It’s been a while since I’ve told you any news about EduCaB, but that doesn’t mean the project is stagnating – on the contrary, EduCaB is growing beautifully. A lot of things have happened and the wonderful people involved in the project have had remarkable results. EduCaB is about people and communities, and lately some great things have happened that I’m really glad and proud about. I’ll take them one by one:
Last year, Dragos Pislaru, Minister of Labour at the time and Romania’s delegate at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, talked about the humanitarian aid Romania’s offering, including the EduCaB Nepal project, which was given as an example of the involvement of Romanian civil society in global humanitarian issues. You can watch the speech here.
My friend Mihai Lupu, the founder of this project, represented EduCaB in December 2016 at the Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala, where the concept was nominated along with three other initiatives for the Aspen Social Action Prize, which EduCaB ended up winning.
The award was donated for the construction of the second library in Bangladesh. This leads me to another cool fact about EduCaB.
Sojib Khan, Sayed’s friend, has started working on the second library in Bangladesh with the help of EduCab’s investment via the Aspen Social Action Prize. After Mihai, Marina, Sayed, Gopi and I talked to Sojib last year in Dhaka about the concept of Educab and about its major long-term impact on the community, Sojib decided that he wanted to get involved in the project and develop it in his home area, in Borenga, Jessore District. And that is how, after the first socio-cultural hub had been launched in 2016 with private money from a country with a population of over 160 million, recently, work has begun on the second privately funded library in the history of Bangladesh, which will be part of the EduCab network.
At the beginning of this year, the EduCaB team went on a work trip to Nepal, where projects continue through the strategic partnership with the ColdFeet Foundation (Gopi & co.), Malaysia (where Ana Ionescu put together a new team through Ipsos that gathers educational resources for Indonesia Educab) and Indonesia, the new site of the project (in six communities on the Flores/East Nusa Tenggara Island). Follow the EduCaB Indonesia Facebook page for updates.
For more information about Mihai, Ioana Moldovan and Laurentiu Colintineanu’s trip through Nepal, check out Al Jazeera’s coverage after the photo report by Ioana – it shows the complicated situation in this country after the 2015 earthquake. But there’s good news coming out from there through Nepal EduCaB, Gopi and the local team, who have started construction on two schools that were destroyed by the earthquake.
Although I couldn’t join my friends on EduCaB’s adventure, I tried to promote the project as much as possible. In California, I talked about it with the people I met at the leadership programme, I spoke about it at the University of Trento with the international students on the development programme that I also graduated from in 2012, I also promoted it in Lugano, Switzerland, during the Erasmus Mundus 10 years’ anniversary event. That’s where I had the honour of being an inspirational speaker along with my colleague from Tanzania, Geline, and that’s where her and I decided to extend the network to her country as well, since I knew that there had already been talks about taking it to Senegal. So, together with Mihai, we’re planning a trip there in November or December to get the first two African countries into the EduCaB project. There are also some preliminary talks going on in Uganda, via Damaris.
Another piece of good news: the launch of the website and platform that will connect these networks. You can go to educab.org to see what it’s all about and access all of EduCaB’s projects. The platform is just starting out, but wonderful things will be achieved through it, that will connect all of these different locations that have a common purpose: to give children and adults the opportunity to learn.
That’s basically what EduCaB is about: people, friends, communities, networks… and all for education in areas that don’t have access to this basic condition for human development.