CEDEI School

CEDEI School

Cuenca, EcuadorCuenca, Ecuador
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Approximately 20 words left (160 characters).

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The need we are trying to solve is providing children with an elementary school education that prepares them to be happy, productive global citizens. Many people view education as a means of getting ahead and making a lot of money. Our idea is to give the students strong values - honesty, integrity, love of your fellow man, consideration of the environment, etc. We want to help the children discover their talent and foster development of their talent. We want the children to enjoy learning in an environment that allows them some freedom to explore and experience. We believe that children with special learning needs should go to school with other children. All children have special learning needs. CEDEI School seeks to treat each child as an individual and tailor learning to that child.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

CEDEI has created an environment where the children are developing skills and values of compassion, empathy, environmental stewardship, multiculturalism, inclusive world-view for people of different backgrounds and capacities, critical thinking skills, peaceful resolution to conflict, fluency in 2 languages with a high level in a third language, and an expanded world view. Our students are taught in a dynamic education model that values experiential learning, multiple intelligences, and emotional stability. They seek creative resolution to social and environmental issues that affect us all at the local and global level by participating in projects of volunteerism in the community and studying a curriculum that is global in its application. We have cultivated a space of mutual respect and a sense of co-creation of our school between students, parents, and school staff.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A child that takes the education journey through CEDEI School does indeed conclude that journey with admirable values, valuable knowledge, and a love of learning. Jacques Barzum stated: "In teaching you can not see the fruit of a day´s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years." We do take some exception to the quote. We see the results with our students in their treatment of special needs children, animals, plants, foreigners, adults, etc. The children reflect the values championed for them and radiate the joy of learning. We measure and observe their progress. The student´s parents are an important part of the education team. They are at the school frequently. The parents tell us about the success. The parents teach and learn too. More information is provided on CEDEI School on our website www.cedei.org . CEDEI School is one of three schools that CEDEI Foundation offers. CEDEI is a non-profit foundation that has as its mission to develop quality education and foster understanding among people of different cultures.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our peers are mostly other elementary schools that use a traditional education model. We do not view these schools as competitors but rather other educators trying to do their best. CEDEI School freely shares ideas with other schools and day care centers. Surprisingly, schools have a difficult time to innovate and adjust to changed education needs because they are often bound by government regulations or organizational norms. CEDEI School does meet the education requirements of the government and we stay true to our founding ideals. Our biggest challenge is getting parents to understand that what we are championing is best for their children. It is a movement away from materialism and some other popular beliefs.
About You
The Centers for Interamerican Studies
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

The Centers for Interamerican Studies

Organization Country

, A, Cuenca

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Cuenca

Your role in Education

Resource Officer, Student, Teacher.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Private (tuition-based)

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

The CEDEI School´ elementary school model could be employed in other places. The written story of the school would allow others to copy.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

The School has the conscious intention of teaching values, as well as, traditional knowledge and subjects.Being inclusive is innovative.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The School has been educating for about 10 years. The School provides an example in the community for all educators of joining compassion, values, and knowledge acquisition. It will take more time for our graduates to enter the community and the full impact of the school to be witnessed and felt.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Our expectation is that CEDEI School will grow in enrollment by about 60% to reach the capacity of the physical facility. We expect the enrollment of special needs children to grow similarly. We expect that community recognition of our admirable model of education to grow dramatically. We expect to collaborate more with other elementary schools and day care centers.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Some parents do not want to send their children to a "special education" school. CEDEI School is not. It is an inclusive elementary school. We must continue to educate parents and the community that inclusion is the proper way. We are aided in this by a federal government that is pro inclusion.
It is more expensive to be an inclusive school. This means that our tuition is higher than traditional elementary schools. We must continue to convince parents that this is an investment in their children living a happy, productive life.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

One means of tracking growth is an increasing enrollment. We hope to grow our enrollment by about 20 % (20 students).

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

We must do better in making prospective parents and students aware of our school - informative advertising.

Task 2

We must continue to execute great, value-based educating. One means is consciously building empathy educating in classcirriculum

Task 3

We must continue our active role in community events that display our admirable education model.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Certainly continue 6 month initiatives and think more on a regional or national level.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Continue with informative advertising

Task 2

Continue with community outreach and participation in events. Consider national exposure.

Task 3

Tell our story to key community leaders like the Rotary Club. Take advantage of our international reach.

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

In 2000, CEDEI began to investigate options for early childhood and primary education. Research indicated that children learn languages well, yet, most 2nd language teaching by schools started late. A founding objective was to teach additional languages sooner. A second key objective was to foster in children a desire to learn and this lead to adopting experiential methods. Another founding objective was to teach values and try to interrupt the cycle of prejudice (racism, sexism, etc.) contained in all cultures.

Tell us about your partnerships

We were "adopted" by the Miss Cuenca nominee one year.

The city of Cuenca municipal government one year provided a grant. This money was mostly restricted to employing additional medical personal for our special needs students.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

We remain committed to employing outstanding teachers. Our teacher group is formed of national and international teachers. It is expensive to recruit and employ international teachers. However, we believe that this is a key element of our education model. The success of this is reflected in our students learning, particularly languages, and their exposure to cultural diversity.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We would like to identify and develop an "empathy learning space" (room). We envision this space containing props (costumes, model hurt animal, etc.) to create a scene in which the children can play out situations requiring them to consider good or not so good actions in a circumstance requiring empathy. We would use our prize money to partially invest in this space.