January 30, 2024

AREAi wins 2023 UNLEASH Plus Mastercard prize for social impact

AREAi wins 2023 UNLEASH Plus Mastercard prize for social impact

Prince Gideon Olanrewaju

Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative, AREAi, has emerged as one of the winners of the 2023 UNLEASH Rwanda Dragons’ Den Pitch for FastTrack, following a 6-month incubation program.

The AREAi team led by its Executive Director, Prince Gideon Olanrewaju, participated alongside 1000 young change-makers from 136 nationalities in Kigali, Rwanda, to pitch its FastTrack solution and emerged as one of the winners, receiving the Mastercard Foundation Prize of $5000.

According to Olarenwaju, the pitch received special attention due to the innovativeness of its solution that leveraged the combined strength of three different learning approaches to support beneficiaries in acquiring literacy and numeracy skills.

“With this funds, we will be investing in the professional development of our community-based facilitators and enlist additional 200 beneficiaries to our program’s coverage,” he said.

FastTrack is a technology-enabled and self-assisted accelerated foundational skills development program designed to enable out-of-school refugee children to acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills which are vital, indispensable and required for further education to lead an empowered and self-determined life.

This solution, currently reaching over 4000 children, and backed by evidence that points to teaching students at their ability and right level, rather than at grade level curriculum, played out as one of the most cost-effective interventions at improving basic literacy and numeracy.

The global win further validates FastTrack as one of AREAi’s innovative solutions and the organisation’s commitment to championing foundational learning as we continue to address these gaps in the education development of children and youths across Africa.

“Over the next 12 months, we plan to scale FastTrack into seven additional states in Nigeria and into three neighbouring countries,” Olanrewaju said.

UNLEASH Plus is a 6-month incubation program for early-stage social entrepreneurs who have great ideas and phenomenal teams.