Global Influence Initiative’s self-sustaining, educational programs nurture, educate and empower children. Each initiative responds holistically to the children’s and communities’ unique needs. In many instances, school is the only place children receive food and even basic medical care.
Global Influence Academy Nigeria
GIA Nigeria was the first school that GII partnered with. It began with a small, single-room building providing education to an area with no other school options. Over the last 8 years, more buildings and teachers have been added. Currently there are two locations in remote locations of Nigeria with over 170 students in grades K-12. Both schools also offer education for adults in the evenings. While the graduated tuition provides for much of the teachers’ salaries in our self-sustaining model, there is great need for funds for the expansion that continues. It is estimated that there are 1,500 children in the community who do not yet have access to a school.
Global Influence Thrive Academy Ethiopia
Starting in 2015, GII began this new work in Ethiopia. Our goal was to assist in providing education to a community where no quality education was yet available. We began with a community several hours north of the capital. Another non-profit has stepped up to provide much of the on-going costs for this school allowing us to branch out to other efforts. Currently there are over 100 students in pre-school through 3rd grade. Additional grades are added each year so that students do not level out. So next year, 4th grade will be added, etc. Having just been established, the school currently focuses almost exclusively on students who cannot afford tuition. In addition to education, the school provides two meals a day to each student and even assists families as needed in the community. It costs approximately $40 per student per month to help provide these kids with an education and to improve the community. One-time gifts can be given to expand the facility or monthly gifts can be given as scholarships for additional students.
Global Influence Hope Academy Ethiopia
Last year, we worked with another non-profit to add a second school in Ethiopia. This school is in a very remote city of approximately 30,000 people that does not even have running water and did not have any quality education. The community has responded very positively by donating the land and encouraging the school. The government agency in the region is responsible for auditing schools and judging their performance. Last year, Global Influence Hope Academy was selected as the best school in the region by the government evaluators!
Early this year, we helped to build a new library at Global Influence Hope Academy. The current need is to equip and furnish the library with books, chairs and tables. Not only does the library benefit the school, but it also meets a real need in the community. Prior to this library, there was no access to reading resources of any kind. In fact, there are very few activities for adults (other than local bars) and very little hope for the future. In addition to library materials, the current need at GI Hope is student scholarships at $30 per month per student (including teacher salaries, educational materials, food, etc.) and funds to dig a well.
Water for GI Hope Academy Ethiopia
Global Influence Hope Academy is in a 30,000 person city that has no running water. The government pipeline in the area just drips small amounts of water. It takes 4 hours to fill a single water jug! There are smaller, shallow wells at a distance, but the water is not clean and not easily accessible to the school. One goal is to dig a well so that the school has ready clean water, which will also benefit the local community.
Mobile School Project
In Ethiopia, many children have no access to education of any kind. Many spend their entire lives in the fields as shepherds watching their family flocks. Their villages have no public facilities and there are not enough children in the village to support a full school. GII's idea here is to provide education to these remote areas by having a mobile teacher who visits each village (or even fields), teaches the children a lesson and provides the children with a ruggedized mobile device (tablet) that contains additional lessons. The children will use the tablets on battery power for a few days until the teacher returns, teaches another lesson and swaps out the tablets for new ones with fresh batteries and containing new and on-going lessons. These lessons can also be extended to adults within the village who have also not had access to education. Involving village leaders will also insure the security of the mobile devices being left behind. We have begun testing for this initiative by using tablets in the existing Global Influence school projects. So far, the response from students and teachers has been very positive.
School in a Box Project
School in a Box is a longer term dream project of GII. The dream is to be able to ship a complete school anywhere in the world by utilizing custom shipping containers. Each 40-foot container would be completely set up as a school including all supplies and materials needed for a fully functional school. Creative use is currently being made of used shipping containers to make homes and other structures. But these commercial initiatives make all the modifications to the container after it arrives on site with normal doors, windows, new roofs, etc. The challenge here it make all the modifications ahead of time and ship the container in the complete state without being damaged. Minimal set-up would be needed on the receiving end and each new school would already have blackboards, desks, chairs, a mini-library and even solar-powered fans and lights. Possibly even projection or computer technology in limited amounts. The possibilities are great and we are just beginning to explore how quickly we might be able to set up schools in areas that have no educational presence at this time.
While the majority of our focus is on K-12 students, the truth is that most adults in communities under-served by schools also lack basic education. This shortcoming leads to stagnation as a community and often despair as an entire region or nation. This is why GII educational initiatives also have an eye word programs for adults. In most GII communities, the same schools and teachers who educate K-12 students during the day, then hold classes for adults in the evening. Our Global Influence Hope Academy in Northern Ethiopia has just added a library that is the first resource of its kind in this community. Open to both students and adults, the facility provides the only mind-expanding opportunity in the area. Construction of the library began in early 2016. Now the need is for books!
Jobs for the Homeless
One small initiative we are currently beginning is to provide "job kits" to those who otherwise beg for a living. These kits cost less than $40 each and provide a way for the person to earn a living. One example is a window washing kit that gives the person everything needed to begin washing windows for money. This small investment brings not only better economy to the poor, but provides self-worth as well.
If we let obstacles dictate our actions, we'd never realize our ambitions.David Davoust, Entrepreneur & Robis, Inc. and GII Founder