By unrepresented young people for unrepresented young people. We believe that quality and accessible digital education is crucial to empower new generation leaders from under-resourced communities worldwide.
Can you solve complex issues with simple solutions? Origin Learning fund believes so. We thrive to achieve this objective with our interactive application created by our team of young innovators: O-lab. O-lab is an easy-to-use, inclusive, and no-code customizable application which makes tailored educational programs, surveys, interactive forms, capacity-building and vocational courses through our Learning Management System (LMS) for young people between the ages of 5 and 20, at-risk of being excluded from higher education and labor opportunities.
It takes very little to brand O-lab as your own. Since the end of 2020, we have had the chance to build partnerships with local schools, corporations, educational and research institutes, and international organizations which easily devised and managed tailored education, training and corporate responsible social programs. The creation process involves students and teachers to better address the needs of the community, making them feel like the heart of change.
The application is compatible with low-cost devices and works both online and offline. O-lab analytics uses a Monitor, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) System to analyze data, visualize dashboards, interact with statistics, and download impact reports according to students/apprentices’ pedagogical and behavioral assessments.
O-lab offers a unique pedagogical approach because it was created with the mind of an indigenous child, with a clear understanding of the needs, problems, and aspirations of a particular community. It is the desire to find an answer and a solution to a lack of quality educational and technological offerings that has been experienced at the very skin of those who founded Origin Learning Fund.
Not by chance, O-lab includes a virtual tutor which is adapted to each cultural context, guiding children in their native language, including indigenous tongues, in the learning process and making interaction more familiar and dynamic. The accessible and intuitive interface is tested on children who have never used this kind of technology. Students and trainees across the world can also benefit from a dedicated Blog section to exchange advice, knowledge and best practices on educational courses or training.
Our project and founder were born in La Guajira, the indigenous capital of Colombia, in 2015. Only 29% of the community has the possibility to finish high school and the mere 5% hold the resources to enroll in higher education. Indigenous students are more likely to drop out of school due to language barriers and lack of technical and human support. 70% of those affected are women.
“I was born in La Guajira, in the northernmost point of South America bordering Venezuela, home to one of the largest refugee and afro communities. Doing my thesis, I found out that poverty persists because young people, especially young women, can’t develop the 21st-century skills required to thrive in this modern economy, thus rendering a vast majority of youths jobless and unmotivated” –Tania Rosas, Founder and CEO.
We soon realized that this problem was not only common to the most remote regions in Colombia but extended to many indigenous groups and under-resourced communities in the world, given that 63% of students worldwide in rural areas do not have access to the Internet. Furthermore, 1.3 billion students aged 3 to 17 years old do not have access to digital learning. 3.5 million school-age refugees are currently not enrolled in school, and only 3% of them have access to higher education. The pandemic has further widened the gap. It is estimated more than 11 million girls worldwide could not continue their studies due to a lack of connectivity and inclusive learning.
Our commitment to the cause and the not negligible figures involved in this global problem have prompted us to expand. Since early 2021, we have successfully increased our collaboration and exported O-lab to Pakistan, Philippines, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru, South Africa, Nigeria, and Mexico.
It might seem far-fetched to suggest technology-based solutions to education in communities where many struggle to earn enough to feed themselves. But to build sustainable communities, we need to provide local youth, the workforce of the future, with the skills they need to thrive and create solutions by themselves. In other words, empowering at-risk students to become their communities’ new young leaders.