At the Luminos Fund, we envision a world where no child is ever denied an education. We believe all children should have the opportunity to learn to read. This vision should not be a bold idea.
On the contrary, every child, whether they are born in Boston, Massachusetts or Awassa, Ethiopia, deserves to experience joyful, rich education—and the power of knowing how to read, write, and do math. However, the tragic global reality is that our vision of basic education for all, no matter their circumstances, is an ambitious goal. Even before COVID-19, millions were denied an education, often due to crisis, poverty, and discrimination. Joyful learning for all has been the Luminos Fund’s sole focus for five years and, today, our education mission is more important and urgent than ever.
2021 marks Luminos’ fifth anniversary, providing us with an opportunity to pause and reflect on just how far we have come, and to look to the future. To date, as highlighted in our new Annual Report, we have served 152,051 students, trained 20,599 teachers, supported 273,573 parents and community members, and partnered with 26 local organizations. We are incredibly proud of these numbers because they represent more than just statics. Each number is an individual life, uniquely supported and encouraged on the path to lifelong learning.
They are students like Maima in Liberia, who used to sell bread to support her family and now loves learning to read thanks to her tireless Second Chance teacher, James. They are teachers like Lominas in Ethiopia, who discovered a love of teaching math and seeing students like nine-year-old Absera master basic skills. They are parents like Sola in Lebanon, who helped her children and other students in Shatila Refugee Camp continue to learn in innovative ways during COVID-19 school closures. We share these stories and more in our 2020 Annual Report, illuminating the Luminos Fund’s expansive impact on a personal level.
Over the past five years, our programs have expanded to three countries: Ethiopia, Lebanon, and Liberia. In addition to managing classrooms directly, we have continued to strengthen our partnerships with governments to build educational capacity at national, regional, and local levels and support Ministries of Education to adopt our model into mainstream government schools. Just this year in Lebanon, we supported the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the digitization of key social-emotional learning (SEL) materials for national use—materials that will help both students and teachers, especially during COVID-19.
Our programs prove that rich, five-senses learning can be achieved in the poorest corners of the globe. At this critical moment in history, the global community must not narrow its vision of what is possible for educating children. COVID-19 threatens decades of progress in education, with heartbreaking impact on millions of children and families. With scarcely nine years until 2030 and the end of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will the world rise to meet this moment?
Today calls for bold ambition to revolutionize education.
Luminos is meeting this call, equipped with a proven strategy to transform the way children learn to read and do math. With these essential skills, the door to opportunity opens. We can help millions of children. Thank you for joining us.