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Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Canopen role play for parent-child conflict resolution brings children closer to parents. Through role play and drama, children are empowered to articulate their challenges. Parents are also energized to effectively deal with children's challenges and resolve conflicts.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if parents and children became bees and communicated through dance, as bees one of the most efficient insects on the planet do? They would understand their issues and resolve them effectively. They would coexist peacefully and collaborate harmoniousl
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Knowledge drummed is into children leading to lack of skills for dealing with challenging issues. Children become dull, stressed, performance drops, they leave school and engage in emotionally and physiacally injurious activities. Parents and teachers also lack skills for dealing with children’s challenging issues. They blame, accuse, judge and punish the children for what is happening to them.

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

Communication skills of children are sharpened through creative writing, Role Play and drama. Children gain self-confidence, courage and patience. They can effectively articulate their issues. Parents develop skills for resolving their and their children’s internal and external conflicts. They become more focused on conflict resolution other than accusing, blaming, judging or punishing children.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Children become emotionally and physically relaxed through engaging in role play and drama. Concentration in their work improves. Creative writing makes them to reflect more on their feelings, thoughts and actions. They take charge of their actions. They start acting with restraint. They strengthen value of patience necessary for resolving conflicts. Parents and teachers become emotionally healed through empathy. They become confident. They are ready to interact with their children and deal with their issues. They gain skills of resolving conflicts through role play and drama. They become confident, gain courage to resolve conflicts with spouses, extended family members and neighbourhood associates promoting peaceful interaction all round.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

25 children aged 11-18 years who make up 30% of Kenya’s total population, were trained on creative writing since 1993 per year per week by the executive director and later by former participants: total of 425 children. Many more children trained in school creative writing clubs. Many parents learnt about their children’s issues from written pieces. Some parents started talk sessions with their children. Parents got closer with their children but had no skills of resolving issues affecting them. Since 2011, 35 parents ( five of them teachers) trained with their children on conflict resolution using role play and drama: 5 days intensive training, 3 month monitoring parents and children practicing dramatization on resolving real issues affecting both, 2 days show casing their drama and videotaping. Many more parents watch the videos.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Training done by executive director with 3 parents/teachers learning to be trainers. Children stopped some behaviors which were unbecoming to them and parents. Result: cohesion and peace in families, reduction in indiscipline and conflicts in schools and neighborhood. Training concentrated in suburbs of Nairobi county; to extend to others. Aspire for mini theater

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Board members will continue to work on voluntary basis. Trainers will have had adequate education to enable them understand the project without seeking expensive training elsewhere. Donor agencies will understand fully benefits of the project to citizens and be inspired to support the training. Learning institutions will continue to offer their venues for the training at little or no cost.

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

Through its philosophy of CAN-OPEN i.e. stimulating the mind creatively, CANOPEN aims at sharpening talents of parents and children to enable them to steer conflict resolution and healing.Kenya National Drama Festival develops children’s’ talents mainly to showcase performance and enlighten audiences. Many schools in Kenya ignore any form of play in the learning process. Counseling and peace initiatives also pay little attention to play in their healing process.Canopen aims at collaborating with groups ignoring play and emotional healing of their people; to lobby govt to enhance play policy

Founding Story

Working with Ministry of Education in late 80's, I learned from teachers that children complained of headaches, ulcers and other pains which had no definite cause. Later, I found out children were suffering from stress owing to too much academic work and no play. I started Canopen as an avenue for children to release stressful emotions and for effective self expression through creative writing. Eventually, it was necessary to train parents and children on conflict resolution through role play and drama.


Roles carried out include research, identifying projects, designing training, recruitment of trainees, training, monitoring, evaluation, shooting,editing screening videos,feedback on training, compiling reports Two board members have masters, two bachelors, one higher diploma and one undergraduate. Only the executive officer works fulltime on voluntary basis. Envisage having 3 full time officers, 1 recruitment officer within the next five years
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact


What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, Other.



Primary Target Age Group

13 - 17.

Your role in Education


Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

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


Intervention Focus


Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Putting Children in Charge: Giving children a voice and cultivating agency via experiential learning, project-based learning, and civic engagement.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.


deeper understanding of emotional needs of children

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

personality development of children

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Number of Volunteers:

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.