AREAi Wins LEAP Challenge

We Won! AREAi was selected as the winner of the 2022 LEAP Challenge Project, hosted by Solve-MIT and the Jacobs Foundation.

Earlier this year, Aid for Rural Education Access initiatives joined the LEAP Challenge using AREAI’s flagship program, FastTrack, a technology-enabled and self-assisted accelerated foundation skills development program designed to enable ages 5–14 to acquire functional literacy and numeracy skills, which are vital, indispensable skills needed for virtually any further education.

LEAP (Leveraging Evidence for Action to Promote Change) is a global initiative by the Jacobs Foundation and MIT Solve that brings together researchers and social entrepreneurs to support education organizations in strengthening the evidence base of their learning solutions. Through this collaboration, LEAP aims to impact educational innovation and provide children with the tools they need to thrive. Every year, a competitive Leap challenge is launched, with this year’s challenge focusing on improving the evidence base of a product, program, or business model that aids in closing learning gaps for underserved children aged 2 to 19.

The challenge presented was undoubtedly for us, and after several series of evaluations, AREAi was shortlisted as one of the LEAP Challenge’s 20 finalists, and as part of the criteria to host a LEAP project in the LEAP Challenge, our Executive Director, Gideon Seun Olanrewaju, was interviewed by the panel.

During the interview, the Executive Director stated that “Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) seeks to strengthen its research methodologies in order to validate the effectiveness of its innovative flagship program, which scaled up its impact to provide basic numeracy and literacy skills to over 2,417 IDP beneficiaries in FCT, and hosting a LEAP project will enhance the organization’s five-year scale-up plan to reach 1,000,000 children by working with notable state agencies for mass education across Nigeria and development partners such as UNICEF, British Council, TaRl Africa and Save the Children in Nigeria”.

With all proven evidence of how FastTrack has contributed tremendously to transforming education in Nigeria, AREAi was selected as a 2022 LEAP Challenge Project Host by Solve-MIT and Jacobs Foundation and awarded $5000.

As AREAi continues to champion foundational learning and bridge learning gaps for underserved children, we are excited about hosting a LEAP project and can’t wait to be working with the expertise of a global pool of highly capable researchers and entrepreneurial fellows who will lend their talents- made strategies to our organization to strengthen our evidence base and accelerate FastTrack impact across IDP camps over the next nine months.

About The Jacobs Foundation & MIT Solve

The Jacobs Foundation invests in the future of young people so that they become socially responsible and productive members of society. Children and young people must be given better opportunities for positive development and equitable access to education, whatever their background, place of residence, or family income. Learning is crucial for successful human development and is key to children’s ability to reach their full potential and thrive together.

Solve is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) initiative with a mission to drive innovation to solve world challenges. Through open innovation challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact.