Cartier Philanthropy - Bringing fun learning to kids

Bringing fun learning to kids

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Ubongo is a Pan-African non-profit social enterprise that creates fun, localised educational content designed to improve children’s school readiness and learning outcomes. Over 24 million families in Africa learn with Ubongo monthly using technology they already have, mostly TVs, radios and mobile phones. We’re funding Ubongo to reach 67 million kids in 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

Duration
2022-2025
Focus area
Access to Basic Services
country
Benin Cameroon Democratic Republic of Congo Ethiopia Ghana Guinea Conakry Kenya Liberia Madagascar Mozambique Nigeria Rwanda Senegal Sierra Leone South Sudan Tanzania The Gambia Uganda
partner
Ubongo

Context

There is an education crisis in Africa. Most of its 500 million children enter school with low social and cognitive skills. In Tanzania, more than half of 10-16 year olds fail baseline maths and reading tests designed for 8-year-olds, while over half the country’s primary school students do not own a single textbook. Schools are overcrowded and teachers untrained.

Action

Ubongo produces engaging stories in local languages, catchy songs, beautiful cartoons and beloved characters to educate and entertain kids aged 3-14. This content is distributed through broadcast partners (TV, radio, and online) and social organisations to reach kids in the last mile.

About 24 million children currently listen to and learn from Ubongo programmes every week.

Akili and Me engages children from 3 to 6 and their parents to develop school readiness through early numeracy, pre-literacy, language skills, motor development and social-emotional learning.

Ubongo Kids inspires children aged 7-14 to solve problems and find the fun in learning. It covers maths, science, technology and engineering, plus a wide range of life skills, from curiosity to financial literacy.

Ubongo content doesn’t replace more formal education, it’s a strong complement to it.

My baby likes it, and it builds her reasoning and speaking skills. She’s learning how to talk.

Kenyan Parent

Impact

Research shows that watching Ubongo’s “edutainment” programmes leads to significantly improved learning outcomes for kids.
In Tanzania and Rwanda, kids who regularly watch Akili and Me edu-cartoons have 12% higher cognitive development and outperform their peers by 24% in maths.

We’re funding Ubongo to reach 67 million kids in 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.