Zurich, June 8, 2022: AfriKids has been named a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022, a set of three awards each worth CHF 200,000 ($208,000) that honour outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education.
AfriKids is a leading grassroots organization for children in northern Ghana. It is a partnership between a charity registered in England and Wales, and an NGO registered in Ghana.
The three recipients of this year’s Best Practice Prizes will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on 30 September 2022. For the first time, the 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event, taking place on 1 October 2022. They will exchange knowledge and ideas on advancing learning and will have the opportunity to partner with other shortlisted applicants to develop proposals for new projects. Two concepts will receive follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000 ($156,000) each.
Awarded every other year, the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes recognize non-profits, businesses, and social ventures that are bringing forth innovative solutions to some of education’s biggest challenges.
Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-CEOs of the Jacobs Foundation, said:
“We want to warmly congratulate AfriKids on becoming a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022. These prizes were created to showcase the groundbreaking work that businesses, social ventures, and non-profits all around the world are doing to ensure children have access to quality education. There is not a moment to lose. By bringing to light the evidence of what works we can use it to implement solutions that can be tailored to learners’ diverse individual needs.
“In the age of COVID, it is also important to share ideas and evidence of what works on the ground to help shift policy, particularly as education systems adapt to a new and unfamiliar terrain. That is why we are launching this new follow-on collaboration funding of up to CHF 150,000. We look forward to bringing together all 10 Best Practice Prize finalists for our co-creation event, and we can’t wait to see what inspiring concepts they come up with together.”
Charlie Hay, CEO of AfriKids, said:
“We are so thrilled to be recognized as a top 10 finalist for this prestigious award, particularly as it is based on such rigorous criteria. We would like to thank the Jacobs Foundation for shining a light on the important work that organizations around the world are doing to advance education, and we look forward to exchanging ideas with all the amazing 2022 Best Practice Prize finalists.
“We hope to use this incredible platform to share our learnings, and empower even more local communities in northern Ghana and across the globe to keep vulnerable children healthy, safe, and in school.”
AfriKids promotes the rights of all children in Ghana, with a focus on their rights to be healthy, safe and learn – rights that many children do not enjoy. Over 600,000 of Ghana’s children are out of school, 94% of them experience violence, child labour, child marriage, poor access to quality healthcare and high rates of mother and child mortality and morbidity are commonplace.
AfriKids also empowers people in remote communities who are often disenfranchised from public services and the support of mainstream NGOs. The approach is based on listening to local people and empowering them to make sustainable changes themselves. AfriKids’ education program empowers families to lift themselves out of poverty while working with schools and education stakeholders to ensure all children have access to quality basic education, especially the most marginalized.
Since 2002, this model has helped improve 837 schools and support over 300,000 children to learn. AfriKids’ locally-led approach has achieved unprecedented results on some of the most complex issues children face – especially those that require a long-term commitment to attitude and behavior change across diverse stakeholders. For example, it has helped 58 communities eradicate a harmful traditional belief in “spirit children” and estimates this has saved the lives of 1,320 children, many of whom have disabilities, who would otherwise have been killed for being different. AfriKids’ current ‘1 Million Smiles’ strategy is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and supports Ghana’s commitment to ensuring the rights of every child. AfriKids is expanding its projects into more “demonstration districts” of northern Ghana, generating evidence for national and international advocacy to influence policy and wider change.
Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes
Applications for the Best Practice Prizes 2022 opened on 6 January and closed on 10 February 2022. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding achievement in advancing learning and education, and embrace variability in learning. Their projects should draw on scientific evidence, use a clear results framework, and must be sustainable, scalable, and financially viable. Finally, they must build on strong leadership and partner networks.
In memory of its founder, the entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs, who passed away in 2008, the Jacobs Foundation presents two awards every other year for exceptional achievements in research and practice in the field of child and youth development and learning. The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize rewards scientific work that is highly relevant to society, and the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes honor exceptional commitment and innovative solutions of institutions or individuals.