About You and Your Work

Your bio:

My interest in promoting educational opportunities goes back many years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from MIT, a master’s degree in Urban Planning from McGill University, and am a graduate of Amsterdam’s THNK School of Creative Leadership. I have been an MIT Educational Counselor since graduation and was the driving force behind the establishment of two endowed scholarship funds: at MIT and at the American University of Beirut (AUB).  

I have enjoyed a 20+ year career as an urban planner in North America and the Middle East. However, in 2015, I made a life-changing decision and founded Thaki out of an urgent need to response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East. Daughter of Palestinian refugees and displaced from civil war during my childhood in Lebanon, I feel a strong obligation to help children in distress fulfill their right to education.

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Project name:

The Right to Digital Literacy

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One-line project summary:

Improving the learning outcomes of disadvantaged communities through technology and a circular economy approach.

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Present your project.

A child’s demographics and socio-economic backgrounds should do not define their learning outcomes and future. However, many refugee and vulnerable children are still deprived of their right to education. Most of those who are able to enroll in educational systems are attending over-crowded, under-resourced and impoverished schools where teachers typically have limited capacities to nurture and transfer the deep expertise needed towards gainful employment settings.

Thaki has established an innovative solution to break this cycle. Thaki provides access to offline quality educational content that instills values and builds digital skills and learning capacity of disadvantaged children and youth through a bespoke platform that promotes remote learning skills needed to acquire employability and gain 21st century skills.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Children who are out of school take to the streets, work at too young an age, become child brides, or fall prey to extremist groups and other dangerous fates. This intense vulnerability represents fertile soil for ongoing conflicts in the Middle East where a third of the world’s 70.8 million forcibly displaced people come from, primarily from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan.

Lebanon itself currently hosts the highest rate of refugees per capita in the world with over 1 million registered Syrian refugees and over 200,000 Palestinian refugees. Presently, 76% of Syrian refugees and over 50% of Lebanese in Lebanon are living below the poverty line. This is particularly concerning when taking into account their education needs where more than half of the refugees are under the age of 18. A particularly concerning threat is the enrollment rates for girls and boys in secondary school in Lebanon which are drastically declining. School dropout rate for both Syrian refugee and vulnerable Lebanese continues to rise across Lebanon where just 5% of eligible Syrian students are enrolled. Furthermore, estimates are that six out of ten Syrian children in Lebanon, approximately 500,000, are not in school at all.

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What is your project?

Thaki tackles essential learning gaps for those whose education has been compromised through a unique model of social enterprise that satisfies the needs and desires of all stakeholders:

Thaki seeks donations of laptops that are “fully amortized”, having fulfilled their economic utility and still have years of functional life in them. These laptops are then transformed into valuable life-fulfilling tools. We load the laptops with rich content and software tools for all ages to enhance digital literacy, deliver educational content, and support personal enrichment to help those who are deprived and in most need. We act as an bridge between education technology solutions and some of the most vulnerable communities in the Middle East.

Thaki offers an offline solution to address the unavailability or poor internet connectivity situation.

Other benefits include a bespoke user friendly, searchable “plug and play” system, in Arabic and English.

The laptops are distributed to organizations, camps and centers, and also to public university students who need an e-device to support their learning and build their futures.

Our model serves as a mechanism to lessen the strain on corporate and government financial solicitations and creates a circular economy model of hardware reuse for global benefit. 

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Who does your project serve, and in what ways is the project impacting their lives?

Thaki was founded to serve vulnerable children in the Middle East and prevent them from becoming even more marginalized. It helps disadvantaged Lebanese and refugee children from Syria and Palestine of all ages by providing them with their right to equity in quality education through e-learning.

Thaki also promotes the competencies of poorly trained teachers in formal and non-formal educational settlements through supportive training opportunities in digital literacy and effective methodologies in teaching.

Hence, Thaki acts as a bridge between education technology solutions and some of the most vulnerable communities. Thaki fosters an enabling environment for both teachers (who are mostly women) and children and equips them with remote learning skills needed to acquire employability, professional development and gain 21st-century skills.

Thaki remains connected to its beneficiary needs through partner organizations such as Anera and Teach For Lebanon, who are in the field daily and in direct contact with children and teachers. Thaki receives the requests, visits the setting and conducts a needs assessment.

To better tailor to the needs of our beneficiaries we gather user feedback through user evaluation surveys, field observations and impact stories from our recipient partners. We adapt trainings, resources, software and programs, accordingly. 

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Which dimension of The Elevate Prize does your project most closely address?

Elevating opportunities for all people, especially those who are traditionally left behind
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Explain how your project relates to The Elevate Prize and your selected dimension.

Thaki’s model and mission align perfectly with all the objectives of the elevate prize—and that is mainly why we were confident and excited to apply. Thaki is transformational and innovative in its approach by converting reusable devices into life-changing educational tools. Driven by the values of empathy, responsibility and commitment to equality, Thaki offers a lasting and sustainable solution for governments and international humanitarian aid organizations that are falling short of addressing the ever-escalating scale of educating refugee children. It is purpose-driven and addresses global educational problems by cultivating collective leadership and creating a robust ecosystem of global citizenship.

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How did you come up with your project?

There are a few moments and experiences that I can link directly to this inspiration. They include four TED talks, watched over the course of years. They are the talk/book by Sir Ken Robinson on how our educational systems today do not meet our modern needs; a talk/book by Salman Khan on flipping the learning paradigm of learning in the classroom; Sugata Mitra’s talk on slum children teaching themselves anything by having access to a computer; and Melissa Fleming from UNHCR about a high-school certificate as being the most valued possession for a Syrian refugee boy.

I was also shook by media and was unable to hear another story of Syrian displacement and tragedy. The importance of education resonates to my core and I began to reflect how my children learn and absorb things through their devices.I then thought of all the fully functioning electronics we had around that were being discarded and not put to further use because newer ones were available.

The light went on, and I saw an opportunity to provide critical digital learning opportunities to refugee children which was further developed 5.5 years ago as a participant in the THNK school of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.

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Why are you passionate about your project?

I am the daughter of Palestinian refugees, born in Lebanon, raised in Greece, university in America and Canada, immigration to Canada, a decade in the Gulf, now in Europe. I, myself, was displaced in 1976 during the Lebanese civil war. I witnessed intense fighting, bomb attacks and evacuation from our home, which marked and disrupted my childhood. Traumatic as this experience was, it pales in comparison to what millions of children experience today in the region and around the world. We were able to overcome and recover from these experiences, thanks to the opportunities that education opened to us.

The mantra I grew up with is that your education is the only thing you can take with you. I wish for others to have this opportunity, too. I staunchly believe that only through education can we lead to a more prosperous, democratic, and sustainable world.

That is why I founded Thaki, which means “smart” in Arabic, but plays on the phonetic sound of “the key” – our tag line is to give children “the key” to unlock their potential and provide them with their right to education and digital literacy so that they can participate in the global market.

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Why are you well-positioned to deliver this project?

It is values as much as it is experiences that have inspired my efforts that qualify my skills:

Being born to Palestinian refugees, my parents instilled in me the values of honesty, responsibility, empathy, inclusiveness, and respect for diversity, all rooted in a firm commitment to equality. I have carried these with me throughout my career journey and by working internationally in urban planning in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Throughout my 20+ year career I worked on large, complex, multidisciplinary projects as a professional planner, which have developed my skills in understanding of the full process: from project conception to delivery and assessment.  This has exposed me to budgeting and managing complex projects. And as an urban planner, I have an eye for long term horizon and projections, as we design for the 20 to 50-year outlook.

The knowledge and skills obtained from my education and throughout my career have also proven effective in my ability to bridge cutting edge innovations from the corporate sector to the realities on the ground with our recipient partners. These experiences have also helped me develop stronger relationship building skills reflected in 2 endowed scholarship funds that I established: one at MIT for Arab undergraduate students in my role on the MIT Arab Alumni Association board, and another at the American University of Beirut. Equity and fair access to education have always been important missions for me.

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Provide an example of your ability to overcome adversity.

An early challenge related to the operating system needed for the laptops. Microsoft was our choice but I need to have a registered organization before they would meet with me. I started registering Thaki in Lebanon but the process was taking too long (18 months) so in the interim, I registered it in the Netherlands. During this delay we then came upon Linux as an alternate operating system which, I soon discovered, offers numerous advantages including it being a free/open source, it does not attract viruses,  it images easily across computers with different specifications, Ubuntu offers many excellent offline educational games including the multi-lingual Scratch coding programing for children, and its software, LibreOffice, closely resembles and is fully compatible with Microsoft’s Office suite. However, my volunteer tech team was not as well versed in Linux so we had many months of hair ripping challenges learning how to make things work, then getting programs that were written for the Microsoft environment to work properly in Linux. We continued to call upon Linux experts across the globe to help us with quirky problems and in the process, we learnt a lot ourselves. The process unleashed the hidden geek in me =).

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Describe a past experience that demonstrates your leadership ability.

I never allowed the traumatic disruption in my childhood to limit my potential. I have always been driven to aim high. During my undergraduate years at MIT I was president of the Lebanese Club and on the board of the Arab Student Organization. Ever since graduating from MIT, I stayed involved by being a continuous Educational Counselor and serving on club boards in a number of cities in which I lived.  In 2012 I took action to start a scholarship fund for Arab students at MIT, and later joined the MIT Arab Alumni Association board. Our endowed scholarship fund is now valued at over $150,000.

Over the course of my career I have managed many people and have been told by many that they consider me their mentor. Two recent incidents warmed my heart. Late last year someone within my circle made a generous donation to Thaki for considering me as her mentor and someone she has always looked up to.

I was also recently approached by a policy analyst and researcher, with an invitation to be featured in a book that she is editing about resilient refugees whose stories have redefined success for her.

 

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How long have you been working on your project?

I started Thaki in 2015 and full-time in 2016

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Where are you headquartered?

The Hague, Netherlands
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What type of organization is your project?

Nonprofit
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More About Your Work

Describe what makes your project innovative.

A number of other organizations recycle laptops, which is what we do. Our distinction is that we offer an offline learning solution, accounting for poor internet connectivity, for our ‘plug and play’ system that is loaded with 70GB of high-quality offline learning content from the likes of National Geographic and Oxford University Press.

We are an educational bridge between the latest in ed-tech solutions and some of the most vulnerable communities in the Middle East.

Our circular economy model is based on collaboration and leveraging low-effort contributions from the private sector along the entire value chain, leading to huge social impact.

Our solution satisfies CSR for corporations while vastly reducing capital expenditure for electronic devices for recipient organizations.

We developed instructional videos and a resource guide and were quick to put out “tech tricks” and other useful material in response to Covid-19 lockdown.

In addition, we offer the following features to make the implementation of the technology a success with our end users:

▪ Creation of a Thaki app for a friendly user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that includes searchable and tagged content in both Arabic and English.

▪ Ability for the user to download new content independently through our interactive app.

▪ Ability to measure the “clicks” of the various programs in order to better understand their usage. 

▪ Keeping in close contact with our recipients in order to better understand their needs to better serve them.

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What is your theory of change?

Our model serves as a vehicle for bringing change on two inter-connected fronts. On one end, it works to solve previously mentioned problems by providing children access to quality education through self-paced, motivational, and resourceful digital learning tools. It provides them with a rich e-learning platform with which they can leapfrog over their missed gap in education and begin to reclaim their future. They’re provided with the opportunity to interact with the virtual world through a platform that develops skills, where the individual user, whether teacher or student, can reach beyond the confinement of low-income livelihoods. In addition to accessing these tools and becoming curious learners, they also learn how to navigate a digital environment. Without digital literacy, and with the threat that artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate the bulk of the manual labor jobs that they are otherwise destined for, these children are destined for economic disaster.

On the other end, Thaki plays an environmental role by redirecting e-waste away from landfills, giving laptops a second life with huge impact. 

Our unique asset-light model incurs minimal costs without heavy implications such as product manufacturing. Thus, we address fundamental stakeholder needs such as access to education and environmental sustainability, which does not require heavy sales or marketing budgets.

Our 360 degree evaluation approach includes tools to measure progress towards intended outcomes. They include both quantitative and qualitative approaches through annual teacher feedback surveys, field observations, interviews and testimonials that are continuously evaluated and modified with feedback from our partners, their teachers and students. For example, recent survey results show that 85% of teachers reported that the computers have had a positive impact on the children’s learning, and 86% of teachers said that computers have had a positive impact on student motivation.  Teachers are also quoted saying: "Children who suffer from hyperactivity and movement, the computer is one of the interesting means that grabs the attention of the student and encourages receiving information better."

In addition, Thaki is currently planning for an external impact assessment by a third party. 

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Select the key characteristics of the community you are impacting.

  • Women & Girls
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your project address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Palestinian Territories
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How many people does your project currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Since 2015, Thaki has touched the lives of an estimated 9,000 children from over 40 organizations through the delivery of 850 devices.  

In one year, we expect to have served a total of 13,200 people with an additional 6000 laptops.

By the end of 2025 our projections are that we will have served a total of 130,000 young learners with the deployment of an additional 17,000 laptops.

Our current numbers are calculated on one laptop serving an average of 8 young learners. This is based on the setting of the majority of our recipient partners whereby the laptops are set up in a computer lab and shared among many children. For future projections, we expect the average ratio of laptop per child to drop to 1:4 since we expect to serve more older learners who will have a one to one relationship with the laptops. We will, however, continue to serve younger learners as well. The ultimate population served will depend upon the final number of electronic devices deployed.  

There is also a conservative estimate in our calculations whereby we assume an attrition rate of 55% year-on-year for each laptop. This attrition accounts for the carry-over of both non-functional laptops as well as repeat children year on year such that a child isn’t double counted from one year to the next. 

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

In all future horizons my goal is to support disadvantaged children and adults in their education, economic aspirations and personal growth with tools they would otherwise have difficulty accessing.

One particular area of focus is securing a pathway of education that promotes gender equality, for vulnerable girls in particular, by deepening our offerings and programs that focus on increasing confidence, self-esteem, and leadership development. Key to this is raising awareness and empowering girls to effectively address such issues as early marriage, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse that affect both girls and boys. 1 in 4 women in Lebanon are subject to sexual assault and those who are less-privileged, marginalized and live in communities with stereotyped mindsets and restricted access are even more susceptible to violence when they are not seen or treated as equals. We want to correct this imbalance through education, empowerment and awareness. We already offer some award-winning programs (from partner organizations) that deal with these topics and we want to take a deeper dive and expand the offerings, tools and trainings to get these girls and the communities out of this cycle of inequity.

On the environmental sustainability spectrum, I also see Thaki becoming more directly active in electronic waste. The Arab world is far lagging in environmental stewardship with Lebanon grappling with a waste crisis for many years. I see Thaki being integral in elevating environmental awareness and leading to a radical shift in civic behavior and outcomes.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

The demand for Thaki is growing, and I have never felt such a sense of responsibility to expand our efforts, especially given the global pandemic and the rise of poverty and educational inequity in the Middle East.

Thaki’s current business model of charging $50 per laptop, inclusive of shipping costs, is limited when our turnover is low. At the current charge rate (which is low but sensitive to local market conditions), we can be financially self-sufficient if we can secure 6,000 devices annually. At a charge rate of $80 per laptop we only need 2,500 annual throughput. We are aiming for a much higher volume to grow our service offerings through training resources, etc.

Current staff payroll (in addition to volunteers) are secured through Q4 2020. I have not drawn a salary from Thaki and cannot sustain that for much longer. To grow Thaki to its full potential would require a model that can support the required full-time paid staff positions.

Nonetheless, sourcing viable laptops is at the core of Thaki’s value proposition. The supply chain is fragmented and corporates do not always have a clear policy for donating laptops, or have complex internal sign-off structures. To address the first challenge, we make it easy for organizations to hand over their hardware through our partnerships with logistics companies. But we require access to an exponential market. For the 5-year horizon, we want to have a model of predictable throughput in order to plan for operational, program and impact growth.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

Thaki is taking a number of steps to overcome these challenges, noting that the current pandemic has put a demand on laptops as never seen before, even used laptops, making access to the second hand market that much harder. We are taking a number of approaches to tackle this challenge: retaining part-time consultants to pitch organizations; partnering with larger organizations to campaign for laptop donations; targeting industries that are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., aviation and service sectors). In addition, we are speaking with e-waste companies to see if we can secure partnerships for now and the long term.

We are putting extra attention on the Gulf region, and the UAE in particular, as prime markets for retired laptops since the circular computing system there is not as mature as the West’s therefore opportune to capture. While we have been successful in the UAE, having sourced most of our laptops there, we would benefit from registering Thaki locally as a nonprofit entity which is a very complex and opaque undertaking. We continue to investigate this avenue.  

We are also seeking opportunities to diversify our stream of funding as a temporary cushion until a more sustainable model is developed, applying for more grants and creating a new ambassador level of advisors who would bring money to the table through fundraising or bringing in significant funding/leads that would go to cover our operational costs. 

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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

We have 4 levels of partnership which are defined through: strategic, educational content, educational provider, and donors of electronic devices.

Strategic partners are corporations that have either made in-kind or pro bono contributions to Thaki such as logistics, design, branding and legal services, or they are organizations with whom we have a special relationship that facilitates our services. For example, our partnership with Anera enables us to have the customs duties fees waived on our shipments into Lebanon which reduces our shipping costs by up to 45%. Our relationship to Aramex provides us favorable shipping rates.

Educational content partners are those who provide us with the e-learning content and training tools such as: National Geographic, Oxford University Press, Edraak – to name a few. Some of this is open source content while some is proprietary, donated to us due to our mission. This monetary value of this content on our laptops is $3,600.

Educational provider partners are the 40+ organizations on the ground that receive our laptops and are aligned with our mission. They deliver the programs to the children directly. They are schools, orphanages, youth training centers, entrepreneurship centers and women training centers that include TheirWorld, Girls Got IT, Teach For Lebanon.

Finally, our donors for electronic devices partners are just that and include: PwC, Strategy&, GE, Cambridge Assessment among others.

Please consult our partners page at: http://thaki.org/our-partners/

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Our business model is unique and yet quite simple and we have all the systems in place: We have a network of recipient partners – both INGOs as well as local NGOs. We have the logistics systems and partners tested and proven. We have rich content provision which is also a distinction from other organizations working in the circular computing space. We have a bilingual user interface. Finally, another notable distinction is the training program we have created and are deepening. In short, we deliver the ICT hardware with rich learning material and tools.

We want to teach people how to learn not just what to learn.

Sold at $50/laptop (including shipment), Thaki is not only finding e-waste solutions for unneeded devices, but is savingorganizations and their funders hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of time and money.We are offering them content and educational solutions with a device of proprietary content currently valued at $3,600/laptop.

Thus, our holistic approach serves as a solution of scarce resources at a global level. Inspired by our values of collective leadership and commitment to equality, we are aiding numerous NGOs and educational institutions by allowing them to save costs and enhance their capacities to focus on their mandates (instead of spending time, money and resources procuring laptops, e-learning content and teacher trainings). Thus, Thaki serves as a solution for humanitarian aid organizations and funders to scale their support and interventions in deprived areas by significantly reducing enormous budgets allocated for ICT.

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What is your path to financial sustainability?

We seek to scale laptop procurement. The more laptops -- the more revenue. However, on sourcing, we need a new and much larger market of retired electronic devices. I am hoping Thaki will be the first to claim the Gulf market. Lots of work (and political changes) lie ahead but I am not deterred—but I would need the financial support to onboard a fulltime Marketing Director and other required positions to make this possible.

On price, most other organizations operating in the circular computing space are beyond reach for the organizations that Thaki is serving. Nor do they provide the software and educational content that we bring. At times we have offered free devices because we are very sensitive to the fact that some recipients are on very tight budgets themselves and have to constantly scramble to meet all their operational funding needs. However, that has added strain to our operational expenses. But we remain much more affordable than any device with most advanced and favored content. We need to reevaluate our cost structure without pricing out our beneficiaries – something that I am extremely sensitive to.

We are also entering more joint partnership proposals and seeking grants. However, our goal is to fully sustainable from our own services and not rely on external funding.

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If you have raised funds for your project or are generating revenue, please provide details.

Total revenue in the past 12 months, based on sales and gifts, is $77,396.

Sales define the revenue stream from the sale of laptops to recipient partners. These are: $15,420.

Here is a breakdown of revenue received from financial gifts in the form of unrestricted funds:

  • One benefactor (requested anonymity), with a donation of: $35,000
  • One benefactor (requested anonymity), with a donation of: $25,000
  • Smaller donations from numerous individuals: $1,977

Total gifts amount to $61,977. Note that in 2019, 44% of expenses were covered by sales.

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If you seek to raise funds for your project, please provide details.

To grow Thaki to its full potential we need to expand our full time paid staff and add new positions and skills. We are seeking funding in the form of grants for 4 main purposes:

  • Hire a marketing expert(s) to execute an aggressive laptop donations campaign, targeting a minimum of 6,000 in the first year and increasing multifold year on year. A successful effort is our most pressing priority since this leads to long-term financial self-sustenance and would allow us to achieve our other operational goals - $60,000.
  • Conduct an external impact assessment to deepen our understanding of the impact of Thaki on our beneficiaries (noting that we already conduct an annual teacher feedback survey) - $35,000.
  • Take our user interface to the next level (we are currently on version 3.2). This requires a dedication design and programming effort - $35,000.
  • Deepen our teacher and self-training program - $20,000.

Our business model is based on laptop sales, noting that the pricing structure may be adjusted to increase net revenue to Thaki and reflect different market conditions.

Through the support of Solve and the Elevate Prize, and other potential opportunities, our vision and plans can be possible.

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What are your estimated expenses for 2020?

2020 Projected Expenses (with funding)       

  • Personnel Expenses: $75,600
  • Direct operational costs (contractuals, facilitators, trainers, M&E): $133,400
  • Logistics (assuming 4000 laptops): $80,000
  • Accounting/ banking and legal fees: $4,000
  • Fringe Benefits: $10,500
  • IT and technical processing: $48,000
  • Travel : $12,000
  • Other direct costs (office space/utilities/telecom/ marketing tools/supplies): $30,000
  • Misc.: $3,000

                                                                                     Total: $396,500

         

2020 Projected Revenue       

  • Sale of laptops (assuming 4000 laptops):                            $200,000

         

                                                                         Gap to goal: $195,500

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The Prize

Why are you applying for The Elevate Prize?

The Elevate Prize is aligned with the work of Thaki on all fronts. Thaki was founded on the basis of a transformational and innovative approach purposely driven by my urgency to solve an escalating and enduring problem. Thaki brings a cost-effective e-learning solution with localized content aimed at skilling disadvantaged youth for the fast-changing job markets of the future as well as equipping them with tools for resilience and well-being. We act as a bridge between the latest in education technology and some of the most vulnerable communities in the Middle East.

The Elevate Prize will help us scale our operations to reach a large number of beneficiaries and ultimately help us create a more sustainable model through its two year Fellowship development program. Moreover, and just as importantly, the Elevate Prize’s tailored media and marketing campaign, as well as the powerful network, will help amplify our work to reach a global audience of partners. As stated on the website it aims to help in “building recognition and a fan base around the Global Hero, and ultimately inspiring others to contribute to the public good.” This will help us catch the attention of large prospective laptop donors hence leading to the sustainability and scale of our cause to the benefit all of our stakeholders: the needy children, youth, teachers, the economy and the environment. 

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Funding and revenue model
  • Mentorship and/or coaching
  • Board members or advisors
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Marketing, media, and exposure
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Please explain in more detail here.

As previously described, to grow Thaki to its full potential we require consultation on our funding and revenue model that would support the required full-time staff without relying on external financial resources.

  • We must build our brand globally to create a robust procurement of retired laptops which will sustain our operations, cover our costs and scale impact. For that we seek support in marketing, media and exposure.
  • We are seeking assistance to create a monitoring and evaluation unit to evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts so that our scale plan is built on evidence-based needs, impact and credibility.
  • Mentorship/coaching is needed to further build the capacity of our staff in difficult emergency settings.
  • Lastly, we seek to benefit from Board/Advisors partnerships to learn more about best practices, perspectives, and advice on growing and diversifying our board with relevant committees.
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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

  • We want to build strong relationships and build our brand among the UN, EU and other INGO entities as a supplier for their areas of intervention, with their respective partners, serving in similar areas of intervention such as Save the Children, CARE International, War Child Holland, Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, etc.
  • Another reason for UN/EU/INGO partnerships is for tax and customs clearance waivers into all the countries we enter (as we currently enjoy in Lebanon with a partner organization).
  • We would like to build strong corporate partnerships who have a high turnover on laptops which could include techies like Facebook, Amazon, Google; PC manufacturers such as HP, Acer, Lenovo, Dell; and multi-nationals like JP Morgan, Deloitte, McKinsey, PepsiCo.
  • We would like to encourage these multinationals to also help cover incurred costs such as shipment through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
  • We want to further investigate partnerships with e-waste companies as a source for laptops.
  • We would like introductions to logistics companies with the intent of in-kind or deeply discounting shipping and logistics services for our laptop shipments. These include FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.
  • Finally, we would like a partnership with an M&E entity (university or specialist) for our impact assessment (Associate Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson of Harvard University would be ideal given her work with refugees).
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Solution Team

  • Rudayna Abdo Founder, Thaki
 
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