Education is a basic human right, yet approximately one billion school-aged children do not have access to it. Resource-constrained communities continue to replicate dated educational systems with expensive libraries full of outdated paper books and texts. Free digital educational content is growing exponentially, but most children around the world lack access to it.
Around the world, children are denied basic education for reasons usually related to the collateral damage of civil wars that send teachers fleeing, natural disasters that destroy school or simply a lack of funds to provide basic educational necessities.
The Rumie Initiative is stepping into the breach. In 2013, Rumie debuted in Haiti with its open-source Android tablets that contain all relevant educational materials for elementary school students, which require no internet access. These low-cost tablets include lessons, videos, quizzes and textbooks that alone would cost at least $5,000 in hard copy -a library for the cost of a book. The organization made a remarkable market-demand innovation- supplying products that communities demand, not what donors believe the market wants.
Since their launch, Rumie has 5,000 tablets in use; impacting 25,000+ children worldwide in 21 countries including Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey as well as Indigenous communities in northern Ontario, Canada to name a few. Currently, Rumie works with 25 NGOs who have strong local ties that help ensure sustainability of their tablets and community buy-in.