Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
For charity workers, wasting quality books is demotivating: we re-inspire people in charities around London. By bringing in students from partnering schools to manage these waste books we also provide charity experience in a start-up atmosphere, with global impact. We call this line of our work ‘CREST’ (charity entrepreneurship for students).
When the books get to China, schools are so delighted that some, like one Shandong partner, build small libraries for them.
What makes a difference is this is where our work truly begins (often, this is where other projects end). Schools in both countries can join our online platform, to have peer-to-peer talks about the books. To maximise academic impact, we also offer a unique tutoring course.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Since 2013, we’ve processed 13,000 books from 7 charities, sending 10,000 to Chinese schools. In 2013-14, we shipped 2000 to schools in Xi’an and Shandong as a pilot, and in 2014-15, 8,000 to 10 new partnering schools. We work in 11 provinces with 22 Chinese schools, with 15 in the UK.
These books totally rebuilt the capacity of our Chinese partners to help students’ English: we subsequently signed-up about 30,000 students to our online platform. So students get the most out of this, we also designed a tutoring course based on its use as a classroom tool, running this in Sichuan for 50 students. Most students improved one grade in English as a result. Recognising its impact, the Chinese government became a sponsor. Over the next 3 years, we expect to empower around 75,000 users in China and the UK to connect educationally through our platform, supported by real, complementary books.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
By 2020, we will have shipped >50,000 books that would otherwise become toilet paper, empowering countless students with better resources for English learning. As such, we will drive a major disruption in how second-hand books are managed, which will promote repurposing over recycling at a policy level.
We aim to secure ~500 new partners in the next 5 years, in the UK spreading from London to Devon and Scotland; in China, with clients in every province, and government support in ~40% of these. By involving this number of schools, we will deeply re-integrate schools with community work.