• Listed below are organizations that our team has found that display a partner relationship between the global south and north. Some have more strengths than others however, it is interesting to see how partnerships can take place in both large and small organizations.


World Bank 

Education Strategy 2020- Learning For All

The strategy focuses on 3 main ideas; investing early, investing smartly and investing for all. Investing early is important because foundational skills learned in early childhood are crucial for a lifetime of learning. Investing smartly entails prioritizing learning and skills development, to maximize the best results. And lastly, investing for all, where girls and disadvantaged populations can have the opportunity to learn. Although this made sound like an ideal goal for an organization that wants to contribute to development, the report lacks details of how to achieve these goals. The report has a very mainstream perspective on development; implement education for all in order to better the economic state of the nation. There is also little on making partnerships with existing communities to ensure sustainability and a non-intrusive program.


Camfed – Campaign for Female Education

Camfed has 3 core values that sets them apart in comparison to other larger organizations.

1. Focus on the Girl

All of our programs begin with an individual girl in rural Africa. By looking at the world from her perspective, we work to dismantle the hurdles in her way to obtaining an education and living a healthy adult life. We’re answerable first and foremost to her.

2. Involve the Community

Change can’t happen without community support. We believe people living in rural communities are best placed to solve the problems around them. Community members of all levels help with our program design and implementation.

3. Operate Transparent, Accountable Programs

We place transparency at the core of our operations. Unique social and financial auditing systems are used in a monitoring process that safegaurds girls and young women.

These values are part of everything that we do: from the way we operate our finance systems, to the way we collect data and share information, to the way we communicate within and about Camfed. We want girls to have shoes that fit them, for schools to choose how to use funds they are allocated, for parent groups to decide how they can best help their children, and for everyone we work with to help gather and share information. We explain bursary entitlements to all girls receiving them, for example, so they know what to expect and how to ensure they get all that is promised, and share this information with parents, schools and the committees responsible for managing this process so that the system is fully transparent. ”


Shikshantar and Swaraj University

Shikshantar the Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education based in India, Shikshantar, the People’s Institute for    Rethinking Education and Development in India, is a research institute that studies and practices sustainable approaches to learning and development from a radically contrasting approach to the Western model of factory schooling- a model that has been misconceived to be the sole solution to reducing poverty in developing countries. Developed societies have become accustomed to this type of centralized learning, resulting in a natural acceptance to the dictated curriculum of what and how it is to be learned. This model of centralized control by a limited number of “educated experts” and elite policy circles where they churn out the uniform, carbon- copy curriculum for every individual in stereotypical western school settings is referred to as, factory schooling. When this Western, top-down approach is imposed upon local communities in the global south as a solution to eradicating poverty, a world of traditional cultures that embody a wealth of practical information that can be of very real use to people in the modernized world is disregarded by alternative, and unsustainable methods . Shikshanta challenges these dominant systems of education and economy, providing guidance and resources for ‘free-thinkers’ as a grass-root organization drawing from indigenous knowledge.

With these thoughts in mind, Shikshantar created Swaraj University in 2010 where students aged 17-28 design their own curriculum. Instead of attending school for the purpose of receiving a diploma at the end or writing standardized tests; the program focuses on green entrepreneurship, exploring basic business skills, relationships, and practices to fulfill their individual goals. Swaraj University is an example of a grass- roots organization that has steered away from the mainstream Westernized model of education to practice a method that is sustainable for their community and culture by building upon indigenous knowledge and skills.

Learning about Shikshantar and Swaraj University has made us question what ‘education’ means to us.

You can find more information about this refreshing institution here:


Room to Read

Room To Read is an organization that focuses on the issues of literacy and equal access to education in the third world, primarily in countries of South East Asia and Africa. The organization has a massive scope. As of 2012, they have established 1,627 schools, 15,082 libraries and distributed 12.8 million books in ten countries. The organization operates on the principle that “literacy skills are the foundation for all future learning and educating girls is the most powerful and effective way to transform communities and end the cycle of illiteracy”(Room to Read Annual Report 2011).

What we think is admirable about this organization is their emphasis on partnership to ensure sustainability and cultural relevance. They work with existing schools, community leaders, and government officials to update teaching methods and curriculums, to promote literacy, and to incorporate materials that will increase gender equality in the classroom. According to their annual report, they “publish books by local authors and illustrators [as a way to] keep content culturally relevant for young readers”, and to help “pass along folklore and traditions from one generation to the next” (2011). Books are published in the main languages spoken in the local communities.

Their annual report asserts that “community ownership of our projects is paramount to long-term impact”, ensuring that, even after direct funding ends, their schools and libraries continue their work.

The organization also values partnerships with citizens of the Global North for support. The organization prides itself on its four-star award for sound fiscal management, bestowed by Charity Navigator, and makes a point of being transparent and accountable to its supporters.

Additionally, Room to Read encourages active participation over passive donating. The organization further encourages interested parties to be involved in a local chapter, promoting fundraising activities and spreading awareness. In this way, people are encouraged to do their own research, engaging with and thinking about global issues.

GEM Uganda (Girls’ Education Movement)
The Girls’ Education Movement was launched in Uganda over ten years ago during a conference in Kampala, Uganda which was attended by children and young individuals in Africa. Their vision is to enable and empower girls to attain an education to become leaders and create change in their local community. GEM Uganda believes in a society where there is equal opportunities for boys and girls to develop their full potential and develop a bright future. They aim to address issues that may stand in the way for girls to attain an education and work to develop skills so that their voices will be heard.
The Girls’ Education Movement implements all of their projects in Northern, Western, Karamoja and Teso regions of Uganda according to the following themes:

  • Transition and transformation of girls in their education
  • Safety and security of girls in and out of school
  • Gender sensitivity in the curriculum and the teaching- learning process
  • Equal opportunities for both girls and boys in science, Maths and ICT.
  • Education for girls with special needs and other children at risk of exploitation.
  • Adequate resources and legislation on commitments.

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