Education is a basic human right, but approximately one billion school-aged children don’t have access to it. Resource-constrained communities continue to rely on aging educational models with expensive libraries full of outdated paper books and texts. Free digital educational content is growing exponentially, but most children around the world aren’t benefitting.
Across the globe, children are denied basic education for reasons usually related to circumstances beyond their control: collateral damage from civil wars that sends teachers fleeing, natural disasters that destroy schools, or simply a lack of funds to provide basic educational necessities.
The Rumie Initiative is stepping into the breach. In 2013, Rumie’s open-source Android tablets debuted in Haiti, loaded with educational materials for elementary school students, and capable of functioning without internet access. These low-cost devices included lessons, videos, quizzes and textbooks that would cost at least $5,000 in hard copy. Their solution provides a library for the cost of a book, supplying products that communities demand, not what donors believe the market wants.
Since their launch, Rumie has impacted 25,000+ children worldwide in over 20 countries, including Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey as well as Indigenous communities in northern Ontario and Nunavut. At present, Rumie works with more than 25 NGOs, including UNICEF, Junior Achievement, and Right to Play, developing strong local ties that help ensure the sustainability of their tablet deployments.