Charity merger to keep kids reading during coronavirus
8 April 2020 at 4:35 pm
There are roughly 250 million children globally missing out on a basic education
The global outbreak of COVID-19 means many children across the globe are now learning and reading online, but for many disadvantaged kids, this means missing out completely.
But a merger between Save the Children and NFP digital library, Library For All, might mean they don’t have to.
On Monday, Save the Children announced it had merged with the charity library, to scale up the delivery of LFA’s digital library to reach more disadvantaged children around the world.
LFA delivers culturally relevant, age-appropriate books in different languages and dialects for children across the globe using digital cloud-based technology.
Paul Ronalds, the CEO of Save the Children, said the current pandemic had highlighted the need to find ways for children to continue their education remotely, especially for children in poorer countries.
“Children in poorer countries are at an even greater disadvantage in the current scenario, which makes scaling up innovations like LFA so important,” Ronalds said.
At present, there are roughly 250 million children globally who are missing out on a basic education, and around 90 million who don’t attend primary school.
Ronalds said the merger also reflected Save the Children’s strong belief that new technologies presented opportunities to address social problems in new ways.
“Breakthroughs in edtech, such as that delivered by LFA, offer the opportunity to deliver services more efficiently and effectively,” Ronalds said.
With more than a quarter of Save the Children’s global program portfolio dedicated to education, LFA CEO Rebecca McDonald said the coming together of the two organisations would help scale up LFA’s offer significantly.
“Connecting our digital library capabilities into Save the Children’s extensive global program portfolio will allow us to scale quickly and significantly, driving edtech innovation in the sector and reaching more of the world’s readers,” McDonald said.
This is the latest in a number of strategic mergers initiated by Save the Children in a bid to use its size to help successful social enterprises achieve greater scale and capacity.
Early this year the charity became the first Australian aid organisation to launch an impact investment fund aimed at helping to scale up social enterprises.