youth participants believed that they now have the foundational knowledge needed to take the next step in their business idea development.

“The training has helped me build my capacity to make sound business and financial decisions while developing life skills and principles that foster leadership and commitment. The knowledge and skills gained combined with financial solutions, gives me the tools needed to increase my income and expand my business now and into the future.”
Joe Soya Bongay
Program Participant

How might you leverage Edutech?

After the last 18 months of working from home, virtual training might not seem very innovative – but there are some surprising benefits of educational technology that you can leverage to increase your organization’s impact and reach:

Reducing Barriers
Virtual learning opportunities can reduce barriers and increase access to many people. It's true that the technological component can also increase barriers, but there are many situations where it could be leveraged to great effect. In areas of political conflict, for example, the ability to learn in a relatively safe environment is invaluable.
Professional Expertise
Not only does virtual learning reduce barriers to students, but the pool of expertise to draw from is dramatically expanded, so students can receive the best education possible under the circumstances. Professional experts could also be more likely to volunteer their time if they are able to engage in a convenient way from their home.
When international travel isn’t involved, it has two immediate benefits; your organization has more funds available, and your staff and volunteers have more time. These extra funds could go towards increasing the range of your project, or improving any technology required, to create the most impact. Less travel and more time will reduce stress in the workplace, and contribute towards a healthy work-life balance.

to conclude

The success of V2I’s project with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association demonstrates the possibilities available with educational technology. Considering the benefits of this as you design programs and projects could lead to a surprising increase in reach and impact. 

If you have any questions, or would be interested in partnering with us, please contact fadi@venture2impact.org.

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of our 3 part series on educational technology!

To learn more about our impact and hear more of our stories from the field, check out our work!

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